Here is an excerpt from a not so rare conversation one gets to hear in the canteen, the library, platform and many more places.
ABC: Did you watch ‘A Walk To Remember’ last night?
XYZ: How could I miss out my favorite romantic flick? Yes! I did watch it.
ABC: Indeed the movie rocks, yet Segal’s Love Story is a class apart.
XYZ: Yes! I have read the book infinite number of times and Ryan O’Neal
is just so perfect as Oliver. I am smitten by his smile and looks.
ABC: Hey! Did you read the novels by Sparks?
XYZ: Sorry! Didn’t get you. Who Sparks?
ABC: ‘Who Sparks?’ Are you kidding me? You don’t know NICHOLAS SPARKS?
XYZ: Would you please care to enlighten me instead of simply mocking at me?
ABC: Yes! Most definitely. He is the author of ‘A Walk to Remember’,
your favorite romantic movie.
XYZ: Don’t tell me! How could I ever miss out on his novels?
ABC: Just as many others like you do!
Aah! That last line makes sense big time. One can very well declare the immaculate writer, Erich Segal as the stalwart of the Romance genre of the fiction. But, the other fact is that if Segal is the stalwart, Nicholas Sparks too is one of the best among the contemporary romance writers. On one hand, if everybody has wiped away the tears while sympathizing with Sheila in ‘Man, Woman and Child’, on the other hand, who has not cried their hearts out while turning the pages of ‘The Notebook’? The popularity each of them has gained is definitely poles apart but their works never fail to tug at the heartstrings and the adaptations of Sparks’ novels can be definitely included in the list of the best romance films of all times.
Sometimes when I ponder about their success and their popularity, I do wonder why the critics couldn’t appreciate Sparks’ works instead of attaching the label ‘It’s similar to Segal’s works!’
The immediate thought that comes up in my mind is why does literature do not have any schools like Psychology? Psychologists like B.F Skinner and Ivan Pavlov are not criticized for lifting the perspectives from each other. Instead they are considered to be a part of the behaviorist school of Psychology. But, the critics almost never leave a chance of blaming Nicholas Sparks for copying Erich Segal’s thoughts.
The truth is and will forever remain that Erich Segal and Nicholas Sparks incredibly draw emotional pen pictures for their readers. Though Segal may be at an escalated pedestal, Sparks has just begun his journey and has already touched millions of hearts across the world. They both have their share of familiarity as far as their poignant thoughts go and they even have their differences in the way they portray the heartrending tales on paper. Sparks and Segal, in all of their works present to us an impeccably woven tapestry of emotions and fabricate a magical intermingling of relationships. Indeed their works are for all seasons and all reasons, for every age, for every tender heart that feels and cares. Segal and Sparks have gifted the world with the best of tales about the trials and tribulations an individual faces during his life so instead of undermining any of their works, why don’t we cherish their stories forever.
So, always remember…
Every ‘LOVE STORY’ happens ‘AT FIRST SIGHT’, has ‘A WALK TO REMEMBER’ and definitely some ‘ACTS OF FAITH’. Cheers to Erich Segal and Nicholas Sparks. You both rock, big time!
– Arundhati Chatterjee –