“The Other Man” by Farhad J. Dadyburjor— A Romantic Comedy from India

Dadyburjor, Farhad J. “The Other Man”, Lake Union Publishing, 2021.

A Romantic Comedy from India

Amos Lassen

Farhad J. Dadyburjor’s “The Other Man is probably thefirst gay rom-com set in modern-day Mumbai to be published internationally. It is about a man who is searching for the courage to be himself and love who he wants in the way he chooses.

Ved Mehra is the heir to a mega business empire and he has everything going for him— looks, money, fame. However he is unhappy having had to deal with heartbreak and being closeted. In a moment of despair and pressure from his mother, like so many Indian gay men, he agrees to an arranged marriage. He meets Carlos Silva, an American on business in India, and falls madly in love. He feels that he’s ready to come out to his family and call off the marriage but a gay scandal blows up in his face and suddenly his whole world is at risk.

The book celebrates the deep, abiding love between a son and his parents, and even the fondness that develops between Ved and the girl he’s supposed to marry.  At thirty-eight, he is lonely, feeling the aftermath ofa breakup, and under pressure from mother. Ved therefore agrees to an arranged marriage and this causes him to face a doomed future with lovely Disha Kapoor. That is until he meets Carlos.

As preparations for his wedding are taking place, Ved finds himself drawn into a relationship he could never have imagined and he feels he is ready to take a bold step. He is ready to embrace who he is and declare his true feelings regardless of family expectations and traditions.

His romance with Carlos is illegal and Ved would feel like was betraying his parents and what they wanted for them. He was lying to everyone, continuing to date Carlos while going forward with wedding preparations.

We get an interesting look at the LGBT world and the agonies of gay men in India before decriminalization of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The relationship between Ved and Disha, was one of mutual admiration and respect which survived a major turning point when their marriage was called off.

Ved struggles to navigate his sexuality in the midst of a changing society and this book is an important look at being gay in India where traditions and family values are so important.

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