Title: How much is too much?: Divorce in India
Author: Neha Mehrotra
Publisher: Notion Press
Genre: Family & Relationship, Non Fiction
First Publication: 2020
Theme: Marriage and Divorce, Relationships
Narration: First person
Taken from real life observations How much is too much? questions the reasons why the Indian society has certain prejudice towards divorced women, making it harder for them to take a decision, post a marriage break down. The book runs through the experience of the author from falling in love to going through various stages leading unto a divorce and finally trying to feel ‘normal’ again.
Do you wonder at times if the occasional fights in your marriage is normal or worth pulling the plug for?
Are you suffering in an agonising marriage and wonder what lies ahead?
Contemplating a divorce and yet worried sick about the family?
Are you staying in your marriage only due to societal taboos?
Are you going through a separation already and wondering when will it all end?
Then, here are some answers which might give you hope that while your world might have come crashing down but if you do conclude that you deserve better then it is perfectly okay no matter what the world around you feels! The book is aimed at giving hope to countless of those women who don’t know what to expect while going through the trauma of a marital disaster. This book touches on the topic which our society uses daily to apply ground-rules and moral policing but it is time we break free from that regressive stigma.
It is time that a divorce is understood just as an unfortunate chapter and not given any more importance than what is due. It is time, concept of marriages in India – change!
Book Review: How much is too much?: Divorce in India by Neha Mehrotra
In modern marriages today the Michelangelo effect impacts us. We all want to shape our partners and we want to mould them. We also want to be in sync with them. In many ways this becomes acute when someone goes into crisis and the other partner isn’t. The difference is glaring.
‘How much is too much?: Divorce in India’ is a part relationship self-help book, part memoir of the author Neha Mehrotra. Most of the book is an examination of the history of marriage and the recent changes in marriage, the repercussions of which we’re still working through. It’s only towards the end of book that the author gives some suggestions and shares her ideas for marriage to be worked out; she proposes contract marriage and discusses the benefits of having an annual contract.
This book goes very deep into how marriage is changing. Marriages that don’t work are increasing in today’s society than they were before. And a big reason as the book points to is an immature relationship which converted into a permanent relationship (marriage) due to family or society’s pressure.
‘We separated. Just as easily as we once came together as if it was always meant to end just like this.’
Somehow with these two sentences the past, present and future can be expected without a doubt. I feel this was that nucleus which mirrored my journey and carries the essence of the book. There is lot more to read in between lines here. While it states a firm end, it reminds one of a story that once was, the pain that followed and the tinge of freedom that hints ahead.
The author muses on her separation slightly, but the real focus is her own identity, femininity, how she relates to the outside world and how she rebuilds herself.
Author Neha Mehrotra does an autopsy of her marriage, of the roles that each partner played, the futility of the institutions called Marriage and Family, and in her own time explores the shadow that her failed relationship has cast on her, her capacity in the society, and the modified aspects of her life.
‘How much is too much?: Divorce in India’ offers a wider framework for perceiving the many ways a modern marriage can exist without losing the self and without falling prey to negative thought patterns perpetuated by family, society and many narrow-minded, guild educated therapists and counsellors who believe that marriage has to look one way in order to be considered healthy.
If you are data-driven and are interested in this topic, this book is for you. Bottom line, a good marriage is one that isn’t conventionally defined or defined by what the mainstream tells us but one that works for the two individuals involved.