The world we live in changes continuously, and so does the life we lead, both inside the home and outside it. Divorce is no longer the taboo word and a lot of couples part ways when things do not work out for them. When one marriage does not work out, does it mean that all the dreams of having a life partner are worthless? Of course not, sometimes a first failure teaches the person what exactly they are looking for and if the lessons learnt from the first misadventure are put to use, then a second marriage might be a very fulfilling one.
|Book Title||:||Second Chance
|Author||:||Dr. Kavita Bhatnagar|
|Publisher||:||Sterling Publishers (1 August 2020)|
|# of Pages||:||175 (Paperback)|
|# of Chapters||:||12|
Recently, we were approached by author Kavita Bhatnagar who deals with a similar message in her book Second Chance. It provides an interesting and contemporary perspective in the life after divorce which can just as easily become depressed and bitter if there is no support from friends and family. I enjoyed reading this book and so let me share my views on it on behalf of Team Thinkerviews.
While we must not judge a book by its cover page, it surely creates the first impression of the book. And thus, it can highly influence book reading and/or purchase decisions.
The cover page is minimalistic and yet beautiful with its use of cheerful pastel colours and a couple holding hands. They are looking towards distance, towards a fruitful future together.
We meet Ragini, who is 26 years old, pretty, has a stable job and her whole life ahead of her. Unfortunately, she also has a bad marriage that is now in past. She married with romantic dreams of happily ever after which did not materialize. So she is now living on her own, while her parents feel slightly estranged from her, she still has a supportive elder sister Kamini and friends like Mia.
The divorce has not been enough to put a dent in Ragini’s belief that she could be truly happy with a life partner and she is determined to get married again as soon as possible. Now, the traditional options of matchmaking tend to go in decline once your marriage fails, but there is the internet, the new age matchmaker for everyone.
And so Ragini’s journey starts on a website that facilitates matchmaking services for people who have been divorced. She does start getting responses soon. After all, a young, attractive woman with a decent income is desirable as a life partner.
Unfortunately, the internet is also a great deceiver and allows people to hide truths about them that they are uncomfortable with. So one after another, Ragini meets men who fail on one thing or another. Eventually, when she meets a guy who seems to tick all the boxes, it is only to find that he is still married and since his wife is not so keen on divorcing him, it is going to be a few years before he can legally re-marry.
What will Ragini do? She is quite desperate and does not want to wait for an uncertain amount of time, but there are also no eligible grooms queuing on her doorstep…
Will she ever get her second chance?
Views and Reviews:
Although the book starts on a sad note, it is essentially a story of hope and trying to find happiness by finding that life partner who can lighten all burdens in life. The author gets the vagaries of the modern dating cycle and does her best to show us all kinds of characters. It almost reminded me of works like Madhu Raye’s book Kimball Ravenswood or film What’s your Rashi, only in reverse as this is finding a dream husband rather than a dream bride within a matter of days and weeks.
This book reminded me of some books on similar themes we’ve got a chance to read recently.
- How much is too much – Divorce in India by Neha Mehrotra
- Invisible Shackles By Anuja Arora
- One Day, Life Will Change By Saranya Umakanthan
Kavita Bhatnagar gives us a good snapshot of prospective grooms on the internet, whether it is a bitter divorcee or a money-hunting opportunist. Close-minded grooms who do not take Ragini’s personal choices into account or expect that she will abandon her job and move to wherever expected. All of these are real-life scenarios and show very efficiently the perils of online dating when you are essentially taking a stranger on their word and more often than not, there are surprises at the end of the road.
It is one of the fundamental parts of the growing up process when every man and woman believe that when they grow up there will be a suitable life partner for them. Although the romantic world of Bollywood is not what everyone gets:
Ragini was very fond of seeing movies and would drag her mother and elder sister to the cinema whenever a new movie released. Fuelled by popcorn and coke and Bollywood melodrama, her dreamy nature became more profound and she soon developed a firm belief that her Prince Charming was waiting for her to discover. She developed a crush for the new superstar of the time – Anil Kapoor – and would see his movies several times.
So a person like Ragini, when the first marriage is not the idyllic world she imagined, she is really wanting to make it work the second time. In her imagination, every prospective contact soon becomes a telephonic romance and she is genuinely ready to give her heart away.
She tries too hard, takes all the chances that come her way and finds a lot of roadblocks and troubles on the way. Her best friend Mia has also been hurt but she chooses the way of never having a serious relationship again. IF you don’t let anyone in your life, at least they won’t hurt you.
But irrespective of the approach, both Ragini and Mia have to face their share of issues on the dating front. Why would someone go through such process then? I think the author has answered that also in the following para:
The first is that divorce has made me feel rejected and inferior. I feel that only by finding love will my self-esteem be restored. But I want my partner to be genuine. And second, you will agree that we all need a companion. I feel marriage gives stability. The danger to hurt oneself is also very much there in the casual dating world.
And finding the right person out of the sea of options, is a demanding and wearing task. But if you do not have the time and patience, it can be very frustrating as well:
Look, I know you want to remarry but don’t be in this tearing hurry. Your Prince Charming will turn up one day, but till then don’t hurt yourself, trying to think that every man you meet could be the one.
It is easy to give such advice, but the author also shows us how difficult it can be for a single person ready to be married and looking for a decent life partner. And even when you find someone you feel comfortable with, a simple twist of fate can take it all away in a minute through momentary grief or guilt over things that are outside our control. You have to take a chance to get a chance:
You wanted a life partner, you put out a profile and when you found someone, you are turning your back because of self-doubt. You wanted a second chance and now you are throwing it away. Don’t live a life full of regrets. Have faith in yourself and in your emotions.
The book is well-written and was a delight to read. But there are a few typographical errors in the book, e.g. on page 86:
“so she was sure wasn’t over-expecting.”
“so she sure wasn’t over-expecting”.
All in all, a lovely “love-story” about kissing a lot of frogs until you find your prince :).
Around 7.5 out of 10.
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