Them romantic ones

I read this post recently on Blogbharti, and it brought back a particularly confusing memory regarding girls and their fascination for the Mills and Boons books. I remember seeing one such link from Desipundit as well, sometime ago. Apparently, they all go gaga over these books, and from experience I know that. But I also find it incredibly bewildering about the how and the why. For those who are interested about the "from experience" part above, let me explain.

A long time ago, my sisters had been gleefully poring over some book. I am a voracious reader (I re-read through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows last night at one go in eight hours), and so something so interesting for my sisters definitely caught my attention. My sisters told me, "This isn't something that guys should read", which got me all the more interested. On a fine wintry afternoon, post-lunch, I took a folding cot out in the sun. Armed with a pillow and a snug little bedsheet, I started reading this book. And all my enthusiasm about the book vanished within 20-30 pages of the book I had smuggled out. There was this caretaker guy of some god-forsaken house who went to cut wood in a nearby forest. And here was this daughter of some rich fat guy who had come to spend a week alone by herself. She keeps standing on the balcony and listening intently to the feeble sound of some dead tree being chopped. She can't even see the guy most of the time in the book, even around the house. And there are sudden descriptions of how lovely her laces were on the dress, how the sky turned dark, how this man has biceps, and how pigs got wings! (Err okay I made that last phrase up... but I wouldn't be surprised to find that there.) And then one fine evening, she falls in love with him, and they start kissing and making out! Why on earth?! And how??!!

That book formed my idea of how bad a novel can get -- I knew the bottom of all creative writing had been reached by mankind. The plot of the book, the characters, the scenery -- they all seemed like some divine conspiracy to kill brain cells; to make you stupider, word by word. Okay, so Hindi movies show people changing clothes in the blink of an eye, singing and running around flowers in circles, and then suddenly babies pop out, apparently due to cross-pollination. But this??! No talk, no interaction, no sharing of feelings, nothing for the life of it? Oh dear Lord, what did mankind do to deserve this? I'll tell you, the world was too perfect until Lord Shiva decided to introduce chaos into the universe, and these books are the first idea that popped into His "divine" head -- I always knew that guy Kama had aimed his arrow at the wrong person at the wrong place: must've hit his head right then! I completely know how the Munis and Rishis came up with "Tamaso Mah Jyotir-Gamayah" -- they were trying to save humans from the future doom, known as Mills and Boons!


  1. Fiddle dee dee. Some call Pride and Prejudice and Gone with the Wind a waste of brain cells too. Do you agree? After all those novels are old fashioned mills and boon - without the sex. Bolo?


  2. it only gets worse, with the genre feeding into mainstream authors as well (Barbara Taylor Bradford for one) and it sucks so!

  3. right on!! M&B, could never stand them..can you imagine the frame of mind of the author to pen something like that? sad!

  4. Sky, I agree with the Pride and Prejudice part -- that book too was sooo long and damn boring (I know I've hurt a lot of people here). About Gone with the Wind, yes, this was a good book. But I liked the political scenario and the quirks of economics and fate there, not the blossoming love between Scarlet and Rhett Butler. How did you guys even like that double-faced dude?

    Galadriel, thank you for mentioning at least one author whose books I'll never pick up! And I'm more glad to see that there exist some women (girls) who did not like those books.

    Pallavi, thank God, once again, for making people like you! I almost thought all the girls would come armed with knives after this post! :)

  5. hahaha.. funny!.. heres something for a whole new generation to cheer about..:D

  6. I thought the rishis came up with "Tamaso Mah Jyotirgamayah" rather than "Tamaso Mah Sat Gamayah"

  7. I've never liked M&B for the simple fact- they are soooo UNREALISTIC. Who'd want to live in fantasy when we're all so 'grounded' ? Funny post esp the part when u crib n crib n just crib about the unsubstancial romance :D Swear, never seen you in such NMA

  8. Are these M&B books something like the Hardy Boys, some ghost-written franchised, cheap, mass produced trash?

  9. How I used to save money to buy these books. :-) I had a HUGE collection. But when I start moving in the real world the M & B SEEMS synonymous with MURKHS & BEVKOOFS!!! Then I didn't even bother what happened to my "collection." :-)

  10. Filarial, Oh my God! The lord save these bookstores from the wrath of VHP and RSS now! Which gives me a great idea: why not let them know about these sleazebags? Ooh... I would love to follow the media circus! :D

    Manas, good catch! Corrected now.

    Miss NMA, yeah, that is what is unfortunately left in life: crib and crib and crib about unsubstancial romance -- any volunteers for the real thing? :P

    Hari, umm, the proof of the pudding lies in its taste. Try reading one if you can lay your hands on 'em: I promise you'll nominate the Hardy Boys for the Nobel prize!

    Alka, whoa... so finally the light dawned upon you? Tsk tsk... if only the Alka of yore could launch into a debate with this Alka who claims Murkhs and Bevkoofs :)

  11. Oh god, M&Bs gross me out.
    They have wa-ay too much detail. Plus the heroines pretend like they're delicate sensitive angels when they're actually just plain horny.

  12. ok ok, amidst all those comments over how stupid M&B is; me have to tell you a different story, frankly! Men watch porn, to satisfy some hormones, women read M&B to satisfy some other hormones, and my guess is, most people who read M&B read it not for the content, but for those highs. You dont look for logic in a govinda slap stick, you dont question the feasibility of a crichton plot,you dont expect item numbers in the movie "Gandhi". You very well know the genre to which they belong, the element for which its being read/watched. There is no way you can compare an M&B to a normal novel, not even a romantic one - they cater to completely different needs

  13. Coconut Chutney, hehehe... unfortunately the one I read did not have what I would consider "too much detail" --- but wouldn't have disliked them if that is all they had :D

    Bombay Dosti, point noted, madam. I did not know that the most frequent purpose of people reading those books is the soft erotica they might be providing. Now since you've added that piece of info here, I'll know better. But even then, I fail to understand why someone would toil through a thousand pages of crap to read one or two pages of that: better get a book exclusively containing that!

  14. OH MY GOD. so it spread here too? you know, I and a friend are the proud initiators of the term 'georgette heyer man'.I think we're going to be famous!
    however, it is nothing like what you read,( I'm sorry that weird book scarred you for life :) ), but A GHM is nothing like that.
    a GHM is...well.. a pukka gentleman version of James Bond.
    read a Georgette Heyer. secretly, you're a guy after all and society is (sadly) prejudiced. :)

  15. Scheherazade, oh, so you are the source? I see... that book did scar me for life. And yeah, I am a guy after all it seems :)

    Welcome onboard!

  16. "But even then, I fail to understand why someone would toil through a thousand pages of crap to read one or two pages of that: better get a book exclusively containing that!"

    Exactly! this shows how much you understand women ;)
    They can't watch porn, or even read it ! A story has to be created , the woman in the story has to make out with the guy she falls in love with! eventually at least.
    And, really, do you think love is some logical/rational/sensible thing? The plots might suck, and get very predictable even .. but the fact remains.. women can handle erotica only when its mixed with some (lame or otherwise)story .

  17. Anonymous, yeah well, the day I declare that I understand women, please shoot me. And since you use the word 'they', I'll assume you belong to the 'unfair' sex.

    By the way, did you happen to help one of them with a lame story? :D

  18. ermm.. no, i belong to the fairest sex :P

    but seriously, neither me nor the females i know, like to watch porn, or dirty pictures. but are in any day for a sensual movie :P

    i used 'they' bcos i wanted to remove myself from the picture, and give a 3rd person perspective on the thing.

  19. Anonymous, 3rd person perspective, eh? Mai meri patni aur woh? :D

    Well, I see what you're trying to say... but fail to understand why. Maybe its just a guy-girl thing.


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