(Names changed to protect identities)
Love is infinite. Yet we have set its limits. A crucial one being sexual monogamy. There may be counter cultures of polygamy, open relationships, etc. But for most people, romantic love remains bound by sexual fidelity. Where does one stand then, if love ceases to provide for one’s sexual needs? In Indian law, unilateral denial of conjugal rights can be grounds for divorce. The Supreme Court of India has ruled that denial of sex to spouse, without any valid grounds, amounts to mental cruelty.
It’s not a small matter – stifling your partner’s sexual needs. What about pre-marital sex? Is not agreeing to that enough to push someone to seek sex outside? There is also the Court ruling that criminalises using the false promise of marriage to start sexual relations with a woman, as rape. At what point does the need for sex become enough to overcome love? These were some questions that rushed through my head when I first heard this story. It was a trip to the city of my childhood, Kolkata, that gave me the opportunity to find some answers face to face.