Books corner: The Girl He Left Behind by Shilpa Suraj

  • Ambica Gulati

I loved reading M&Bs during my teens but that was probably because like any other growing teenager I had dreams of a knight in shining armour coming to sweep me off my feet. Now I have started enjoying reading romance as I realised only love can make the world go around. And moreover, I enjoy the fact the opposite sex has some feelings. I like the way Indian romance writers delve into the hearts and minds of the young Indian male. Shilpa has so well walked into Ryan Mathur’s mind, heart and soul. She has seen through a man’s desire to become a truly successful man and provider. He does not want to be a hateful homemaker like his step father. He does love his mother but when he does not get it back, he makes his own path in the world. And its pretty idealistic way of living—study, do well, go the city of dreams, and finally come back to reclaim your love. His sudden departure has had its toll on the girl he loved and loves--Sia. There’s something about unfinished love stories, their hanging cliff-like edges makes us want the other person more and Shilpa has portrayed this very well. And what I like most is that Shilpa has given life to the friends also. There is a sub plot with Minty, her engagement and then broken off engagement. Which is interesting play of emotions and logic. But what appealed to me most is the sure and strong approach Ryan takes to get Sia back. He walks into her home, breaks open the masks and layers she has put on, brings the real girl out and then its love all the way.

Let’s hear what Shilpa Suraj has to tell about her journey while exploring the rainbow world of love and fantasy men. Excerpts from an email conversation:

How did you turn to writing romance?
An avid reader, I've spent years happily immersed in the world of fiction. While I will read almost everything I can lay my hands on, romance has always been the genre that ruled my heart and my imagination. An overactive imagination had me dreaming up my own stories until giving them voice was less of a dream and more of a necessity. All the stories that weave their way through my head have romance at its core. I love writing about relationships and the intricate dynamics between vibrant personalities that make them come alive.

Are any of the characters inspirations from people you know or did you create them completely from imagination?
All my characters come completely from my imagination. They have a life and personality all their own which makes their stories a pleasure to tell.

Why do M&B Indian authors like to have one character in Mumbai? Why is Mumbai such a favourite for romance?
Mumbai is a vibrant, dynamic city bustling with life, hopes and dreams. It exudes glamour and vitality from every corner and makes you believe in the unbelievable. Ryan's rags to riches story finds fulfillment quite fittingly in Mumbai or as it's sometimes called ‘The City of Dreams’. To me, Mumbai epitomised everything Ryan was seeking when he left home. A chance to find himself, discover his potential and make his dreams come true.

Is there any situation in the story that is closely associated with you?
The Girl He Left Behind is completely a creation of my imagination and hence there isn't any situation in the story that is closely associated with me. My romantic heart, however, thrills at the idea of being adored the way Sia is adored by Ryan.

What are your future plans?
My second book Rescued by Love is scheduled to be released in October 2014 and I’m currently writing my third book. Having found my bliss in writing, I plan to spend my ‘happily ever after’ typing away on my laptop.

Book details
The Girl He Left Behind by Shilpa Suraj
Publisher: Harlequin India
Pages: 180
Price: Rs150


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