The writer has touched the theme infidelity that everyone wants to have and at the same time everyone rues.  It is the absence of infidelity that every couple wants to lead a thorn less and pang less life.  But it seems in Indian society this is a common thing.  In India every woman wants her husband to be faithful to her.  But life is not so in the changed situation.  The workaholic lifestyle and the hunger to get rich in a very short span of time, many couple leave their children to governess or in the creche.  And both the husband and the wife hop from conference to conference, prepare reports and earn a hefty salary at the end of the month.

But this workaholic lifestyle or career oriented life has got the seed of the break of fidelity or faith.  Owing to insecure mentality, neither wife nor husband nurtures love towards anyone but remain inside a cocoon that they tend to create with the passage of time.  Wife doubts her husband and vice versa.  Marriage is an institution that rests solely on the fabric of faith and unless this fabric is there joining a wife and husband, there is chances of breakage or divorce.

Sheena loves Gaurav but no one had time to show love towards each other and in the end they found themselves leading a forced life without any zing or ripple or feeling.  ‘I am busy’ both would say to each other.  But married life is not so and never rests on distance and harping of the cliché ‘Darling I love you.’  Actually, the writer seems to suggest that marriage and relation should be saved and both partners should have enough room for the relation.  Solely, for financial security one cannot push a relation to the wall as both Gaurav and Sheena did in the novel.

It is for this reason; Nikhil exploited the vacuum in the mind and heart of Sheena.  Sheena was so blind that she also wanted to leave Gaurav.

The writer Sujata Parashar has touched the subject in a very good manner but stopped short of showing a bold path.  She is an Indian and quietly did the Indian thing to allow Sheena and Gaurav to patch up, forget and forgive.  Regrettably, the boldness is entering into the minds of the present generation as a majority of them think the institution of marriage is nothing but a temporary arrangement.

“In pursuit of Infidelity” is a well crafted Chik Lit novel written in plain English. The writer being a woman has touched the theme of sex in a very subtle way.  She also depicted the importance of sex in the institution of marriage.  It is a sine qua non of married life as life cannot be propelled further with the cliché of ‘I love you.’ She has not been that open as far as handling the theme of sex but was laconic.

In the end, the judge asked them to give a try to save their married life as breaking was but a dash of pen away.  In all “In Pursuit of Infidelity” is a good read.

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A heard of cattle was jostling through the village road of Amgaon.  Dust was flying like the smoke from a factory chimney.  For sometime it was a reign of darkness due to dust.  A tall ox tasted looked around and found a newly laid thatch.  It moved towards that direction and tasted a huge bunch of straw.

“Eaten…eaten, oh finished,” cried Damru and tried to drive away the ox.

“You…idiot,” Rama, the house owner cried with a log in his hand.   He hurled that towards the ox but before hitting the ox ran away from the range of the log.

“These people are really nonsense.  Why do they keep such tall oxen, god knows,” Rama ruminated.

“Yes…you are right.  They should feed their oxen,” Damru said.

The owner of the bull came to know the matter.  How he got an air to the incident god knows but he came like a whirlwind before the settling of the dust.

“Come out, idiot Rama, you scumbag.  How dare you beat my ox?” cried Shashi.

“What…what do you say?  I am a scumbag.  You black gibbon.  Your ox has ruined my newly layered thatch and with rain about to come…will your father lay new thatch for me?”

“What…you old toothless fellow, you called the names of my dead father.  You need a thrashing.”

“Ae…ae what happened?” Asked Ramniwas coming out from his house which was just opposite the house of Rama’s.

“Who are you, poking in?  I will not leave him.  I’ve bought the pair of oxen for rupees ten thousands that Rama might not have seen in his life time I bet.  Have you that lung to compensate for that, had it died with your log falling on the sensitive parts of the ox?”

“So what?” Ramniwas said and this egged Rama.

“To whom are you showing your money?  Your money is for you and not me.  So don’t boast about your money.  But don’t think that we have not seen money.  By the way the cost of your pair of oxen is hardly three or four thousands.”

“What! You half literate ox, what do you know about my pair of oxen.  You old toothless Rama, you should have told me, I’d have relayered your thatch.”

By that time the place was crowded as everyone was curious to know the cause of the fracas.  It was an unending quarrel and complicated too as the village was bifurcated.   Rama belonged to the majority group while Shashi was of the minority group.

Bihari and Mitrabhanu of the minority group came rushing to Shashi and asked him to leave the matter.  They successfully silent Shashi and the matter died down as it was only a fuss.

Ridhima and Rehman were glued to the larger than life computer monitor in a tech savvy room in the National Aeronautical service Agency.  They were observing the sky and various inhabitants of the sky like stars, comets, constellations, planets and satellites.  It was but a routine work of Rehman and Ridhima.  They were the romantic pair of the agency and would do all their work unitedly.  Some would appreciate their cohesiveness and at times some would criticize too.  They were taking notes of changes in the phases of the moon.

Mr Sneden came rushing to the room and asked them to watch CNN channel.  When Rehman and Ridhima heard the name of the TV channel, they only laughed as they were not supposed to watch the lackluster and insipid news items.

“I say, open the channel, I’m sure you would be busier than ever.” Mr Sneden smiled sitting close to them.

“Is it,” Rehman said pushing a small button on the large keypad.    Then Rehman uttered the word CNN and the next moment the utterance became an input for the computer to process.  Within a fraction of the second they began to watch the channel.

“An unknown body has been slowly moving towards the earth and a collision between the earth and yet to be named moving object cannot be ruled out.  First of all the moon might collide with object.  If moon collides, then people would miss the catholic ray of the moon in the night,” a reporter said with suitable stresses and swings.

The next moment the channel started beaming some fudgy footage of the moving objects.  There was vigorous editing to make the footage to sensationalize the presentation.  There were huge oceanic waves rising up and falling down.

“How come, we failed to take note of that mysterious murderous moving object?” Ridhima asked.

“Mysterious Murderous Moving object, interesting, isn’t it? Mumymob, if I construct a name arranging letters. ”

“Mumymob…hey that’s an interesting name.  Genius indeed.”  Rehman smiled. “But it is a matter of surprise that we failed to take note of such an object.  I am afraid the footage is a fabricated.”

“Rehman, part the screen and try to locate the Mumymob in the sky.  You Mr Killman, please dial the CNN and try to know the source of the video footage and the name of the person who had made such a movie,” Ridhima said.

The reporter again started after a break. “Welcome back to the breaking news.  It is a challenge for the scientist community of the United states and the world to destroy that object midway or deflect its orbit to save the earth and the moon and of course civilization.”

Rehman tried to pinpoint the part of the sky in the screen.  RTidhiman also tried to locate in Google Earth in her laptop.  But surprisingly no one was able to locate the Mumymob.

Mr killman informed that an amateur Japanese star gazer had sent the footage to the channel’s office in Japan.  He also informed that the channel had no any extra information with it.

“Surprising, how come this can happen.  Here we are glued to the sky on one of the biggest monitor of the world still failed to locate the Mumymob.

“Rehman, Killman, got it…got it.  Here it is,” Ridhiman showed her laptop.

“Oh my god, this is too far from us. If I am right, it is the Kuiper belt, isn’t it?” Rehman asked.

“No this is not Kuiper belt, but this is an unnamed belt more than 1000000 light years away from the Kuiper belt.”

“Oh sorry, we’ll have to upgrade our telescope on board our Kanedy space station, as it is not able to cover possible because of directional problem.  We’ll have to change the telescope to a moving one with multiple faces to cover all direction,” Rehman said.

They talked on the Mymymob at length and in the evening four scientists went to a planetarium.  They requested to show the object but the planetarium was also not able to show the object with precision.

Coming back to home Rehman and Ridhiman wanted to follow back the story in the CNN but there was no update but repetition of the same footage and reverberation of journalistic glitz.

AKASH was educated, handsome and was serving in the Indian railway.  Like others he had cherished a dream to marry and have a family with playing kids.  But for one reason or other, he was not able to marry.  His unmarried life was a central point of discussion for all.

His tussle with his mother and ego clash, his dreams of sex and woman, his tussle with tons of tensions, his smile and his inferiority complexion and loneliness are depicted vividly in the novel.   Above all his success and failure are some of the points of the novel.  He was 43 still unmarried.  It was a downward going life and he was not able to do anything to save this.

In deep frustration, he befriended with cigarette and wine. At night he would fantasize girls but it was his ill luck that even sleep eluded him.  He would struggle to sleep.  By and by he became gloomy and would depict life as one day close to death.  He smoked and drank wine excessively and cherished death, but death was not that easy to get at will.

After a dawn of realization, he rebelled with his parents and arranged marriage of his two other sisters.  But due to date problem the younger sister got married before the older sister.  This was not agreed to the other sister.  And she commits suicide.  Akash dreamed to smile but again smile deserted him.  After the marriages, he wanted to marry but he could not as according to customs marriages are not solemnized within one year of a death.   His parents arranged a girl just crossing her teen but he decided not to marry.

One night they had a booze party and in the morning he began vomiting blood.  It was the end of his world, as he died in a hospital.

In the early sixties, postman handed a registered letter to Vidya, a young boy of just 22.  He Dry Oasis backcould not suppress his curiosity any longer and opened the letter straight way.  Yes, that was a joining letter from the Forensic Laboratory, Prayag Nagar. All were happy.  In Pusar, a remote and interior village of Bihar, passing out graduation was a big achievement.  Knowledge of English language was an aura in the halo of a person that added to the personality.   Now, someone from this village got a job in the central government, it was a matter of jubilation for all.

Jubilation was a different thing but this traditionally brought up person lacked that extra exposure to move to an upcoming town and work there.  The name of big town, Prayag Nagar frightened him psychologically.  Finally, he joined at Prayag Nagar.

Prayag Nagar as a steel city was an advanced and industrialized town in Bihar.  There was bustling activities in the town.  Markets were organized.  Colonies were also well laid out and organized.  There were remarkable and obvious infrastructural developments in every sector like road, power, banking, township, transport, education and health.  When for the first time Vidya saw these, he was stunned, as he was seeing something new and outside the purview of his thinking.

People of Bihar are known to adjust to any adverse condition. Vidya adjusted his traditionalist flair with the cosmopolitanism of Prayag Nagar.  He applied for quarters and got that easily.  He would send money to his parents every month without fail.  At the post office, he would purchase as many as ten money order forms at a time and would think that he’d saved time, though to send money he would again come to the post office.  He would not also forget to write a small letter on the space provided at the bottom of a money order form.

After a service, generally people like to marry.  Members of the society would not sit idle, as they would try to bait any grown up service man for their daughters.  They would not allow their daughter to go pass twenty.  Rich men would utilize their money bidding grooms with high amount of dowry.

Well, Vidya was also baited.  Brothers of unmarried sisters would come to Prayag Nagar asking about him.  Some would meet him directly, while some others would use go-betweens.  Mentally, he was not that independent and confident enough to take an independent decision regarding his marriage.  For this he would rather provide his home address to meet his parents.

His parents first marry off their two daughters and later his case came to the anvil.  At 24, he got married to a rustic and typical girl of Bihar named Nirmala.  In the beginning, she stayed with Vidya’s parents and a post card was the only medium of communication between them.  As post card lacks privacy and secrecy, Vidya would not write anything on her name.  The news of the arrival of a post card was symphony to her ears.   Grown up in an agricultural family, Vidya was a bit miser too, as he would not send an Inland letter, as the cost was somewhat more than a post card.  Once in a month to slake his thirst, he would visit his village. His father would always tell him not to come that frequently. Perhaps his father lacked common sense or had lost that to senility, Vidya would think.

After two years of marriage, he was allowed to bring his wife to Prayag Nagar.  Soon Nirmala took charge of her household.  Her long veil shortened. She would like to keep entire payment of Vidya with her and would like to guard the same like a mother cobra to her siblings.  She was particular and strict not to spend a single rupee for any nonsense purpose.  In this nonsense purpose, there was no mention of her needs though.

Akash had a fight with his father Vidya sometimes ago.  He had to snap the call as his father was only pressing his point.  Reclining on his bed Akash was thinking about his parents and their inactivity.  His two sisters were still unmarried though they had crossed marriageable ages, and without the marriage of his sisters, he was not able to marry.  It was for this reason; his father Vidya was yet to think about his marriage.  He would quarrel with his father over phone to press for the marriages of his sisters but that was inadequate to activate his father.

Someone knocked at the door of Akash.  “Yike.  Who is there?” When five minutes passed in the meanwhile, the door knocked again though gently.

“Akash…Akash, you there, man?”

“Ye…yes, coming,” Akash replied.

He opened the door.  “Oh, you…Raj… Come in, come in.” Akash tried to maintain his usual smile.

“Akash, yesterday was your rest day, isn’t?  Your eyes tell dating with…” he smiled.

“Yes, for quite sometime, a McDowell No 1 bottle was lying unused.  Whenever, I would go near or open my cupboard, it would urge me to embrace.  I just wanted to avoid, for what reason, don’t know. Finally, the chilling weather of last night egged me to fulfill her wishes.” Akash smiled keeping a tray with two cups of coffees.

“Look, Akash I don’t want to advise you but don’t know why, my inner self wants to ask you some questions,” Raj said.

“Like…”

“For how long, will you lead this lackluster and wretched life?”

“Interestingly, I too ask the same question to my self but sadly, I cannot get any answer.  Raj, it has become a poser that lacks an answer.” Akash became gloomy. “My parents have reduced me to this position.  What can I say?”

By that time, he had become so saddened, that he would pick up any subject matter and would repeat the same thing that his parents had made his life miserable.

“At this age what’s the use of marrying and destroying a life of an innocent girl.”

“What are your parents doing man… really inscrutable?  Aren’t they doing anything to fix marriages of your rest two sisters?”

“My father is neutral but my mother has got different designs in her wicked mind.”

“Means…?”

“My father goes to various places searching for proposals for my sisters.  But my mother, as usual would raise her objections on each and every proposal.  She is the real mover and shaker and my innocent father just follows her meekly.”

“What is brewing in her mind?”

“She wants a proposal, who would take fewer amounts of dowry.  She also wants a proposal within Prayag Nagar as she wants to ensure that her daughters are available on call. She knows very well that I would not be beside her after marriage, if that happens.”

“This is ridiculous, everything to one’s interest…really not possible.  Marriages happen in India solely, for compromises between the bride and groom’s party.  Unless there are such compromises, I don’t think one can fix one’s marriage.  When one belongs to the bride’s side, one will have to play second fiddle to the groom’s side.  Means one will have to compromise more,” Raj said.

“My father is such an uxorious person that he would not do anything that my mother would not like.  She does not like to part with her saving, nor likes to take money from me.  What’s the use of my money when that lies unused?”

At that time the cell phone of Raj rang.  Akash smiled as he knew it was a call from Raj’s wife.  Both smiled and said good night.

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