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Tuesday, 7 July 2009

The Many Conditions of Love

Not the title of a philosophical post but the title of a book by Farahad Zama. The Many Conditions of Love is the second in the series which started with The Marriage Bureau for Rich People. It is just as good as the first one and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There are the usual issues of arranged marriages and marrying outside one's caste and religion as well as the treatment of widows in Indian society.

This story features Mr Ali's son Rehman, who falls in love with a glamorous journalist - Usha. But Rehman is Muslim and Usha is Hindu and her parents are less than impressed when they hear about the relationship. There is also the ongoing story of how Aruna is getting on with her rich husband Ram's family. Aruna is still Mr Ali's right hand woman at the marriage bureau even though she has no need to work. Her life is about to change with the advent of her unpleasant sister-in-law Mani into the household while she awaits the birth of her second child.

Life in India is vividly portrayed and I could almost smell the food and experience the heat and the monsoon rains while reading the book. I loved the author's understanding of human nature displayed in the story and the gentle humour. There are happy events and sad ones and the book does not have a neat and tidy ending where all the loose ends are tied up. I look forward to the next one in the series.

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