It has been long – three months to be exact – since I read a Mills and Boon.The savior of my romantic dreams, the reason behind my poor chemistry grades and probably the only thing that could coax me to be up all night – M&B- as it was lovingly called by my gang of girls was God sent.
To the uninitiated, Mills and Boon is the publisher of a series of utterly charming, lovable and improbable romances. These books come in little packages that can be carried in one’s purse or hidden in a serious looking book. Many separate stories are told in these novels but the theme almost always remains the same. The basic idea is to lure romance fanatics like me into buying as many of these books as possible. The funny part is that though most Mills & Boon novels have the same boy-meets-girl-hates-then-loves story line, those who are truly hooked will beg, steal or borrow any new book in sight.
In my school, there was a hush-hush business of Mills and Boon going on the whole year except, may be, during the examinations when most of the girls understandably avoided them. For one, these romance novels could be addictive. While they are no “unputdownable” thrillers, they do manage to tempt you into asking for more. Secondly, Mills and Boon novels make you day dream – a lot- and exactly at times you least want. Thirdly, they make you have unrealistic expectations. You start hoping for a fairytale romance, a perfect partner and more of these dreamy stuffs. So, there were enough reasons why this business of Mills and Boon exchange slumped during mid terms.
However, for the rest of the year, it was M&B party time! You could see the smitten first-timers hiding the books under their desk to read and those in advanced stages of Mills and Boon attraction, reading them out in the open. Often a few besotted girls hid their books in the bulkier course books and read in the privacy of the library. I preferred to read at home and often late into the night, much to the chagrin of my mother. My best friend, always pragmatic, could not sustain Mills and Boon sessions for long nor could a couple of my class mates. But such oddities were few and far between!
My association with these books somewhat waned in my college days, particularly because of the demanding study schedule, but resumed once I started working. I found a great colleague who was luckily as fascinated by all things romantic as me and we spent many weekends on Mills & Boon marathons. Inspired by an overdose of handsome and smart heroes, we would then discuss our idea of a perfect life partner who would, by the end of our discussion, mirror a Mills and Boon hero accurately.
How then, an enthusiast like me let more than three months elapse without reaching for a single Mills and Boon book, you might wonder. Well, I decided to come out of the world of fantasy and face the real world. I don’t feel the need to read about fictional heroes. I tried reading one of the M&B again but somehow did not feel the need to go into a fantasy land. My obsession for the book went and I may have given up reading Mills and Boons but never manage to shake away the ideas in it.
Red roses, candle light dinners, little gifts every now and then!!!
I have, it seems, been lured for life.