Thursday, July 3, 2008


Thanks to Mystic Margarita, the many characters who leap off the pages of books and take up residence in my head and heart, now have a reason to display themselves. And so here are ten random characters I have long-loved, straight off my memory-wall:

Hercule Poirot: Agatha Christie is one author I never get tired of re-reading and I just adore the pompous and poised Poirot – from his egg-shaped head with the genius grey-cells, to his shiny-patent shoes; from the dapper-waxed moustache to the heart which conceals a sneaky fondness for robust, overdressed femme fatales.

Rhett Butler: Another hirsute hero, though with a completely different appeal. Since Mystic Margarita has appropriated Heathcliff, I lay quick claim to Rhett – his swagger, his swarthy-manliness and his persistent passion for the fiesty Scarlett. The impact on my swooning senses was all the stronger because of Clark Gable’s dashing portrayal – it was the first time I realized that mustaches could be so sexy!

Bridget Jones: Totally feckless, totally madcap-romantic, obsessed with weight-issues, and a wholly freaky-funny peril-prone thirty-something damsel like you and me. What’s not to love? And to top it all, she gets to bed and wed a reincarnated Darcy (another fave-figure appropriated by MysticGaaah!)

Precious Ramotswe: The founder of the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency – the first of its kind in sunny-sinful Botswana. I love her weight (she is ‘traditionally built’) and her wisdom (she solves her cases through observation, intuition, common sense aided by endless cups of bush tea and by diligently referring to her detection-guide-bible) and her wide, all-encompassing, placid acceptance of life.

Karna: The Mahabharata’s anti-hero is my favourite underdog: forever strong, unshakably brave, fiercely loyal, but always dealt a cruel hand by the Fates. I cannot stand Arjun, Righteousness’s poster-boy, and I always root for Karna, although he is Fortune’s eyesore and always at the wrong place at the wrong time – right down to his death when his chariot wheel gets stuck in the battlefield.

Seymour: Seymour was the unnamed narrator’s elder brother in J D Salinger’s short story, Seymour: An Introduction. He had an enormous impact on his brother’s (and my) psyche and he killed himself almost before (or because?) he was thirty. Way out!

Charlie Brown: It’s impossible not to love the round-headed kid, eternally optimistic at baseball, eternally incapable of expressing his feelings to the red-haired girl, and eternally heckled by the crabby Lucy and by his kid-sister. I chose him over Calvin (him and his tiger Hobbes), because I’m a sucker for wistful losers!

King Lear: Another loser who has impacted me greatly (sorry for the irreverence in placing him next to Peanuts). Lear’s impetuosity, his royal arrogance and ignorance, his very human foibles and hamartia, his ability to forgive, accept and embrace and his free-fall into unplumbed depths of suffering – this is the only Shakespearean play which ACTUALLY moves me to tears.

Harry Potter: I’m unashamedly Potter-maniacal. Brave and balanced but not boring, smart and sensible but not smart-alecky, I loved the whole trajectory of his growth through the seven Potter-books. And he is not a loser. He is the boy who lives. And wins.

Winnie-the-Pooh: So what if he’s not human? I love the Bear of Little Brain and the Big Stomach always rumbling for honey. I love his winsome-ness and his wonder-at-such-simple-things and his whole-new-perspective-on-things. Once he entered Rabbit’s hole, ate too much honey and got stuck while coming out of the hole. That’s the way he is, forever stuck in my heart.

This list can actually go on and on and on…Thanks MM. Anybody who wishes to make their own list, please consider yourself tagged. The pleasure of reading will be mine.


arpita said...

Dear Sucharita,
I am all with you for the 1st 2 choices, the other 2 are mine:
Hercule Poirot: for the wonderful character he is behind his dandy clothes and mannerisms.
Rhett Butler : He represented the ultimate MAN for a fifteen year old ( and somewhere deep down in my heart he still is!!).... handsome, brave, reckless yet so very loyal and loving.
Dennis the Menace : I adore his chubby look and the menace he creates with such wide eyed innocence.
Sherlock Holmes : I love his arrogance and his drama. His diverse interests in chemicals, poisons, music, psychology, observation etc all culminating in bringing the guilty to books had been my staple during my growing up years (Aaah ... those wonderful summer vacation afternoons).
And now you have really got me thinking... what other enduring characters have I come face to face with..??? Expect an update soon.
take care

sidhubaba said...

No Miss Marple? Perhaps even Modesty Blaise! Good old Byomkesh Bakshi would be too local I guess.

sukku said...

I guess I will settle for Charlie Brown...thanks for sharing...and have a great weekend...

codemastercool said...

Being a comic buff, I would also suggest Obelix, Captian Haddock, and not to forget, Calvin AND Hobbes as well.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

hi arpita, sidhubaba, sukku and cool,

Differences of opinion are great when it comes to books because you often get to know about new ones to add to your reading list.

Thanks for the additions.

Sayani said...

i feel these tags are made to know people well
what do u say :)

Sucharita Sarkar said...


u r right, tags are like the details we used to fill up in our friends' slam books, you know, likes and dislikes, favourite actors/ food/colour, etc.

Mystic Margarita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mystic Margarita said...

Love Poirot and Bridget Jones, too. Not many people like Heathcliff, glad to find someone who does. :) Sidhubaba mentioned Miss Marple and Byomkesh Bakshi - both all-time favorites. So many favourite characters, it's difficult to list just 10. :)