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When did a little romance ever hurt anyone?


What is it about love and love stories that makes the world go round? Panelists at the Hyderabad Literary Festival (HLF) tried to answer this very question.

On January 25 at HLF being held at the Hyderabad Public School, multiple panelists and Samuel Christy got together to answer this question.

Christy introduced the panelists, namely: Aditi V. Ramadan (commercial editor, business journalist and author of 3 contemporary romances) and Usha Narayanan (advertising and media executive, now full-time author.) And moderator for this discussion was Adite Banerjie (renowned journalist and author of 4 books and multiple screenplays.)

Discussion on the concept of the ‘happily ever after’ factor kick-started the session.

Narayanan cleared the misconception that “not just girls, but boys also read romance novels.”

She stressed on the fact that the purview of romance novels extends beyond the obvious. “They provide hope and positivity so they should be looked down upon and they cannot be deemed as mere escapist literature,” she said.

“The theme of ‘happily ever-after’ is universal as good always triumphs over evil.

“In a world were people troll on social media, romance novels are a tool to heal wounds and to relieve stress.”

Ramadan gave the example of Cinderella and that of her own books: ‘Geeks of Caltech’ and ‘Royals of Stellangard’, to help the audience understand that romance novels are not just about romance but are layered in terms of how characters deal with their inner self, adversity and the concept of acceptance.

She said that ‘happily ever afters’ is a self-replenishing theme.

The moderator chose to interject here and add that, “These books are not just about hormone driven boys and girls.”

Ramadan reinforced this point by saying that sexual attraction between a boy and girl is very much present in these novels.

When asked as to why romance novels are looked down upon, Narayanan countered by posing questions of her own.

The moderator then raised a question on why do you think readers ask and consider romance “Who can live without love? What is happiness without love?” and added, “The world needs more love and less hatred” to which the moderator immediately added “and romance too.”

Ramadan on the other hand replied: “I write because I love reading and writing romantic novels.”

Author: Shimron Diana

Edited by: Beneath The Ink (

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