Books are something mom and I have bonded over right from when I turned sixteen. She has always understood the madness that descends on someone when they’re reading because she has lived through it too. She had indulgent parents when it came to books and reading and so she was an indulgent parent right back. I say was because I no longer ask her if a book is too expensive to buy – I usually just buy it!

In fact one of my favourite conversations with her was when I was in Singapore and just before my exams, she said, “Beta I know your exams are coming so you’ll be tempted to read a book. Please don’t.” And then she saw my guilty expression. She just shook her head, exasperated. I confessed, “I’m in the middle of one.” She found she couldn’t even be upset with me because she would have done the exact same thing.

When I was sixteen, and transitioning from children’s books to adult books, she introduced me to the concept of Mills & Boon. At the time, MBs were sweeter and their writers more concerned with showing a heart stopping romance rather than just leading up to sex. But still I wasn’t really allowed to read her MBs.

Mom could polish off two in one day she was and is that crazy about romances and Mills & Boon. But she had three books – one purple, one green and one red – that she had loved and she had saved for me. She, in her time, had raided her father’s reading collection and she wanted to pass on that legacy, by allowing me to raid hers.

While choosing which of the three books I’d talk about in this post, I had a wonderful conversation with her, reminiscing those three books, and the softness and innocence of those romances. We even cursed the day when a friend of hers borrowed those three books, with the solemn promise she’d return them but obviously never did.

Thankfully, I had read the three before this friend borrowed them. But since it has been about fifteen years [gosh!] since we read or thought about them, it took us a while to remember the names.

The loo came to our rescue because it was there that mom remembered the name of the first love story that I read, Bed of Grass. I quickly Googled it and even found the right cover! Sometimes I do love the power of the internet.

Reading tales: Bed of Grass

I still remember all the feelings I felt when I was reading Bed of Grass. It was during this time that I read a lot of love stories and realized that miscommunication was a common thread among all of them. It was then that I pledged to myself that if I ever loved anyone, I wouldn’t just let them walk away or break up with me without asking for a proper reason. Sixteen-year-old me didn’t fathom that while I could demand the truth, the person may not be so forthcoming.

After I finished reading Bed of Grass, mom and I had a debrief. She asked me if I had enjoyed the book and I told her all the ways that I had and how the garden – basically the bed of grass – and the climax was our favourite scene.

Over the years, our book choices have diverged significantly but the shared love of reading has remained. It was she who bought me a Kindle because she thought I should be in possession of a new tech around books. We used to share it until she realized I needed my own, so bought me another. She’s like that – buying me things she knows I want but too chicken to buy for myself.


I’m taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s My Friend Alexa. For the next 1 month, I’ll be sharing some of my favourite bookish memories; hence the title Reading Tales.


Photo by Mike from Pexels

77 thoughts on “Reading tales: Bed of Grass

  1. I read Deepika’s comment with a smile, cos even in our school library the MBs were kept in a locked cupboard only for teachers!
    Coming to your post, I had a smile on my face reading it. I was a big big lover of MBs, and like your mother I was capable of polishing off two in a day. Somehow MBs became a thing of the past, and yes you are absolutely correct in saying that the older ones were gentler , better.

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    1. Yessss they have become a thing of the past but I love that the genre and what it does for you when you’re feeling down has stayed. I have just replaced MBs with KJ Charles 😀

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  2. A bonding of such kind is very precious and nostalgic. I remember the first book my father gave me when I crossed from school to college. The book was so old that the cover had gone so dull and pages had gone pale. I think it was among one of those books he read during his youth that he found to be so important to give it to his son at an appropriate time. And that’s why he would have kept it so carefully and safely.

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  3. I so love it when some one else share the same love for books as me. Loved it to bitcand when it comes to mothers having the same interest, it works wonders.

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  4. Reading legacy is one I got from my father and I am passing to my daughters, discussing books with your parent or child makes a special connect. Good to know about your bond with mother over books.

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  5. Your sweet memories and love for mom, mills, and boons, and books made me nostalgic. Remembering the days when my friend introduce me to Sidney Sheldon and mills and Boon’s book in 9 the grade.

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  6. I remember leaving a comment about MBs last time and this time it was wonderful reading an entire post about them. The appropriate age to read them! I school librarian kept them locked and the cupboard finally opened for us in class 10. Bonding over books is the best with kids and i am thankful both of them love to read

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  7. Yes, I’m also guilty of raiding my mom’s books. M&Bs were something I read quite early in my teens. I still have a few of them. I should just re-read one of them once I have nothing to read.

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  8. Wow, a reading legacy being passed over from one generation to another is simply the beauty of it. I got this from my mom too and she says that her parents were fond of reading and maintaining a collection of books.
    When I was growing, my mom would save up from her salary and invest in a huge set of encyclopedias she has bought at the time.
    Today, when I go home, I always check on those books and now my children love to browse through them.

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  9. My parents always tell me that they are proud of me inheriting their love for reading and books. This just felt like reading my own story.

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  10. How sweet.. Lord the innocence in this Post…right from your heart. Me and my daughters are complete contrast when it comes to choice of books. But yes we do discuss and update each others knowledge about books we read.

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      1. भगवान ऐसी मां हर किसी को दे। And why the hell people just don’t return the books. It makes my blood boil. I have lost so many of my books. Now I strictly have stopped lending books to anyone.

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  11. It’s a heartwarming post.

    I don’t read MB romances anymore but I used to read them. One of my senior colleagues (in the school I taught many years ago) introduced me to MB romance & I remember how that book circulated among all the teachers. Sadly, I don’t remember the name.

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  12. A nostalgic read, Suchita. I wasn’t “allowed” M&B until my late teens but I gorged on my mom’s and grandmother’s collection of Barbara Cartlands. I remember this library in Hyderabad that had hundreds of M&Bs that mom and I enjoyed reading. Even now, I just pick up a Barbara Cartland for old time’s sake.

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  13. I enjoy reading your reading tales, Suchita. I don’t know why my mom never allowed me to read MB and kept her’s hidden away in some secret place. I am going to ask her tomorrow, I am sure it is going to be a fun conversation 😀

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  14. Strangely I never read Mills and Boons, though many of my friends were reading it back then! My mother always encouraged reading, this post brought back memories of her handing me money to buy books.

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  15. I used to love to read too..but have somehow lost the habit now…strangely enough, my daughter has got the power of reading and she is hooked onto them! 🙂 Lovely nostalgic post…

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  16. I loved reading this post, Suchita. It brings out so much about your relationship with your mother. It was my mom who introduced me to the world of M&Bs as well. Janet Dailey was always one of the better writers along with Ann Mather and the like. On one birthday, when I was away from her and living with my grandparents, she bought me a whole pile of M&Bs and I still recall how ecstatic I was. 🙂

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  17. I really enjoyed reading your post. Mills & Boons are timeless. I too used to read two of them in a day. I had a huge collection of them when I was younger.

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  18. 🙂 MB’s were the most popular reads in teens. I also had my share, though do not remember any names. It’s difficult due to the time gap. I am sixty now. 😛 But as I was going through this post, I remembered those days of curled with MB’s in hand. Precious memories!

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  19. Most of my friends during their teens were glued to Mills & Boon and I was into thrillers and mystery. even after being a romantic at heart, romantic novels appealed to me. I often wonder why would that be?
    I share a similar reading bond with my Dad, maybe that’s why.

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