Title: Relapse, The Consequences of Love
Publisher: Speaking Tiger
Author: Srikant Verma
Love — passionate, possessive, prickly — is no less than an illness, a malaise that strikes and never quite leaves the blood. Hence the term ‘relapse’, normally reserved for sicknesses that attack repeatedly. This Srikant Verma novel, translated by Krishna Baldev Vaid, tells a torrid tale of jealousy and desire, portraying love that is lost and found again. This slim volume is high on perception, as it explores love and desire, the dynamics of the man-woman relationship, and searing sexuality.
Well-written and sophisticated in its treatment, you are quickly drawn into the mind and madness of a man who comes home to find a note from Bindo, his estranged lover, asking to meet. On the one hand, he is perennially angered by Bindo, her beauty, pride and poise, and especially the sexual attraction she exerts upon him. And yet, he is anything but immune. He sees the rearing of the jealousy in him which had driven her away earlier. And the barriers he had painstakingly built are eventually powerless against her uncanny ability to pierce them. Relapse is an intense exploration of physical and emotional desire and the mysterious ways of men and women who fall in love.