The weather in Bombay can’t help but make one romantic. It’s the perfect time to read that romance or watch that romantic movie, which restores your faith in love. Now I have many favourite romantic movies but the best ones are the ones where the couple is mismatched and yet makes it through. I mean what’s the point if two good looking people fall in love – how does it make you all mushy and melancholic? Yes, the best love stories are melancholic and unrequited love is just so perfect, right. I exist as one half of a very happy love story, and I would not want it any other way, because gloom and melancholy only look beautiful in the pages of a book or on the big screen, but when two souls who had no chance survive and come together, I love it. And if it’s all a bit gloomy till then, it makes it even better. Here are my five top romantic books and movies
Babycakes: A fat make-up artist whose passions include food and making dead people look beautiful falls in love with a hunk with a hot girlfriend. When the nasty girlfriend goes away for a bit, our fat heroine makes a plan to try to get the hunk to fall in love with her. So sweet, and all about beauty is what you are inside, Love it. You can actually watch the whole movie on Youtube. Here’s the bit where she takes her hot “boyfriend” to meet her family
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier is a novel that makes me want to be there. I want to live in that house and feel Rebecca’s ghost all around me. Sounds sadistic right? But really, it’s so beautifully written. A wife who can’t shake off the feeling that her husband’s ex-wife, the gorgeous full-of-life Rebecca is watching her every move. The Goth love story for every season.
My Best Friend’s Wedding had to be on the list. After all, it ends exactly the way it should. Julianne is left by the best friend who marries the best woman. It really tugs at your heartstrings this one – especially because both Jules (Julia Roberts) and Kimmy (Cameron Diaz) are just so adorable. You can’t blame Michael for loving Kimmy, but you feel for Julianne because she’s just so much like you. Awww. Here’s a song from the movie I can’t get enough of…listen to the lyrics (all along you were the one, all the time I never knew). It’s called I’ll be Okay.
4. Mr Big and Carrie’s romance is one we all relate to – that man who makes you feel so much love but so much pain. We all have had one of those. But then he comes around and that’s the best part. One of my favourite scenes and I love her dress too.
5. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough is a novel which has an unusual love story but one of the most powerful ones in literature. A young girl falls in love with a priest three times her age. He loves her too. As the years pass by, sometimes they give in to their passions, and sometimes they hold everything in. This is a book everyone should read. Brilliant.
Last year, I wrote a short story for an anthology of short love stories published by Grapevine called Shades of Love, which is a really awesome read for all romantics. You can buy it on Flipkart here
A website called alotofpages.com said this of my story — A Pop Tart’s Psychotic Love Story’ by Aastha Atray Banan with its ‘LOOK AT ME!’ title, also has the meat to go with it. We have the story of a girl, unable to forget the lover who has ditched her, pushed to the threshold of madness. She will do what it takes to have him back, even if it means to kill him or his present girlfriend. When she finally walks up to the ex’s house, all guns blazing, she is met with a rather unexpected turn of events…
Here’s a small extract. Hope you like it:
I thought of him every day, and many a days, I used to drive up to his home and just stand outside his window, hoping he would crack open that curtain and see my car and know I was there. Then he would know that for me, it wasn’t over. I had realized it yesterday. A song made me realize that I was still where I was 5 years ago. This wasn’t over. It couldn’t be. The singer was singing about how sometimes love lasts but sometimes it just hurts. And mine was supposed to last. We had met on a cold Delhi winter’s day in Nehru Park – just walking our dogs. My golden retriever had taken more than a friendly interest in his tiny Apso, and as they canoodled, we had looked at each other and shyly introduced ourselves. His name was Karan, and I had compared him to the mythological Karan as soon as I met him — kind, check, generous, check, serious, check, gorgeous, check. According to some legends, Karna had loved Draupadi the whole time but never professed his love. I didn’t want that to happen with us. So I had made the first move. Looking back, maybe that’s where I made my first mistake.
For a while though it seemed as if he wasn’t interested. He was always the one to put the phone down first, the one to break away from long breathless kisses in cold isolated museum corridors, and always the one to cancel plans. He had the upper hand, but I had a feeling he was going to come around. After all, he would see that I was everything he ever wanted.
And then one day, before I knew what was happening, he realized it. Maybe I had secretly thought it will never happen — that I would mope and cry when he told me there was someone else. But that winter, he waited outside my hostel dorm till I got home from class. As I had walked up to him and smiled, he stood really close to me, with barely any space between our bodies for the cold air to pass through and had said “I love you” into my lips – his frosty breath melting into mine. We were a sight that day – standing breathing into each other’s mouths with the white haze around us forming little hearts. Or at least that’s what it looked like to me. It was a heady feeling. We stood like that for seconds but it felt like many hours. Karan’s words had made me forget about everything else. It was like the first time you realize your body registers desire, that current — you know what I mean right?