The better part of my childhood and teenage years were spent with the best friends a girl could ask for- books, authors, hours of quiet solitude with nobody to come between me and the musty smell of that book on the topmost shelf of my cupboard.
My reading spanned a good deal of the school series by Enid Blyton, the entire Agatha Christie collection, even the Nancy Drews and Hardy Boys (yes, you can raise a condescending brow ;), and the inimitable P.G.Wodehouse. Considering how much unadulterated joy I got out of reading Wodehouse, both then and now, I shall pick my favourite from his works.
Asking me to pick ONE character out of the entire Wodehouse canon is again sheer torture! Do I pick the gentleman’s gentleman, Jeeves, or the lovable Aunt Dahlia, or the impish Galahad Threepwood or the roguishly suave Lord Ickenham? Each character is painted in such glorious detail that I can visualise how that person would look, were he/she to appear in front of me.
I suppose I shall pick Bertram Wilberforce Wooster, better known as Bertie, of the Jeeves-Wooster pair. It is he, who is the glue between various characters. His curious knack for getting himself into the most peculiar of misadventures is the most appealing thing about him. I can safely count on Bertie to cheer me up on a depressing day or to tickle my funny bone, thanks to the witty exchanges between him and Jeeves.Thanks to Bertie, life was brighter, happier and yes, more fulfilling.
As I watch my 7-year-old devour comic books and stories by Dr. Seuss today, my wish for her is that she grows to love characters as much as I have. To truly lose oneself, one must enter the world of make-believe. For, it is when we return from there, that we value reality as well as imagination.
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