Thursday, February 23, 2012

Infidelity? You Bet!!

A very interesting conversation over a hurried morning tea between my husband and me went something like this:

Him : "Why would you want to read a book on infidelity?"
Me : "Why not?"
Him : "You think I am cheating you?"
Me (with a slight raised eye brow) : "Are You?"
Him : "Are you?"
Me : "Are you what?"
Him : "Oh OK! I get it! This is one of your freaky get-into-the-character thing, isn't it?" (but was that a sigh of relief?)

The cause of all this furor ? Well, it was this book that turned up as part of a book review program by Blogadda. The title of the book explains it all  :   "3'S A CROWD - Understanding and Surviving Infidelity" by Vijay Nagaswami

After having answered my curious better half 's perplexed questions, I sat myself down to read this book.

The title leaves no room for confusion - this is aimed at couples living through infidelity, or the ones trying to do so. Needless to say, it covers in detail, all aspects of an 'affair' - as the author likes to call this complex situation in many couples' lives today.

A few things that grabbed my attention:
  • Wonderfully edited book, with very accurately used words
  • Very skillful use if vocabulary - which means, ofcourse, that one may need to check out the dictionary a couple of times for e.g. "flagrante delicto" - for which I had to go all the way to good old Wiki dear to get a meaning.
  • Very clear definitions of what constitutes an affair
  • Non-judgemental descriptions of people in an affair - which includes repeated reminders to the wronged partner in an affair that they cannot assume the moral high-ground
  • Humour that can make you smile even in the most morbid of thoughts. For e.g. "I marvel at the amazing capacity ofhuman beings to mess up their lives"
The author is a renowned marital therapist, and has used much of his experience, in the form of little anecdotes, to explain all facets of affairs. Ofcourse, while he has been very careful to hide identities of his patients, most of us will relate, in demographic profiling as well the incidents. to atleast one of the many characters brought to life in the book.

The author assumes the role of the therapist, reaching out to the person reading the book, dealing with the reader as though the reader would be either in, or has recently been out of, an affair. Most of the book, ofcourse, deals with extra-marital affairs.

Firstly, the author clarifies what constitutes an affair. He also goes on to explain which kinds are more prevalent in men, and which in women. (Oh yes, the women are having them too - as the author says "It is a myth that only men have affairs - who do you think they are having their affairs with?")

The author goes on to shred to bits, a few myths that are prevalent about affairs - and I must admit, some of them actually made me sit up and think about all that I had heard about affairs.

A very unbiased, yet firm look at why people have affairs is the next journey that the author takes us on, followed by a detailed dissection of the various kinds of affairs.

The author, with very careful words, explains the discovery stage, the confrontation stage and the trauma faced by both the "Aggrieved" and the "Transgressor" - both words which are kinder than most others that would be used in the same situation.

While the author very clearly advocates a resolution - to either stay with the spouse or the "Paramour", he has taken the reader through the pain and despair involved in doing either of the same. In fact, the author has stated that he hopes some of the stories will be persuasive enough to deter atleast a few potential 'transgressors' from having an affair.

Final verdict : A definite read for:
  1.  anyone who has been in an extra marital affair and trying to put pieces of their life together.
  2. for people who are in doubt whether or not their relationship with "that special friend" is an affair or not.
  3. for anyone trying to decide whether the office affair just waiting to happen, is worth it.
A word of caution:  If buying from a bookstore, please flip through a few pages to see the print quality. In my particular copy, in some pages (7 pages out of a total of 308 pages) the words printed on one page smudged through to the next page, making for some frustrating read.

Yet another word of caution : Be prepared for either glares, or sympathetic head nods if you are reading this book in a public place (this bit is from experience!)

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

22 comments:

  1. may seem irrelevant but wanted to focus on the printing quality you mentioned : who are the publishers ?

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    1. Sorry for the delay, Roshan.... but the book is from Westland publications....

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  2. I loved the line that its a myth only men have affairs who are they having it with .. it takes TWO to tango always..

    interesting read it would be .. will try to grab it if i can sometime .. my list of TO BUY books is huge now ...

    Bikram's

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    1. Hahahaha.... Yeah Bikram, definitely takes two to tango..... Thanks

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  3. Loved you conversation!

    And I like your review too.....

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  4. Hey Nirvava, wow.. must say - u hav a thing fr reviews - earlier, I fell in love with ur restaurant reviews n now, ur book review totally blew me away!!!

    I actually hv a problem with BlogAdda - they try to censor my blog cos of its name .. so I'm pretty much pissed with them.. n if they dont giv u the prize for this book review, I'll be even more pissed.... really.

    Loved the structure, the points n the analysis u display in this.. I mean, one can really understand why he would want to buy this book after reading this review....n the conversational way u adopt is just the icing on the already gorgeous cake :)

    Brilliant, brilliant review, Nirvana!!!

    My hats off to u! :)

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    1. Wow..... You are officially my favorite blogger..... So blogadda, you guys really need to read the content of RAJs blog before censoring it.... And this is not because of your generous words (well, ok... Maybe a little because of that too) but majorly because you seem to understand EXACTLY what i want to say... Thank u raj....

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  5. Ok Now I need to lay my hands on this one, just to piss my man off!!
    You reviewed it brilliantly!
    The word of caution made me smile :P

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    1. Hahaha!!! Innovative technique indeed, to piss someone off!! And the cautions are real life issues. :-)

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  6. ha ha..nice dialogue there.

    I read an interview some time back..made a lot of sense.

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    1. Thanks phatichar...... Means a lot to me!

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  7. ha ha .... Nice post .
    keen observations. :D
    " what constitutes an affair " , man ! they make it sound like a disease :D lol

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    1. Thanks for coming by Kay... Hope you decide to hang around.

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  8. Enjoyed reading this post. Incidentally Vijay is a good friend and fellow facilitator. We work together using theatre and his psychiatric expertise to do Relationship Management Workshops. His other books - 'Courtship & Marriage: A guide for Indian couples, and 'The Splintered Mind', are also very popular.

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    1. Thank you for coming by Sir. And it must be wonderful to have your expertise and Vijay's mind-deciphering ability to merge for a workshop !!

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  9. Nice review dear..Now I know what to expect from the book..

    P:S:I think I should read this just to trouble my husband...khee khee khee..."The wicked me"

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    1. Hahaha..... the wicked you is cute .... am sure your husband will do a double-take! Thank you!

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  10. I just laughed. Randomly stumbled upon your blog and loving it. This stuff is good!

    Keep writing =)

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    1. Thank you for coming by, Writer. Hope to see you around..

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  11. Lovely post and I see you're a voracious reader. Keep up you're good work. Just that I don't forget coming back to your blog, I've subscribed to it :)

    Here's my site, check out sometime - http://movieroundup.in/

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    1. thanks for the generous praise... and did take a quick look at your site - it warrants a whole weekend of reading, as I am a movie buff myself!

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