Ah, September. This month is a vibe in itself. As the fledgling drops of rain mark its beginning, one can almost certainly find themselves staring out the window, forgetting the laptop before them – even if it’s just for a moment – and revel in the ordinary miracle that is rain. These little droplets of water landing on everything that has no shelter, somehow make one see the world through a different lens. The interesting bit is that the lens, albeit different from the ordinary one we see, is also different for each one! While the rain may bring fond memories of making paper boats in their childhood to some, it may also be the harbinger of heartbreak to others.

For me, a rainy day is sitting on my couch with a cozy blanket, having the door open for the cold breeze to enter as I have a cup of hot coffee in one hand and my Kindle on the other. A rainy day can only mean two genres for me – a romance or a thriller. Ever since the release of my romance novel, I have had a disposition towards Indian romances, one that continues till date. While I do enjoy the storyline, I can’t help but notice how the writer walks on the thin line to write the male characters as sexy, confident and saviour types; but woke and respectful as well. For the quintessential 21st century woman who grew up dreaming about the perfect old-school romance with Rhett Butler, Mr. Darcy and Heathcliff (not to mention the awful teenage years of loving the toxic ones like Christian Grey and Jacob Black), these Indian romances strike the perfect chord. Gone are the days where I would want my Prince Charming to come riding on his steed and save me from whatever crisis I have managed to get into, the days that brooding and sulky was mistaken to be sexy, the days when watching someone sleep for hours at end without their knowledge was considered romantic (read: Edward Cullen). The women of today want their man to be street smart, someone who can match her wit. Someone who can stand by her side as she makes her own choices instead of just making them for her. Someone who understands that he doesn’t need to always be the authority, that he can let her dominate for once.

And these are exactly the kind of heroes I have been reading of. The stories belong to the same tropes that have existed since time immemorial, the friends to lovers, the enemies to lovers, the love-hate, the miscommunication, these stories have it all. Romances can be so predictable. Then what makes them different? The characters. It’s the change in perception that breathes life into the story, and it is that change that has altered the concept of the ‘perfect man’ in the love stories of today. What’s more is that it’s not just one author who is writing these men, it’s so profound now that many authors have taken the idea up. Also, is it just me, or has anyone noticed that the male leads no longer fit into the same straitjacket formula they all used to? To hell with the tall, dark and handsome. Give me the average looking but super intelligent scientist any day! The idea of handsome has changed, and with that comes a whole new range of characters traits and features an author can work with to make their perfect man.

This is what I love about literature: it changes with time. I feel like while I can understand 20s era through the charming Jay Gatsby’s escapades in Fitzgerald’s world, I can also fall for the sexy cricket skipper Nikhil Khoda from the Zoya Factor by Anuja Chauhan. With the monsoon comes the love for romance, and with that, comes a horde of sexy men that leave you wanting more. As for me, ladies and gentlemen, I am right in the place I want to be – a place where its raining men!

(Just in my Kindle, though. I am as far away from that in reality as is possible, LOL.)

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