Book lovers the world of books

Illustration: Ratna Sagar Shrestha/ THT
I am a bibliophile. I enjoy reading novels, especially fiction of women. Skeeter Phelan from the novel The Help written by Kathryn Stockett is my favourite literary character. Skeeter is a 23-year-old brave, kind, and truth seeking white woman who wants to be a writer. She comes from a upper class society but she takes considerable risk to put forth the real stories of the dreadful life of African-American maids in her town. She breaks all the rules and limitations created by the whites and revolts for African-Americans through her writings. She reveals the cruel and unbelievable experiences which the other community faces while working for the whites, while her work makes African-American community embrace her. Her writing movement against the racial injustice forever changes the town which makes her my favourite literary figure. Her boldness and fearless attitude and her determination to fight against injustice are what I adore the most. — Anonymous  My father gifted me the Ramayana. It was such a great book that it not only improved my vocabulary and language but also my knowledge regarding my culture. Although the book was volume one, the roles of Ram as a prince and a king fascinated me. He was able to change complex situations into piece of cake with his sweet words and his ability to tackle challenges which came his way. He teaches us to be bold, a great warrior and a true lover. Two of the greatest virtues that I learnt from him are — not to ever let your parents down as a son and not let your subjects down as a king. Ram is a paragon for a king. He is what every parent wants as a son. If you see the world through Ram’s eyes, you see sufferings are meant for pleasure. Changing sorrows into joys is one trait that I am most attracted to about him because it inspires me to overcome any difficulties. — Pratibha Bhandari  Romeo and Juliet are my favourite literary characters. They are the characters of the famous tragic play written by William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet. The characters are the representations of love. And I am fascinated to their devotion and their loyal feelings for each other. Today we can hardly see these types of people. Every day we hear and see news about people being killed and betrayed by their loved ones. When I go through such news, I think about these two characters and their pure love story. And I wonder if all people would be like them and love their partners unconditionally, there would be no loss of lives. Today people take love for granted which is why many people have stopped believing in love. — Sonika Lamichhane  I have always remained a big fan of Katherine Solomon from The Lost Symbol — a crime thriller by Dan Brown. For a science geek who dreams about becoming a philosopher someday, noetic science explores a new horizon of possibilities. Solomon is a metaphysicist expert in mythical science recovery journey and owns a well equipped lab in New York. Her air of self-determination to get back her project reports at the cost of her own life is very mesmerising to me. Her character gave me a deep impression that being a human is of much more importance than enjoying the safe harbour of girlhood. — Neeta Timsina  The literary character that I like the most is Anandamoyi. She is a pivotal character in Gora which is a must-read novel of Rabindranath Tagore. This novel exposes how meaningless and dangerous prejudices are that divide humanity into narrow walls. Anandamoyi is a middle aged lady and the mother of the main character Gora. The trait of her personality resembles my mother. Anandamoyi, like my mother, is refreshingly free from the shackles of superstitions, prejudices and religious rituals. She is as caring, soft-spoken and full of humanity as my mother was. In Anandamoyi, I find my mother who was also called Anandamoyi by her parents-in-law. I want to say to my mother wherever she is now in this infinite universe, what Gora said to his mother, Anandamoyi, “You have no caste, you don’t discriminate against people, you don’t hate — you are the image of benediction.” — Sujit De, Kolkata, India  Muna Madan is a very popular literary work of Laxmi Prasad Devkota and its popular character Madan often comes to my mind whenever I am asked to remember a young literary character. Madan’s devotion, dedication, passion and strengths are the exemplary characteristics one should consider. Madan is synonymous to the popular term ‘Love’. — Arjun Prasad  Tyrion Lannister of Game of Thrones is my favourite literacy character. Tyrion is a dwarf who is hated and underestimated by the people of his kingdom. Everyone in the kingdom possesses his/her weapon and so does Lannister. He is naturally gifted with the weapon called ‘brain’. He knows that a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone to keep it sharp. So he read books a lot. He is an advisor in the king council. But after being betrayed by his own sister, queen Cersi and his father, he joins Daenerys Targaryen who is marching to conquer seven kingdoms. Lannister is knowledgeable and has an impressive attitude. He always chooses right and wise path. He is dwarf but never complains about it, instead he accepts his flaws so that no one can use them against him. He knows when to speak and when to act. — Saroj Kandel, Pokhara  Hazel Grace Lancaster is my favourite literary character from the book The Fault In Our Stars written by John Green. I read this book about a year ago when the massive earthquake had struck Nepal. Lancaster is a patient of thyroid cancer. Throughout the book, she lives her life. Her struggle with cancer is remarkable. While reading this book, she says to Augustus Waters (Hazel’s friend of Cancer Patient Support Group, who is also a cancer patient and later becomes her lover) that she chose to become a vegetarian just to decrease the death of animals. Her simplicity makes her my favourite character. The love and dedication towards her parents and Augustus is one of the things I like about her. The time when she gives a eulogy to her love, Augustus is the moment I won’t forget about her. While she reads the letter that Augustus had written for her, she makes me think “People die but their love lasts forever!”. — Aastha Sunam, Taukhel, Godavari, Lalitpur  Characters are the yardsticks of a book. I may have read a dozens of books but the character that has always struck my mind is Sakambari aka Bari of Sirish Ko Phool by Parijat. The way Bari takes her life is sheer unusual. Just as blue mimosa breaks up as any alien force touches it, Bari is also blown away when she is given a chaste kiss on her lips. She’d mostly spend her days sitting under the mimosa trees, smoking heavily. She’d sometimes be too cynical, and despair would hover around her. Generally, I still have a cloud of vagueness hovering around me about what made her to choose such a perspective towards life. — Snehaa  Reading is the best thing one can do in life. It broadens our knowledge as well as enlightens us with so many new things. As I am a literature student I love to read many literary books including novels, poems, drama and so on. While reading different books we encounter many inspiring characters that at some point encourage and motivate us to learn some morals out of them. When I was a child I used to read many fairy tales and was fascinated by those stories and their characters. And the one by which I was highly fascinated was the story of Cinderella. Similarly there are many other stories and characters like Cinderella from which I used to be inspired. Choosing one literary character from many characters of the books I have read so far would be the character Daedalus from the story Daedalus and Icarus. The reason behind it is that Daedalus time and again warns his son Icarus not go near the sun while Icarus is fascinated by the fact that he can fly and can reach the sky, forgetting he is flying with the help of the artificial wax wings which his father had made for him. When Icarus gets over excited and overambitious, his wax wings melts with the powerful rays of the sun and he falls down. This particular incident teaches us that we should never forget our limitations. We should always remember the ground reality on the basis of which we are standing, and that overambitious nature, and excitement can sometimes ruin our life. The moral which this particular story is trying to portray through the character Daedalus is very inspiring. — Tejaswi Pahari, Jawalakhel, Lalitpur  When I was a child, I used to read comics a lot. There were many characters whose names I don’t even remember. But I remember the character named Phantom. The name ‘Phantom’ sounds as if he’s some kind of ghost but he’s not. He dresses up in a blue-coloured attire like ghost with a mask on his face, carrying two pistols with him. It won’t be wrong even if we call him a superhero because he deserves to be called so. As Phantom, he takes an oath to vanquish as well as to punish all the villainous characters who are notorious for their wrongdoings in this comic book. — Pratik Shrestha, Buddhanagar, Baneshwor  Mark Pfetzer who climbed Everest, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro and many other tallest mountains just within 14 years is my literally favourite character. His motivation and determination has always mesmerised me. After reading My Everest Story I ask myself what have I done till now and the answer is that I have just limited myself to the four walls of my room and this guy pursued his dreams by climbing. He does 100s of rep-workouts, leg-extension, leg curls, squads, calf raises, stairs running for 2000 times which normal people can’t even think of. He challenged the world’s top climber. Everyone has their own goals but we give up as soon as we meet with an obstacle. But Pfetzer knew what an expedition and team work is, and how to overcome challenges. He had strength to go on even though he was exhausted. As I read his book, I was motivated to go beyond my dirty past and here I am the ‘Real Me’. — Anonymous  I have come across many compelling characters but none is as inspiring as Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird. Finch is soft spoken and humble. He is a good father and a good lawyer. But what I like most about this character is his integrity. He believes that he wouldn’t do something that would make it difficult to live with himself. He has exhibited moral courage throughout the book tolerating insults and humiliation from the society just to do the right thing. Every great character is flawed and Atticus is no exception. However, all his flaws serve to make him alive and even more endearing as a character. In this 21st Century, though we enjoy narcistic characters, there is something quite extraordinary and captivating about a humble, down to earth man who speaks softly, is wise and has raised his children with moral values. — Sushan Adhikari  Having read lots of books from fiction to romance to thriller, I have many characters who I admire. But, if I have to name a character who attracts me the most, it would be Harry Potter from the legendary series of Harry Potter. He is selfless lover, honest, a bit arrogant, reckless yet courageous, and of course he stands against evil. His reckless yet courageous steps changed the whole wizarding world. His love for friends and everyone he knows is just selfless; he was even ready to die for the good of everyone he loved! Let’s not forget Dobby the elf that he rescued, and showed once again his pure love and respect for all creatures. Potter is an emotional fool however he does not let this add to his weaknesses but makes it his strength. The best thing about him is he never gives up and is always positive. And for all his weird uniqueness I love him and am proud to say that I am a tiny bit of Harry! — Surekha  When you enjoy reading you come across many good books and get inspired by all of them in different ways. From all the books I have read till now, A Thousand Splendid Suns written by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini has inspired me to a great extent. It’s an awesome book. Mariam, the main character of the book is an inspiring figure for all the women in the world. This book depicts the story about what happened to women, the tragedies and difficulties they had endured, the gender-based violence they suffered and the discrimination under the Taliban. The novel consistently shows the “patriarchal despotism” where women are agonisingly dependent on fathers and husbands, being their sole path to social status. In spite of this entire chaotic situation they managed to get out of it. It proves that if every woman in that time acted that way, there would not have been male-dominated society. — Anonymous  My favourite literacy character is Hazel Grace. She is the main character in the book The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. In the story, she is a cancer patient, and leads life full of uncertainty. Cancer is killing her and so she is kind of fed up, sick of her life she is leading and she has no good reason to live. Then comes a boy Augustus. He changes her perspective towards life. Augustus turns out to be a cancer survivor and she gets a reason to wake up everyday and live a life she is meant to live. He becomes her way of life but they aren’t destined together. What happens with Grace is not fair. She is living an uncertain life but she is shown a ray of hope which is taken away from her. It’s ironic, her character. I feel pity on her. In addition, she keeps the story alive. ‘What will she do?’ every reader will ask the same question until the end of the book and everyone would have his/her own answer. — Araksa Prajapati, Imadol  I have been a huge fan of Sidney Sheldon since my early age. One of my favourite book is Master of Game and the character which have wooed me is Kate Blackwell. The reason why I like her is that, she is that lady that every women dreams to become — strong, adamant, witty, intelligent, business minded, beautiful, classy, good mother and a super best wife. She is a strong woman who sets an example that a woman is equally competent in business, can run an empire and can defeat men with her skills and brains. Her character has influenced me in such a manner that I no longer consider myself a meek lady. What I look now in myself is a room for improvement and to become a lady like Kate Blackwell — beauty with brains. — Kushma Poudel  Indramaya, feminist from Teen Ghumti is my favourite literary character. I have always observed and analysed her as a freedom loving and independent woman, and emotionally strong, who could challenge patriarchy of our society. She has stood strong in her decisions and never regretted. She has broken down  the wall of patriarchy that was set by males to suppress women and their identity. She challenges patriarchal figures — father and husband to rule her life herself. She is neither ruled nor controlled by anyone throughout her life. I heartily respect her decision of being single mother, going against contemporary society. She is self-reliant, emotionally strong and responsible. All these traits make her a rebellious figure, who leads her life without any male in her life. These qualities attract any modern women, so it does to me. — Anonymous  I like Arya Stark and Jon Snow from Game Of Thrones. Stark is a spectacular assassin and doesn’t back down from a challenge. She has gone through some rough times but they have only made her stronger. Snow is the illegitimate son of a very honourable person. Although treated as a part of the family by his siblings, he is despised by his father’s wife. What I like about him is his belief that peace can be made and his determinacy to root out the problem instead of just cutting the branches. He has a terrific sense of battle strategy. Arya and Snow work well under pressure and make appropriate decisions which are what I value in them the most. — Sakshi, Pulchowk, Lalitpur