Is romance fiction?

“Romance is fiction.”
That was the laughing reaction to my mother’s proud announcement of ‘My daughter writes romantic fiction.’ Amused by her friend’s repartee, my mom related it to me later that day and had me wondering. Was that the general consensus? Did romance not exist outside of books and movies?
The usual reaction I get when I tell someone I write romantic novels is “Awww. Are they inspired by Warren?” For the uninitiated, Warren is my husband. If I went strictly by stereotypes, my answer would have to be a resounding no. Heroes of romantic novels tend to shower their women with exotic flowers, buy expensive, insanely thoughtful surprise birthday presents and plan elaborate, romantic dates that even the best event management companies might have trouble pulling off.
The last time my husband bought me flowers? To apologize for forgetting our wedding anniversary. Our first wedding anniversary, I kid you not! For my birthday? He trails me through shopping malls as I cut a swathe through my favourite stores with his card. I ignore the long-suffering sighs that accompany the trailing. Our last date? If I remember correctly, it was also our first and only one. Karaoke night at a popular pub. I ended up in hospital with a bad chest wheeze from the suffocating cloud of cigarette smoke that provided atmosphere to our date that night.
Having said that, here are a few other points to note. Unlike me, he isn’t and has never been an aficionado of Bollywood, either movies or music. I can’t remember the last time I picked up my Ipod and haven’t found all the latest Bollywood songs loaded on it. Carefully researched to include all my favourites.
He’ll come to watch every Hindi movie I want to watch. He may plug in his earphones and stay glued to his phone through all three hours of it but he’s there. An almost catatonic presence.
I’m a champion fainter for various reasons I’d rather not go into. Those regency romance heroines have got nothing on me when it comes to swooning. He may not carry me masterfully to bed to recover but he’s stayed up all night watching me sleep to make sure I don’t pull a repeat performance.
Would I like to be surprised with glamorous bunches of flowers, exotic holidays and a gift of a villa in Spain on my birthday? Of course. Show me one woman who wouldn’t. Would I trade what I have for it? Not a snowball’s chance in hell. Which begs the answer to the question, is romance fiction? Maybe or maybe just the perception of it is.


    October 29, 2014 - 9:31 am · Reply

    Well said Shilpa And in her Smile I see Something More beautiful than the Star in Across the Universe by Beth Rovis do you mean to say he would have said this to his wife ? I love you the way a drowning man loves air & it wold destroy me to have you just a little. by Rae Carson in The Crown of Embers in our country we have to do Romance only to our spouse that is our tradition so nothing wrong that people ask you about Warren hats off to ypur mom and Dad all the best

  2. Aarti V Raman
    October 29, 2014 - 11:08 am · Reply

    Hey Shilpa

    Your post had me chuckling and feeling epically sorry for Warren. Clearly, you have a grip of the goopy and gentle side of love. Write long and prosper.
    Writer Gal

  3. Inderpreet Kaur Uppal
    December 8, 2014 - 5:01 pm · Reply

    Shilpa, That is so right, real men do not get us flowers but they shower their love in lots of ‘silent’ ways.
    I had a good smile reading this one.
    My hubby got me roses, the one and only time for valentine’s day because the one guy was getting them for his wife and the whole block of ladies got roses that day ! ;)
    Which husband wanted an angry wife? right!!

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