#DesiRepDiscussions - Shudh Desi Romance by Pavi

Hey guys!
Over the past couple years, the #DiverseReads movement has gained momentum and people have become aware of reading books that have characters that are not just cis straight and white. After All, this world is a huge place and there are many different, diverse people here that are not straight or white. They have been poorly represented in media for a long time and that has taken its toll.
Desis are an example of such oppressed voices. We have not been represented in a good light in the western media, but, thankfully, that has changed in the last few years and with emerging authors such as Roshani Chokshi, Sandhya Menon, Tara Sim, Dhonielle Clayton, Sabaa Tahir etc, hopefully, people will see us in a better light and begin to understand our culture more.
The purpose of this discussion event is to make others aware of the lush, beautiful desi culture and to tell them more about us. So, for the next few days, my absolutely amazing friend, Prags from The Inkedin Book Blog (who, really, put all of this together) and I will be sharing various essays by desi book people – bloggers, bookstagrammers, twitterati etc for you guys.
I hope that you learn something new by reading what we have in store for you here and that you enjoy it. Thank you for stopping by!

Today, on #DesiRepDiscussions, we have Pavi, who's an amazing bookstagrammer and book blogger! She talks about romance in the desi way and I love it!


Shudh Desi Romance
- Pavi

First, I just wanted to thank Pragati, who has been quite patient for this guest post but most of all, for trusting me as a blogger to provide her with one that might resonate with all you Indian Bookworms!

And here is me, Pavi from For The Love of Fictional Worlds (http://www.indianbookloveaffair.wordpress.com/), and I am so glad to be here talking about a subject/genre that is so close to my heart. I might ramble on for a bit, so please bear with me!

I am an avid romance reader; I adore books that give me a sense of happiness with my characters’ struggle for HEA; and I do not hide it. I will never hide it. This is the genre that gave me hope when I was in a long dark tunnel with no end or light at sight or even possible.

I took refuge in fiction, and I experimented with whole lot genres before deciding that it was romance books that had me smiling and happy for the time I read it. Don’t get me wrong, I adore falling into fantasy or even thriller books, but romance? Now that is something that is something that left me feeling like I was cocooned in a giant warm hug.

Now, I should tell you that I was an avid reader before the time of tablets, or even e-readers, so only the most popular authors were available here in India then, so I grew up on a staple of Jeffrey Archer, John Grisham for thrillers and Nora Roberts & Julie Garwood for romance.

My first bookshelf was overflowing with these authors, but I still go back to my old favorites Ms. Roberts and Ms. Garwood all the time, even now. But I couldn’t go beyond them, for other international authors were expensive and ebooks hadn’t made their way to the Indian Book Market then!

Parallel to this, there was quite a surprise hit of Chetan Bhagat that hit the stands, and most around me called it the romance for the Indian population (I would still like to hit them where the sun doesn’t shine, but I self – restrained!) – And this was the reason why I gave up on this genre in the desi world! It was heartbreaking, but I just couldn’t leave my high standards for a well edited and researched book hang, just because I wanted to connect with the characters from my own culture!

So I Stopped. I stopped even looking at the Indian Author section anywhere I went. I stopped even conversing about Indian authors because this craze was killing me, and no matter how much I tried (and I tried, Gawd! I tried!) I just couldn’t get people to understand that there are better books out there, and that they, as readers, deserved the best they were in interested in!

Soon, it became so that I knew more about the American States than I knew about my own hometown, I knew more about their legal system than I knew about mine (I love the sub – genre of Romantic Suspense) and I knew more about their slangs than I knew about mine!

Did I feel a bit shameful? Yes I did, but I did not know how to rectify this situation; some authors from the subsequent ChetanBhagatpandenium had mostly destroyed my ability to even look at the books published later on.

Image result for man of her matchThis changed when I was invited to the book launch of Sakshama Puri Dhariwal’s (http://www.instagram.com/sakshama/) Man of Her Match (http://bit.ly/2xTlhAZ) by Penguin India (http://www.instagram.com/penguinindia/)– this was my first book launch and author meet, so in all enthusiasm I did my research on her and found out that she already had a book called The Wedding Photographer, so just in case I would be allowed to get the book signed as well – and I. FELL. IN. LOVE!

The Wedding Photographer (Read my Review) was exactly what I wanted to read in romance by an Indian author – a book that was relatable to the Delhi girl in me, but also the young 20s girl, who is open to the world of love, yet hasn’t lost her optimism in the face of a cynical city! I loved how she related to the city I lived in and bought to life, and I can’t even imagine telling you how amazing it was to read a word/slang and know exactly what it means without looking it up.

Image result for man of her matchMan of Her Match (Read my Review) her second book, though in reality, a prequel to The Wedding Photographer, pretty much cemented my love for this author – and me as a fan for life!

I flew through both her books, and the fact that she has been the sweetest author to know is honestly just the icing on the cake!

All I knew was that my prayers had been answered – I had in my hands books in the romance genre that were exactly what I wanted – amazing characters, solid buildup of plot line, brilliantly written and edited, with it holding my interest from the start till finish.

And I knew, I KNEW, that holding out for a higher standard of books in this genre in Indian Market wasn’t a futility and I had Penguin India and Sakshama Puri Dhariwal to thank!

If you would like to have a chat with me on the thoughts I have shared here or even give me recommendations for authors you think would hold up top my standard, please please DO NOT hesitate to talk to me! Or you could just drop by to say hi! I would love that as well! <3 h2="" style="text-align: center;">Connect With The Author:
What do you think of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement? 
Have you read any books/ watched movies that celebrate the Desi culture?
Do say hi to Pavi ~ she'd love to hear from you!

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