This is the first of the four odd tags that I'm supposed to do because I'm so freakishly popular. I got tagged by Priyanka and I'm doing this one first because the tag originated with her. Anyhow, here goes nothing.
The rule is to tell the world about your Georgette Heyer Man (GHM), the literary character that you fell unabashedly in love with, and prayed fervently that he might be real somehow.
My first affair with a man of letters (goodness, am I witty or what?) was with a dunce. Yes, I said dunce. And I'm not trying to be contrary to squeeze a few laughs out of you. I was about four or five when I went to a book fair for the first time. My sister bought a huge collection of fairy tales by Hans Andersen. At four I wasn't prodigy enough to read the book, but oh, the pictures. Beautiful paintings filled with people who looked like they belonged in fairy tales. A few years later, when I'd learned to read, I discovered that the book was quite intriguing. I was most taken by the story of the dunce who used a dead crow, a handful of mud and a shoe to make the princess his duck, in a manner of speaking. The feat was even more impressive when you considered that he was competing against scholars of great intelligence and equal pomposity. I'd developed a thing for the streetsmart quickwit quite early in life.
My next serious dalliance was with that most perfect ladies' man ever created, namely Mr. Darcy of Miss Austen's pen. I think the reason I loved him so much was because he was the cliche that started it all. The striking good looks, the intelligence, the hauteur and of course, the healthy wallet were all active ingredients in this veritable elixir of suitability. But the reason I liked him was because in my head he was someone else. He was vulnerable and a little less starched and a wee bit more eloquent. Ah, my Darcy.
And then of course, there was Heathcliff. More than him, it was the way that he was loved that drew me to him. There was almost a feverish intensity to my tryst with Wuthering Heights. It was the only time that I ever took my affection for a character seriously. I was actually worried as to whether it indicated some sort of pathology. Really.
There was also Atticus Finch, the one I loved because of his utter compassion. I remember crying for his quiet dignity, smiling at the gentleness of his gestures and wondering at the sort of courage that we rarely get to see, or even less understand.
In between all of this, I became friends with Kitkat and Sim, both of whom had an incurable affection for Mills and Boon novellas. Before you cringe, let me tell you that M&Bs were our circus for the next three years. I've never read such ridiculously and shamelessly bad writing and I've never relished it half as much as I did then. We even came up with the idea of writing an M&B on our own, with a fiery Mediterranean hero whose profession it was to lust over a dreary but somehow not plain heroine, whilst getting conveniently misinterpreted at every turn. To suit his scorching personality, he was named Blaaaze and our novella was to be called (ahem) Aag Ka Gola. Muahahahahaha.
All along, I also nurtured a healthy affection for both Calvin and Hobbes at different points of time, along with a great regard for Fred and George Weasley and Aragorn of a thousand different names. Also, Freddie Threepwood, the one whose favourite word was 'Cor!'. My last big affair was with Kirin, of course. He was just so completely perfect that I never really had a choice. Generous doses of a dark, mysterious past, an arch sweetness and a hearty sense of humour. And which girl could ever resist a shamelessly good looking Dark Lord? Not I. My GHM award goes to Samit Basu, manipulator extraordonaire of every shade of girlie emotions.
So now I pass on the tag to Kitkat and Sim who introduced me to Georgetter Heyer and her array of wicked men, none of whom I fell in love with. But we did have our moments of mirth, and that's not too shabby. Enjoy, ladies.