It was no lazy Sunday on 25th September as book lovers and those interested in discussing marriage and relationships gathered at the Le Meridien Gurgaon to interact with Bestselling author Ravinder Singh who was in conversation with Gurgaon Literary and Art Club founder Meenakshi Sharma. It was interesting to see a varied gathering of college students and young professionals on one hand and married couples and those in a relationship on the other. Indeed it was the very nature of this eclectic gathering that made for an evening of intelligent discussion on a subject as old as marriage itself – extra marital relationships While Ravinder Singh began his introduction with some fond and challenging reminiscences of his childhood and those early days of romance when he lost his fiancée in a car accident resulting in becoming a ‘chance’ author who penned his heartbreaking love affair in the form of a novel, “I too Had a Love Story”. This surprise hit captured the imagination of the youth and the rest as they say is history. Suffice to say, young readers were in love with Ravin and Khushi, the real life protagonists of the novel. From then to now, Ravinder admitted he has grown and changed and so has his story. This love that feels Right, his latest outing is a story of two women, Naina and Manvika, both married, who venture into the treacherous territory of extra marital relationships. While one of them is furtive and timid about it, the other is bold and open. The male protagonist named Aarav is a fitness trainer and, as Ravinder says, “a limited edition man” who while equally in love with his pretty client urges Naina to figure out what she seeks and chooses to walk out of her life. At the other end of the spectrum is Manvika who claims to love her husband for companionship and security but also seeks the pleasures of freedom to find satisfaction with other me, with the tacit knowledge and approval of her husband. With a plot that is set in Gurgaon, the discussions inevitably veered towards a debate on deception versus democracy and whether the institution of marriage should cater for the need for freedom. While Ravinder refused to be moralistic about it, he admitted that by speaking from the women’s point of view he was attempting to be sensitive about a subject that men tend to brag about. At the same time, he insisted that he believes the rule of marriage cannot be decided by any one except the couple themselves. The consensus of the audience moved towards honesty of purpose even while it cautioned couples to marry only when they were convinced they had time for each other. As questions and answers flew back and forth, people spoke of the challenges of the digital age as much as the inevitable attractions that build up at the gym in a lighthearted debate on relationships. Chef Ankit then stepped in to conduct a yummy workshop on éclair making which was thoroughly enjoyed by the children and adults. This was followed by a grand spread of food and a book signing by Ravinder Singh. Book friendly, intellectually stimulating and truly food centric - that’s one sunday we won’t forget in a long time!
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