Tonight is dark and there’s a madness in the wind, thunderous rain splashing and you just want to stand against the wind, hands spread to your sides, like a free albatross, ike Andy Dufrense. When Andy became free, my Soul felt it. A good film, Book or a TV-series has a way about it. Sometimes they crush your soul, sometimes they bind it, but most of the time, they give you epiphanies. You end up realizing, you can become much more than yourself- become an idea, become immortal. An idea can never be killed. ‘V’ taught you that.
We think fictional characters are mere figments of some brilliant minds. But are they? Did you ever think you could cry over the death of a direwolf, a creature that doesn’t even exist in real life? Did you ever think you could feel the awkwardness of Michael Scott’s action down to your bones? Did you ever think there would be a very real protest against Baker Bhai’s inevitable death? You probably didn’t, neither did I, till we saw it happen or went through it ourselves.
I wanted to become Chandler, not because of his way with sarcasm, no, I want to have my Monica. Only a Chandler can have a Monica, these thoughts lingered in my brain for the longest of time till I met Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly. That’s when I wanted to become a Jim. Isn’t it funny that they are just fictional characters from the popular sitcoms ‘Friends’ and ‘The Office’.
For introverts, a book can be a safe haven where you can hide for as long as you want, unless your mother takes it away because you have an exam the next day, that is. I won’t be exaggerating if I told you I dad wisdom(!) of the elders right in my adolescence, thanks to Masud Rana. where Tin Goyenda helped preserve my innocence. To quote Toy Story, I had a friend in Kishore Pasha. I imagined that my teen self would go solve a head-wringing mystery and then receive accolades from the police chief.
Now the child is grown, the dream is gone. But the friendship I, an introverted kid, got with Kishore, Musa and Robin will remain forever.
Isn’t it beautiful how you experience happiness through a character, but also feel the pain. This happens because a well developed character becomes intertwined with your inner-self, your soul. When they argue, you automatically choose sides, when they feel pain, it hurts, when they rejoice, you shed tears of happiness, and when they die, a piece of you also dies. You live through them and they live through you.
Durga does not come back to Apu. Feluda does not smoke Benson. Harry Potter does not become a muggle banker in an exhausting economy. Himu does not wear sandals. Batman does not get his parents back. They won’t change. They don’t grow old. We do. But inside us, they live on. We cry with them, we laugh with them. We fall in love, We get our hearts broken. This chronicles of love and broken hearts persist. These emotions make us who we are, how we are. They shape our thoughts, however bleak the reality may be, we can always seek shelter in our favourite characters.
After all this, I can’t simply say they are merely figments of the imagination. Like real people, we say goodbye to them, however much we didn’t want to. These Characters are our friends, our foes, our families. With all these luxuries available to us in the modern world, people around us still have the tendency to feel lonely, but more than often, their souls and sanities re saved by these fictional characters, often becoming more than real people. Sometimes, they are all that you needed.
Because, after all this time, they are ALWAYS there for you.