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Cooking a perfect love recipe

What Did I Ever See in Him has just been released by Penguin. What is it about relationships that we don't know and what the book claims to offer? Why don't we ask the author herself! Amrita Sharma, in an up close personal tete-e-tete.

books Updated: Aug 03, 2011 10:55 IST

What Did I Ever See in Him, a modern woman's guide to having the perfect love life, has been released by Penguin. What is so special about the book? What is it that sets the book apart from the plethora of books that are coming out today? What is it about relationships that we don't know and what the book claims to offer? Why don't we ask the author herself! Amrita Sharma, in an up close personal tete-e-tete with HT.

HT: What prompted you to write about men-women relationships?

Amrita: You know what they say - love makes the world go round and indeed, round and round is where we keep going when it comes to making sense of relationships. It takes you high and it takes you low. You cannot imagine that the very thing that gives you such highs can also be responsible for taking you to such lows!

HT: Are you suggesting that relationships are bound to have both?

Amrita: Yes, pretty much. But the thing to remember is that it is such highs and lows that generate a lot of excitement and makes you feel alive. Otherwise love would be dull and so would life.

HT: But it has been seen that people reach a stagnation point after going through the initial highs and lows.  Does the love get lost?

Amrita: You are absolutely right about the stagnation part. But in most cases, the love does not get lost. It just gets buried under the embers of the mundane, the routine, the humdrum business of life. We need to constantly keep stroking the fire of our relationship to make sure we don't lose that spark!

HT: The title - What Did I Ever See in Him almost seems to write "Him" off?

Amrita: Ah well, when you reach that stage of knowing him better and better, much after the honeymoon period of your relationship is over and those idiosyncrasies and aberrations that each of us has come to the fore, you find yourself asking this question.

HT: But I am sure this question crops up in his mind as well?

Amrita: Certainly. But as we know women are more expressive. In fact, you have touched upon another grouse that most women have - and that is - why don't men speak up if they feel the same way! Why don't they just come out and share like women do?

HT: Do you feel that this book will in any way, help women understand men better?

Amrita: See, the idea is for women to understand that they are not in a particular situation alone. That we are all in it together - be it his roving eye, his love for cars and machines, his toilet habits, your need for space and various other things one has to deal with in a relationship on an everyday basis - when the relationship becomes "real" and a certain complacency and security sets in. That's when women sit up and wonder - whatever happened to the guy I had started out with!

HT: You have mostly spoken of your friends' experiences in the book. What is your personal take on relationships?

Amrita: Most people take relationship as a destination. They feel now that they have found the love of their life, nothing would change. But priorities change and we need to allow that growth rather than risk stagnation. I believe it's a constant journey of discovery for the other and that makes all relationships special.

HT: How's the book different from other self-help books dealing with love and relationships?

Amrita: Actually, I am slightly uncomfortable with calling this a self-help book. I feel that most women will find a bit of themselves in What Did I Ever See in Him. And this is how they will relate to it and find solutions in their own way. In that respect the book is just a catalyst. It is more self-exploratory book than a self-help one.

HT: What exactly should a woman expect while picking the book?

Amrita: I would like to point out that the book does not offer solutions; it only lends a compassionate and understanding ear to all women out there and lets them know that we are all in it together.

HT: Is marriage an end to this journey, or the beginning of another one?

Amrita: All relationships are continuous processes. We must avoid the mistake of putting constraints on our relationships by putting them into courtship, marriage and post divorce categories. There's nothing more dynamic than relationships and that's what is so fascinating about it at all times.

HT: What are you planning to write next?

Amrita:

I am going to continue writing about relationships because there are so many nuances and issues I have not covered as yet. It's like a world with no boundaries - one which I am ever ready to explore.