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Book Review: The Nameless Relationship by Preeti Shenoy

The Nameless Relationship is a short story by Preeti Shenoy which explores the relations that exist in the Indian society. Nearly, all relations have name in our society, except a few. This story is about Lithika, a fifty-three year old rich woman, and Dhiraj, a twenty-nine year old young man. They are presumably in love, if not love then it is lust for sure. The age gap between them is the hurdle that obscures the name and status of their relationship.

Earlier Shobhaa De was the famous and bold writer who used to take pleasure in writing about the elite-class women and their elicit relationship with men. Here Lithika was never happy with her husband because of her husband’s bad behavior. On the other hand, Dhiraj is elder to Lithika’s children by a year or two. So, she is sleeping with a guy who is the age of her son. This is something acceptable only in rich and business class; by any chance this kind of relationship is hard to find in middle-class society.

Dhiraj insists on marrying her but every time Lithika says that how’s that possible. He says her to divorce Neel, her husband. Now it is impossible for her to leave a man with whom she had spent thirty years of life. Her worry is that their relationship has no name. Also, marrying a man of her son’s age is nothing but a high-class stigma.

One day when she is at bed with Dhiraj, she gets a call from the house staff about Neel’s heart attack. Dhiraj insists to go home with her to support her in the time of need, but she refuses out of fear of the society. She goes home alone – she has drained of all the emotions that she finds herself frozen. She didn’t cry. She manages to call everyone: her children, relatives, and many other people of the city throng the house. People come and pay their homage to Neel by touching his feet or offering a garland. She is fearful of his appearance. He appears there, touches the feet of Neel and offers a prayer. Their eyes meet for a second and then she, out of guilt and shame, chooses not to look at him.

Preeti has captured the emotions and the scenes of infidelity and dilemmas quite apprehensively. It is a must read for the people who want to explore what kind of psychic goes underneath for the nameless relations like this, many would call this relation as Tomboy relationship for their physical intimacy.


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