Pic Courtesy : - www.guardian.co.uk

Pic Courtesy : – http://www.guardian.co.uk

‘You should cover it in a brown paper, so that no one sees,’ my friend instructed before handing over my first ever copy of Mills and Boons, to me. Is that the norm you have to follow? I asked rather amused. ‘Yes, everyone knows that Mills and Boon should always be covered in a brown paper so that others don’t realize what you are reading! ’ she exclaimed. She was right, its ‘objectionable’ and the so-called ‘culturally questionable’ covers, have always raised many eyebrows. So off came one of my brown book cover to mask the sensual, romantic novel in a false sense of hypocrisy and mediocrity.

This was however the first of the many M&B books I read, that effortlessly built up a fairy tale about relationships. A world of fantasy in thoughts and a world of glossy romances that was unreal to the real world! Every story it talked about, was intriguing and engaging to a wide eyed and impressionable mind of the young readers.  It is as good as it is bad. To begin with, it talks about ‘happy forever’ ideas. It encourages you to slip in fantasy while being blissfully away from reality. It talks about perfect bodies and deep rooted sensual feelings that cruelly stomp on the idea of embracing ones imperfections. Not to forget setting unrealistic expectations about ideal relationships.

While every word engages you and fires the emotions you never thought existed, it even questions your choice of being single. The writers go all out to sensationalize even the tamest feelings.

Some of the typical Mills and Boon-ish expressions that still makes me chuckle:

  •  Her bare leg slid across his abdomen, her knee nudged his groin…’
  • And the rumble deep in his gut, trickling down toward his groin, could only mean   one thing
  • The carriage moved forward and his groin swelled in anticipation of the night ahead.
  • Fabric rubbing against her already excited *****

Well you got the hint right!

I blissfully devoured books after books mindlessly for months. I was intrigued and walked in this wonderland of M&B for a long time, until one day my mind woke up from this romantic slumber to reality and I thought – WTF! That’s when I moved on from M&Bs and the brown cover that followed it.

Years passed and this phase was easily forgotten. Some weeks back while travelling in the train, I saw a teenage girl quietly tucked in a corner, lost in her own world with a book (novel) in her hand that was shielded in a familiar brown paper cover. When our eyes met, she just glanced away smiling sheepishly at the realization of the book she held.

….and I knew the brown paper was passed on…!