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You know how movies often blow up the idea of love, relationships and seeing a happily ever after in a 1 hour 30 minute movie making you feel like you deserve a life like that? Well, call me crazy but I prefer reality stories. Real stories of men and women, finding love, facing challenges, discovering quirks, unearthing the deep and dark side to the other people's nature... The kind of things that would take at least a few years of your life. It's an adventure isn't it? Better than any romcoms that lasts only 2 hours at the most and leaves you feeling euphoric only for a few seconds. After which you get depressed because you don't have a life like that.
I've been married for almost 5 years to the love of my life and boy, was I idealistic! It took me almost 3 years, a short phase of depression, regret and finally acceptance that Harlequin love stories are so far from the truth. My husband has faults like everyone else. But you see, the problem was I thought I didn't have any and he was the one who had to be a realistic manifestation of all my imaginary, very idealistic idea I had of a husband. Somehow, the idea I had about what a husband was to be like became unrealistic. Nobody could match that. Except in fiction of course. But surprisingly, my husband did. In fact, he did better. I just never saw it because I had a tunnel-view about my husband and my idea of him. You know why they say women don't know what they want? That's because we grow up thinking we need something that's only supposed to be so and so, in this height, weight, in characteristics that are so restricting not just for our own imagination but for our thoughts as well.
I'm an avid reader and started my adolescence with Harlequin novels (Steamy for that age, I know). But in my defense, good books were hard to find and great literature was nowhere to be found. And don't get me wrong, I'm not going to stop my child from picking up the same novels if she wants to. It will help her understand her sexuality better. And anyway, I've already started collecting books for her to read. Sherlock Holmes will be her first love. However, I want to expose her to literature that's not utopian in nature. Reading social realistic novels are as good as reading a history paper. Even better. It's a humanist point of view and I think literature should be more about humanism rather than unrealistic expectations about life. No, she won't go to Hogwarts and neither do I wish she would given a choice. Death eaters, Voldemort, dragons... Like there's not enough racism, sexism and bigotry in this world. Let's not forget poverty and death. But you see, literature, especially the good ones like Coolie and Hard Times stir in you a feeling of wanting better for other people who are not as fortunate as you. They make you question the system that allowed the suffering of one child while another child lives a life of utter luxury. Literature should make us question everything. How else are we supposed to find answers?