News & Events

‘Beautiful’ Wins in the Romance category

romanceOur first winner for Indireads 1st Short Story Competition is:

Yamini Vasudevan for Beautiful

Indireads felt that Yamini’s ability to turn a simple memory into a powerful story gave her a decided edge over the competition. This was a fairly easy choice for us, so congratulations, Yamini!


We Believe…

Two new romantic movies are in the cinemas and I can’t wait to see both Raanjhana and Lootera. Despite promises that both movies would be ‘different’, I am not really expecting anything but instant love, trials, tribulations and happy endings. And yet, I am eagerly anticipating watching the movies. I often wonder why.

I think the reason they get to me every time is pretty much the same reason I read (and now publish) romance books. Romance and love—whether in films or books—are basically the same story, about two people falling in love. But the reason why millions of people—and I—come back to the same predictable theme, is because we are believers.

We believe in the power of love; we believe that love conquers all and we believe, above all, in happy endings. And somehow we believe, in spite of heavy doses of reality in the form of depressing news in the papers and on television; despite our relationship break-ups and screw-ups and despite jeering cynics on the sidelines.

Watching and reading romance helps me to keep my optimism and faith alive. And so I am going to watch these two ‘new’ movies, and for three hours am going to suspend reality and let myself be moved by the power of love, romance and music. I think we all deserve a little romance to brighten our lives; it makes for happier people all around.


Romance: A Dirty Word?

Last week, my colleague, Naheed, wanted to start a discussion on eBooks vs. real books, but it took off in another direction altogether. The discussion evolved (on Facebook) into a conversation about the romance genre, and how many people look down on it.

It was pointed out in the comments that all the classics of today were ‘popular fiction’ in their day. The best writers always write for the masses—if you want to reach the wider audience, then you need to speak their language. High-brow, pretentious works of philosophy and deep social meaning may get you accolades from critics, but how many people will actually buy your book, let alone read it?

Personally, I feel that popular fiction, or ‘easy-read’ fiction, has a crucial role to play in South Asia. This part of the world is poor, with limited access to recreation other than movies and TV. In almost all of these countries, literacy levels are low, and newer generations rarely read (I’m speaking generally here). The two biggest functions that popular fiction will serve for us are to encourage reading habits among the population, and to temporarily carry us away from the drudgeries of our daily lives.

I’d rather see children (and adults, for that matter) with a book in their hands than a computer game, or glued to the TV. Even if they’re reading a romance novel (who doesn’t want to, at any age, flip to the ‘juicy’ bits?), at some point they will pick up something more taxing. But fiction, and easy reading in particular, are essential if we want generations who are willing to use their imaginations, to fantasize, to dream. They are essential if want our people to respect books, and not hate them (have you seen the schoolbag of a child in the first grade? They weigh more than the child itself, and just get heavier through the years!). They are essential if we don’t want young adults who are already tired of life at the age of twenty because they have no respite from the seriousness of their lives.

Romance, fantasy, crime—trash books are popular (NOT a dirty word), and they’re fun. What’s so wrong with having a little fun in our lives?


What Lies Beneath

Most women who read romance feel an inherent urge to hide the fact. There are very few women who will openly acknowledge owning and reading romance books, and even less who stand up and defend their right to read romance. Men have their crime/thriller books—almost always accompanied by a healthy dose of flesh and gory details, but you never see them shying away from owning their reading pleasure; while women will go to extreme lengths to hide their romance fix from their husbands, families and even their friends. And as for spicier reading—let’s not even go there.

Then along come eBooks and Fifty Shades of Grey—a marriage made in heaven if ever there was one. A secret pleasure fully enabled by the anonymous device used to read it. There are no tell-tale cover illustrations and no need to hide one’s book in bigger, more appropriate reading material.

Which is all well and good, but not terribly empowering. So that’s my grouse. Why should women hide the fact that they have eclectic reading habits—and get pleasure from handsome heroes, feisty heroines and happy endings? We all need and deserve our brand of TLC. Bollywood is unabashedly romantic and you will not find people going around hiding the fact that they like films. So what’s the big deal where books are concerned?

eBooks are a wonderful invention—convenient, easy to carry around, can be read any place at any time on any available device—they are a godsend for readers.

Nevertheless, I dream of a time when women carry their eBook of choice proudly and stand up for the right to read what they like. That is the day closet fans of dashing heroes and Fifty Shades will march out, heads held high and a romance book—an Indireads title, hopefully—tucked under their arms.




Many people fall in love slowly, often beginning with friendship and respect and then developing stronger feelings. A romance based on such love is both gentle and sweet. But for me, love must have a spark and that spark comes from passion. Passion is the emotion that fully engages one’s heart, mind and soul. It is all-consuming and with its power, can move mountains or melt stony hearts. A passionate couple truly engages—in anger, love and of course in bed. That’s what I look for in a relationship—that spark—the magic of passion. Without it, both life and fiction seem tame.


My Cyber Superpower: Invisibility

invisibilityIt’s true that we don’t know who we’re talking to in a cyber-relationship. The person on the other end could be Dracula’s half-brother, or a pimply-faced teenager, for all we know. But, that cuts both ways. On my end, I could describe myself as a desi version of Angelina Jolie, or a rock-climbing daredevil. I could be a brain surgeon with a dynamic, full life, looking for a little light-hearted online affair, or I could be a high-powered businesswoman, with a staff of hundreds at my command.

Online, I am draped in a cloak of invisibility. Even if I present myself as the person I am, I can be witty and daring. I can be bold and attractive, cheeky and free. Online, with a computer screen shielding me from all comers, I am not bound by social convention, or stunted by awkward silences. I can have a Google tab open and ready to give me ideas for a conversation, or a cutting comeback to anything. I can have my Cyrano by my side, and be intelligent, sophisticated and articulate.

I can slice through the debacle of first impressions (which, for some of us, is an ordeal of stammering introductions and sweaty palms) and draw him in to who I really am.

And, if I am very lucky, on the other end of my technologically advanced tin can will be someone who uses the same cloak, and understands the need to pretend, just for a while, that we are glamorous, dynamic people, and we deserve to be together.

Journal News & Events

South Asia’s Summer of Love

summerofloveYou’ve all read and watched the love stories of the west: from Mills&Boons’ romances to Pretty Woman, romance is saturated with rich, debonair men falling for feisty women.

Day by day, however, South Asian culture and lifestyles have permeated the western world. From daily yoga sessions to a new breed of musicals, the subcontinent has already left its mark.

And opened a door for Indireads.

Indireads provides a platform for lovers everywhere to commune with, partake of and enjoy storytellers from the Subcontinent. This isn’t simply a matter of switching Nick and Diana for Nikhil and Daniya. Indireads has big ambitions and formulaic literature is not a part of that.

South Asia combined constitutes a sixth of the world’s population, and we know the world is curious. So we’ve built an impressive community of authors, and we’re bringing South Asia to you.

Our Summer of Love is just beginning. With thirty romantic novellas in our bookstore, Indireads has a wide selection of books for all ages, for women, for young girls, and even a couple for men. The books are affordable and easily read on a variety of devices.

On June 12, 2013, we’ll be announcing a series of promotions for our new readers. This will be your best chance to scoop up your favorite books and start a new collection of your favorite authors. Leave your reviews, rate the books, come back and try another.  Let us know what kind of stories you’re looking for, what you think of our heroes and heroines, and at the end of the day, subscribe to our newsletter so that you can keep up with our regular offers.

If you know nothing about your neighboring countries, about the cultures and traditions of South Asia, you’ll be richer for the experience.

See you on the 12th!