When my debut novel was released, I shared the purchase link with my friends in the hope that they would encourage this leap of faith I had taken.
“You and love story? How can you write about something that you know nothing about?” asked one of my friends.
Though taken aback by the arrogance lingering in the question, I asked how she was sure I knew nothing about love.
“You never had an affair in college and you had a proper arranged marriage. What do you know about love?”
Yes! What do I know about love? How could someone who had always been a wallflower, someone who was never called a beauty, someone who hadn't canoodled with lovers in the darkness of movie theaters, write about love? According to people like her, love was something that was reserved for people who were smart, handsome/beautiful and had the guts to go against the society.
But being a wallflower came with its own perks. You went through heartaches and disappointments more frequently than normal. Your crush would never ever look at you. Even if he did, someone would dissuade him saying, “Are you crazy? What did you find in her?” Your Mr. Darcy would look down upon you and ignore you royally. And if you were unlucky enough, he might even end up flirting with your best friend. Yet, I had allowed myself to experience the psychedelic effects of a heady crush and enjoyed it while it lasted.
Though I didn’t live a heroic love story, love did find me eventually. Love came softly to me. I fell in love with the man I married. Truly, madly and deeply. It came with its own share of highs and lows but is progressing steadily from strength to strength.
In addition, I was always surrounded by love stories. My parents had a love marriage, some of my friends and cousins too fell in love before becoming hitched. I was lucky enough to be their confidante, and they were eloquent when it came to talking about their escapades.
What she also didn’t know was that writers were scavengers. The way people dig for treasure, we dig for stories. We eavesdrop, we listen carefully when you talk and we observe.
So when I write my stories, I draw in from the energies hidden in the stories I have heard. I recollect their happiness, their dilemmas, their worries, and the general air of drama that surround such stories. Also, when you write their stories down, some get their happily-ever-after which never happened in real life. For some, frozen in time, their story never loses its charm. No one ever kills 'love' for them.
I will hence always remain in love with love. I will continue hunting for stories, which I will pen down with euphoria. They would work like a drug, releasing a plethora of endorphins making me feel like I am in love again. With every story, I get to live another love story. And when readers tell me, I have written their love story, I smile. Love is so universal and easy to fall in love with.