Monday, June 4, 2012

Love stories and guilt- Mills and Boon

I am guilty of reading Mills & Boon, totally guilty, and I probably should be hanged for it if it were a crime. Intellectual minds in the society have shunned me, and those who haven’t, haven’t only because so far I have not mentioned my taste in trash romances.

They are the gooey, sticky, mushy story of ‘girl meets guys-hates him-loves him-marries him’ and there are no other plots. They have no intellectual substance and are probably the reason why there are so many women looking for passionate love stories that can never go wrong and end up disillusioned and depressed. In essence there seems to be no particular reason for anyone to pick up these pocket books to read. This century old paperback editions have been around for a reason....
The Love stories that never change
And like all the heroines of M&B say at the end, I do. Not without good reason. One, they are light and small, hence easy to carry. You can put them in your bag, and even in a pocket that is big enough. Secondly you can leave them unfinished for months together and you won’t miss it. You can even pick up a completely different one and find you don’t really need to begin it again. They were easy to hide behind school books even in a classroom. They are dirt cheap, you don’t mind if they get stolen and/or borrowed and lost unlike good literature. Bottom line, they make you believe in love. What with all the breakups and divorce rates all sky rocketing, it maybe a very needed dose of good, warm feelings when the heroine in all 200 books is told how much she is loved by the man who is ready to sacrifice the world for her. Plus it gives me the added advantage of reading about all the Australian outbacks, and the English countryside, Newzealand coral reefs, and the great plains of America without having to pay the cost of visiting each and everyone of them.

Obviously all the ladies in the books are extremely good looking and may give a negative body image to most of us, but keep a strong head on your shoulders and you will find a prince charming despite what you look like. Faith is all it takes.

Lastly in my defense, haven’t we all loved all the Hugh Grants and the Sandra Bullocks for their rom-com movies for the same reasons? They are not possible but, we all watch them. And love them. And quote them. So what if I like reading the same 2 and a half hour mush on a book that costs 20 bucks on the street? And as far as story lines and plots go, I, being a delhiite have grown up watching DDLJ, KKHH, HAHK ‘Far fetched’ is a phrase that I don’t think the entire universe can beat Bollywood at churning that out 365 movies a year.


  1. Dont go by the 25 in my E-mail identity... it is the date of my birth, not the year. In fact I left that year far far behind and yet I love reading M&B anyday anytime. I DO and I am not at all ashamed of admitting it on a public forum. Why should I be? I love the tall, dark, mysterious and cynical hero. I love all the little acts of chivalry that he performs for me.... eh sorry, the heroine. I even love their quibbles. I can even tolerate all the misgivings and misunderstandings because I know they are going to be resolved at the end. So what if it does not always happen in this world? It does in the makebelieve world and that is what matters.... it makes you believe!

  2. Any creative activity is public property once it is put in the public domain. In case of a book it is the readers and the buyers who decides the fate of a particular book or a series. If it is a series of 200 books it has its inherent strength through which it developed a committed readership all over the world. Then, what is the reason for its readers to be defensive?

    It is very easy to find out the most popular books on any given day. Just be on the look out for the hawkers of books in major crossings. Pirated copies of popular books are available for a song. Among those books I find most of the established writers are busy with churning out 'Series'. Amitava Ghosh with his second novel of the "Sea of Poppies" trilogy, Amish with "The Immortals of Meluha" and the "...Nagas" and so on. Whether one is a committed reader of Mills and Boons, Wodehouse or Geofrey Archer it is his or her taste, on one has a right to comment on that and there is no need to be defensive.

    1. I completely agree Mr Mudi, but then there is something called intellectually stimulating literature... apparently M&B doesnt fit the criteria

  3. it doesn't matter. There's safety in knowing a happy ending is guaranteed and there's intellectual curiosity in wondering how the author will reconcile the distances established between the 2 characters.
    It's a peaceful read. In a world full of hate and suffering I welcome stories about love and then a peaceful conclusion.


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