GETTING HOOKED TO THE IDEA OF LOVE
When I first started reading romance novels as a teenager, I was too ashamed to admit that romance is my favourite genre. Every time I got a new book home, I stashed it amongst a large pile of books so that no one would find it or covered it so that no one knew what I was reading. The first romance fiction I read was called, ‘Of Course I Love You’ by Durjoy Datta – and there was no turning back after that. I got lost in the world of Nicholas Sparks, Cecelia Ahern, Nora Roberts, John Green and many others. And over the years I realised that the novels I read and movies I watched had a huge part to play in shaping my perception about love.
We have a tendency of getting influenced by what we see and read. “Some girls have been intoxicated with Mills and Boon and doses of classics like Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice – novels that give an illusion of a perfect partner. All this complemented by our idea of feminism and gender equality is well expressed in the contemporary romantic novels, often called ‘Chick Lit’,” says PriyankaDey from Delhi. I am one of those hopeless romantics you’ll find reading ‘The Notebook’ and watching ‘Fault In Our Stars’ over and again. Smart girls don’t read romance novels, I am told. But who cares? It feels great to be in the euphoria of some intense and passionate romance. It is nice to keep reading as the book takes us on a journey as the two people who have the potential to love fully are able to conquer all problems and make a decision to continue together. Isn’t it?
Romance is a language we all communicate well in. Romance novels are like the silver lining on our fantasy clouds. We love to hide in between the pages of a romance novel when the wear and tear of life hits us hard,” she continues. It is a fair argument that romantic novels and movies are superficial and overrated. Romance novels simply increase hopes and expectations from a relationship. Everyone dreams about being in a relationship like Landon and Jamie (A Walk To Remember) and wants that summer romance to last forever (The Last Song). But in reality, nothing like that ever happens. And even if it does exist, it is very rare. Summer romances don’t last, crushes fade, relationships end, promises are broken, eyes weep and hearts bleed.
Piyush Sharad says that even though he loves reading romance novels and watching movies, it just reminds him of his past relationship. “The perfection I see in romantic movies and novels seldom exists in real life. Every time I read or watch something romantic it reminds me of my failed relationship and how one of the nicest things in my life went terribly wrong. The stories I watch and read just make me miss something within me and leaves me with a feeling of hollowness,” says the 22-year-old.
Romance is too cliché. For a hopeless romantic, life revolves around love. Sometimes, you find yourself in love with the feeling of love. Reading those intense novels fuels your emotions and you wish you meet someone as romantic as Noah, someone who does not only promise to stay by your side for the rest of your life, but actually holds your hands through thick and thin. “Love is peace. Love is pain. Love is change. Love can be everything you are and everything you’re not,” says AlriaD’souza from Goa. ”Even though we know that movies and novels are not real and are only meant for entertainment purposes, sometimes we hope it happens in real life too,” says the 25-year-old when asked if romance novels and movies influence her in any way.
Falling in and out of love is no big deal nowadays. Real life romances do not work out the way they work out in fictional books and movies. You meet someone at a party or even worse, over social media and discover that you’ll click even without trying to understand the person or get to know the person better. What follows next are endless dates, frequent texts, long calls, romantic conversations, long drives and promises of being together forever. Whether it lasts or not is a big question in itself.
The initial period goes just fine. But as time passes and the spark fades, it gets boring. You do not know what to say or do to keep your partner interested. Normalcy sets in and you find yourself searching for innovative ways to fuel your relationship. Differences creep in, pride and jealousy takes over your emotions or you might simply lose interest. Everything you once loved about the person gets annoying. Fights become more frequent than exchanging sweet messages. And one fine day, you realise it’s just over!
Relationships, as I understand require a lot of effort, understanding, patience and love. ”So it’s not going be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re going have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, every day. You and me… every day,” this is a memorable quote from ‘The Notebook’ that reminds me that being in love is simple, but staying committed and trying to be together is not as simple as it seems. Love is about caring about the other person’s happiness instead of worrying about your own.