Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 30 November 2020

How Ravinder Singh harnessed personal tragedy in bestselling novel ‘I Too Had a Love Story’

The Indian author was a guest of the Sharjah International Book Fair

Indian novelist Ravinder Singh took part in this year's Sharjah International Book Fair. Sharjah Book Authority
Indian novelist Ravinder Singh took part in this year's Sharjah International Book Fair. Sharjah Book Authority

Love can be tough to sustain, or so believes Ravinder Singh, one of India’s best-selling romantic novelists.

Appearing in an online session on Friday, November 13, as part of the Sharjah International Book Fair, Singh asserted that opening your heart to another comes with its fair share of risks.

“When I began writing more than a decade ago, I wrote of eternal or everlasting love. Today, my understanding of the subject has broadened. I now think love also has an expiry date,” he said.

“I believe that the day you accept your partner’s proposal and decide to make a life together, that very day you have given the right to him or her to break your heart someday.”

Can technology influence romance?

Known for his bestselling 2007 English debut novel, I Too Had a Love Story, Singh is famed as India's king of modern romance, having penned nine books that focus on relationships and which are set in various Indian cities.

Indian novelist Ravinder Singh takes part in the Sharjah International Book Fair. Sharjah Book Authority
Ravinder Singh focuses on relationships in his books. Sharjah Book Authority

As a former software engineer, Singh doesn’t believe technology has ruined the thrill of finding an organic relationship. Instead, it offers seekers a wider range of options.

“Technology has a significant role in our lives; perhaps it gives us too many options at the click of a button,” he says. “But it also enables you to achieve your goals. And if my goal is to find a partner, I will leverage the power of technology to find that special someone.”

A good book is a successful marriage

Singh described the cut and thrust world of publishing as similar to a passionate relationship in that it can be full of euphoria and rejection.

He experienced both emotions when I Too Had a Love Story was rejected by countless publishers before appearing on bestseller lists.

"A book is a marriage between a publisher and an author, and has to generate value for all stakeholders,” he says.

Literature also has the power to heal a broken heart. Written in the wake of his girlfriend’s tragic death in a car accident, Singh said writing I Too Had a Love Story was a soothing experience.

“Slipping into a meaningless existence after losing my girlfriend in a car crash led me to piece together our story and courtship days; it was cathartic," he says.

“I wanted to keep her memory alive through the pages of my book. I encapsulated all my pain and put it on the bookshelves across the country. It was therapeutic and healing; it helped me move on. I thus became an author by chance but continue to be one by choice.”

Running for 10 days, the Sharjah International Book Fair ended on Saturday, November 14.

The fair adopted a hybrid model with physical events held on site at Sharjah Expo Centre and online sessions featuring more than 50 local, regional and international authors.

For more information on the fair and sessions visit sibf.com

Updated: November 18, 2020 07:19 PM

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