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The Many Conditions of Love

(The Marriage Bureau for Rich People #2)

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  422 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
Can true love triumph in the face of fierce family opposition? Mr Ali's marriage bureau is flourishing but trouble isn't far away once son Rehman begins secretly to woo TV journalist Usha in the small cafes and on the beautiful beaches of South Indian Vizag in an ill-advised romance. Meanwhile the lovely Aruna has a problem or two all her own. She enjoys being Mr Ali's rig ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published 2009 by Abacus
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Smita Beohar
Jan 15, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series
In 2009 I had reviewed a book “The Marriage bureau for the rich people”, if you revisit the review you will see that I had loved the book for its simplicity & the way the author had described the small town demeanor. There was something about the book that had reminded me of my childhood summers.

Last year while I was browsing through internet I realised that the author has come up with a sequel of the book and needless to say I was excited to find it for two reasons

a- I had loved the 1st bo
Brian Cowlishaw
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
(Should be 4.5/5 stars.)
Take a little time if you can to read this delightful story. You don't need to have read its predecessor, The Marriage Bureau for Rich People; this one covers all the necessary information in exposition.
This book is essentially a novel version of an Indian soap opera, in the best, least judgmental way possible. It has compelling characters and a compelling (if familiar) set of storylines. Anyone would enjoy it, though the more you know about Indian culture, the more you'l
Sooraj Subramaniam
Oct 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Mr. Ali runs a wedding bureau. His son, Rehman, is a khadi-clad idealist, with visions of a equanimous society. Rehman is quietly in love with TV journalist Usha. Usha is as ambitious and independent, confident and consummate, comes from a wealthy family and drives her own car, and is Hindu.

Mr. Ali's assistant Aruna is married into a rich family, and has a wonderful husband. But things turn a little sour when her sister-in-law arrives home again and is none too subtle in her contempt for Aruna a
Nov 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
In The Many Conditions of Love, all the wonderful and winsome characters from The Marriage Bureau for Rich People return for another enjoyable tale of love, India, and how the two sometimes work against each other. In the first book, we met Mr and Mrs Ali in the beautiful country of Vizag. As the strict caste system and rules of hierarchy threatened true love, Zama’s story came through to show how even the strictest of families ultimately will bend the rules to ensure happiness for their loved o ...more
Zhang Chiahou
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very interesting book with authentic feel to it, giving real insights into how Indians (esp in/around Vizag) live and love. The marriage bureau seems to be real and the interactions as if in front of our very eyes.

My only negative comment is that it ends in a very unsatisfactory manner, even though it was a very logical ending to a very fraught situation involving love between a Muslim man and Hindu woman. I won't say any more in case you actually decide to read it; which is what I would strongl
Susanne Mills
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow!! I absolutely loved this book. It was just as good as the first and kept me hooked the whole way through. I loved the description and the writing and felt as connected to the characters as I did before. Excellent read. I literally couldnt put it down!
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Set in Vizag, India; this story picks up from where the first book left off: The Marriage Bureau for Rich People.

It follows the lives of Mr and Mrs Ali’s son Rehman; their niece Pari; and Mr Ali’s assistant, Aruna.

Rehman is a Human Rights activist, who realises that he is falling in love with a Hindu journalist, Usha, after working on a protest together. Being from different religions is just one hurdle. They are two very different people and the term “opposites attract” is so apt in their situa
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
In this novel, sequel to the Marriage Bureau for Rich People, Aruna is happily married and living in her husband's home. When his sister returns there to await the birth of her baby, things begin to fall apart for Aruna and her marriage. Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. Ali have reconciled with their son, Rehman, but he is secretly in a relationship of which they would not approve. Both Rehman and Aruna have difficult times and tough decisions ahead of them.

While not as great as Zama's first novel (my re
Bryn (Plus Others)
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
Unlike the first of Zama's novel, this is less of a romance & more Austen-esque in its exploration of the inner workings of families and marriages. It is well enough done, but what I liked most about the first was the joy, which this one is lacking; it is slower, sadder, more interested in the confusion and complications of life. In itself this is not a bad thing, but I do not think Zama pulled it off -- the writing just does not quite support the themes he is trying to explore. I did enjoy ...more
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this gentle novel about various characters in the South Indian city of Vishakapattanam (known as Vizag) negotiating the social changes of India in the 21st century.
Jun 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookcrossing, india
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I bought this book for £1 in a discount shop and hadn't heard of the author before. I didn't know there was a previous book in the series until I got the book home. I've had mixed results from buying £1 books, some have been terrible and you can see why they've been remaindered. However, I've found some real gems via this route and The Many Conditions of Love is one of them.

The novel is set in the Indian city of Vizag where Mr Ali runs a successful marriage bureau, ably assisted by right-hand wo
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is the second in the series by Farahad Zama. The main characters in this book are from the previous book, “The Marriage Bureau for Rich People”, though new characters are introduced from time to time. They revolve around the characters introduced in the first book of the series.

Mr Ali is very busy with the Bureau, Mrs. Ali is supporting him. He is very excited when the computer is installed. Rehman, Mr Ali’s son, is given more attention in this book. He falls in love with Usha, a journ
Nov 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Book number two - fewer marriage broker vignettes; less about the marriage broker and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Ali; more about their son, Rehman, and his romance;, about the same amount of Aruna; and a couple of new woman characters. So, some character development, although not too terribly deep, and still a bit bumpy on the prose and details.

The author has a story to tell, covers a fair bit of ground rather quickly and not too deeply. But this is not a soul-searching book exposing the dark unders
Nov 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Buku kedua Farahad Zama ini, tetap mencerahkan. Dengan kehadiran Mr. Ali walau tidak sebanyak di buku pertama, di tambah Mrs. Ali yang bijak jadi mengerti tentang cinta. Selain itu lebih banyak karakter yang berkembang di buku ini. Rehman anak Mr. Ali yang jatuh cinta pada seorang reporter cantik beragama Hindu, Usha. Berdua berusaha untuk mengatasi perbedaan diantara cinta mereka. Serta Pari, seorang janda keponakan Mr. Ali dengan kecerdasan dan kutipan-kutipannya Shakespeare menjadi semakin me ...more
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it

This is the second book in this charming series, and I have to say I enjoyed this one more than the first installment. The characters are now fully developed, and it was nice to catch up with them again and see how things had moved on. Each character has their own story in this book, with the marriage bureau itself playing a smaller part. Zama deals with some pretty hefty themes with a seemingly light touch. Agricultural issues, modern ways versus traditional, families, marriage and the gulf bet
I appreciated this much more than the first - I felt many of the things that irritated me in that book (like the "wikipedia moments") were no longer issues in this one. This is not great literature, but it's a pleasant read, shedding light in a more personal way on issues that deserve our awareness (the position/plight of women, modernization of agriculture and the difficulties of farmers in third world countries, confronted by multinational businesses, etc etc). The epilogue felt a bit patched ...more
Mar 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: belovedindia
These are LOVELY books. It was hard for me to find the next installments after Zama's first, The Marriage Bureau for Rich People (which I picked up on a whim in an airport years ago). Thank God, Dan bought me the second for Christmas. And now I've found the the third and fourth, being shipped to me from England. I hadn't forgotten about Mr. Ali, his wife, his son Rehman, or his clever assistant Aruna. Highly recommended quick reads that tell Jane Austen style stories about love, family, propriet ...more
This is the second book in the series of The Marriage Bureau for Rich People. This time the story revolves around the trial and tribulations faced by Rehman, Mr.Ali’s son, his girlfriend Usha, and Mr.Ali’s assistant Aruna in their day to day life. Some new characters were introduced and the author has given us a glimpse of their stories too. It’s been an easy and interesting read. Looking forward to get my hands on the third and forth book in the series, The Wedding Wallah and Mrs.Ali’s Road to ...more
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
A fun romance novel in a cool setting. I would call it an "exotic" setting but that's not really the case. What makes these books so cool is that the setting is so mundane to the people who live in it. It's so interesting for me as an American to get a glimpse into regular daily life in India. Ok, so it's a little more dramatic than daily life. There are more kidnappings, and suicides, and doomed romances, but that's what makes it fun.
Mar 15, 2011 rated it liked it
I loved the book that preceded this one, "The Marriage Bureau for Rich People." I know next to nothing about arranged marriages and the first book covers Muslim, Hindu, and Christian arranged marriages in India through this small marriage bureau run out of a retired couple's house. The characters are charming and the story is engaging. The influence of Jane Austen comes through in the first novel with the story of Aruna and Aruna's story continues in this second book.
Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I compare the books by Farahad Zama to those of Alexander McCall Smith. They are light and filled with goodness. But, more important to me is that they describe life in India. What might seem like actually some of the everyday practices of the cast systems of India....such as arranged marriages. It brings back some of the culture of India and that is enjoyable reading....for me. Thank you, Fran, for sharing this book..... Next "The Wedding Wallah" by Farahad Zama.
Feb 06, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, fiction, india
What fascinates me about these books is the blend of modern and traditional lifestyles in India. This second book of the series handles some rather serious problems in Mr. Ali's own family and staff and I look forward to finding out how things turn out in the next book.

I cannot remember the actual writing style in the first book but this one seems to be written in almost a juvenile style for children or written by a different author.
I have to say I enjoyed the simple narrative of the book. It did get a bit predictable towards the end, making me rethink of the need of a series, perhaps the story would better off in one fast paced book instead of three slow paced linear books. The small snippet of the next book is also very predictable.
Pam Jones
Sep 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: light
Did not love this book. I think the situations the women were in were just too grim, even the "good" situations. It was a decent story and I did finish the book, but mainly because I didn't have anything else on the night stand at the moment. I hope this is not really a representation how how life is currently in India.
Apr 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
I continue to enjoy this series about marriage in modern India. The main storylines didn't turn out the way that my American feminist self imagined, but I'm pleased with the developments. It's so fun and interesting to read about the manners and sensibility of the characters; I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on the next book. And the food described sounds amazing!
Mar 17, 2015 rated it liked it
It is always nice to read about other cultures state of marriage...the concept of arranged marriages which actual work out is intriguing. The conditions behind those arrangement,the status,the caste system, the 3 religion, social injustice. The reason I could only give this story a 3 is what I thought was an abrupt ending. Left me feeling dissatisfied.
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012-book-list
Honestly, I didn't enjoy this book as much as book #1 ("The Marriage Bureau for Rich People"), but it was still a fun little beach read. There are times when the story moves smoothly, and other times when the writing is choppy and the plot line leaves something to be desired. Overall, I'd say that if you found it in the library, it would be worth checking out, but save your money.
Denise Tarasuk
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. Farahad Zama can write. He draws me in...into India, the village, the characters, their lives. I can see the roads that go through the village, the people and their problems. The Many Conditions of Love lets me live India and dream about all the family dynamics that are within the authors writing. Wonderful! I could not put this book down. Mr. Zama is very talented! Dr. Denise Tarasuk
Rehan Abd Jamil
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed reading this..even at one point i cried when Aruna decided to leave her house after a quarrel with her sister-in-law n husband..funny too with Mrs Ali character n particularly sad when Vasu's grandfather many things happening in one book..
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Farahad Zama was born in Vizag on the Eastern coast of India in 1966. After obtaining a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Engineering at Kharagpur, near Kolkata, he moved to Mumbai to work for an investment bank. An arranged marriage to a Vizag girl soon followed. His career took him to New York, Zurich and Luxembourg and finally brought him to London for six m ...more

Other books in the series

The Marriage Bureau for Rich People (4 books)
  • The Marriage Bureau for Rich People
  • The Wedding Wallah
  • Mrs Ali's Road to Happiness
“Some people are like that - always searching fro something better, never satisfied.,Makes you wonder if they ever get a good night's sleep. They must toss and turn, dreaming about a softer mattress or a plumper pillow.” 17 likes
“There is no such thing as a perfect match. There are only somewhat good and somewhat bad matches. A couple are like two pebbles that are next to each other on a beach. They will have rough edges and rub each other the wrong way initially. But as they spend time together and the waves pound them, the edges rub off and they will seem made for each other.” 4 likes
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