The stuff of fairy tales

We’ve heard from Gayathri Nair before. This passionate writer discusses a quirky little survey she took – “Guys out of Literature you would love to date.”

How many times while reading a book have you lost yourself so deep, that you lay there on your bed, with a whipped look on your face and prayed to whichever mighty power that may be, that for once those characters were real? And how many times then, have you proceeded to plan out an alternate storyline, more likely, one that featured you in it? If you’ve indulged in any of the above, it’s quite likely that you’ve fantasized about dating some of the boys/men/boys who grew up to become men. So when a group of girls, who incidentally happened to love reading and have no qualms about admitting having once upon a time dated a literary character, met up, we decided to come up with a list of top ten guys we would love to date (insert dreamy smile!) Mind you, this task proved to be more difficult than initially imagined, cause who are we kidding? Literature has a wide array of drool worthy guys. And even if we ignored the looks, which the list might prove to some extent, there were lots of other qualities we took into account. So while the vampires and the werewolves and the whip cracking men-in-suits, were in the fray initially they had to make way for more evolved choices.

10. Jay Gatsby (The Great Gatsby) – The mysterious Mr Gatsby, who embodies the Great American Dream, comes in at the bottom of our list. A charming dreamer, we fell in love with his vulnerability. A man who amasses wealth, but has no regard for it; who lives in luxury yet does not enjoy it; a gambler, a hopeless-lover (Sigh!) And we envied Daisy (oh how we did!), the woman he idealized and fatally worshipped. Given the chance we would have loved to date this promising young man who lived life on the edge and made it large!

9. Ronald Weasley (The Harry Potter series) – The fact that Ron and not Harry, and not vampires and werewolves made it to the list, shows how high we rank a guy who makes us laugh. A gangly boy with red hair and freckles, he might not be much of a looker, but he was a sports jock who won one of the hardest games of wizard chess. He grew up from a clueless, jealous, insecure young boy into a brave, loyal and intelligent young man. And besides lifting the Quidditch cup and defeating the greatest villain of his times, he also won the affections of one Miss Granger (and ours in the process!)

8. Sherlock Holmes (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes) – This eccentric genius is lazy, uses drugs out of boredom, is brusque (bordering on rude) towards law enforcement authorities, and far from being humble when he’s not obsessed over solving a case and/or sacrificing himself to save his friend or the people of London. A master of disguise, Sherlock is proficient in “Baritsu” and was using forensic science to solve cases even before gun-trotting CSI agents on TV made it cool. Benedict Cumberbatch may have played no small role in igniting our dying passions for this iconic detective. We cannot but agree “Smart is the new Sexy!” (Psst we find the riding crop and the deerstalker sexy too!)

7. Julian (The Famous Five) – Julian along with Nancy’s boyfriend Ned Nickerson and Tintin (who missed out from starring in the list because not everyone was cool enough to read comic books) was our earliest literary crush. Tall and handsome, brave and honourable, a born-leader Julian was always proper (too proper now that we think of it!). We loved how protective he was of his cousins and how smart to foil the plans of the bad guys. Stereotypical? Yes! But our young hearts knew no better .

6. Edward Rochester (Jane Eyre)- The Byronic hero, Rochester is the enigmatic master of Thornfield Hall who is described as nothing like the stereotypical TDH aristocratic hero in the opening chapters of the novel- it is he who falls from a horse and has to be helped from his distress by the damsel. But Rochester is a romantic, who spent his wild youth in the Caribbean and then in Europe, where his wealth and good breading allowed him to keep the company of many a beautiful women. But upon meeting the right woman, he becomes a transformed man. A man of worldly experience, good learning and exquisite tastes, he is a natural tease! Michael Fassbender as the brooding and savagely complex Rochester was a feast to the eyes.

5. Sir Lancelot (The Arthurian Legends) – We do love a Knight in Shining Armour! He was the outsider, the ‘upstart’ who wins Arthur’s heart and Guinevere’s body and soul. The most famous of the Knights of the Round Table, he was the most obsessive of lovers, the most beloved of ladies and the greatest fighter in the realm. We fell in love with his swashbuckling style (quite literally), his constancy of devotion that inspired generations of Petrarchan lovers, his determination while questing for the Holy Grail and more importantly with the man who’s love for the unattainable Queen destroyed not only  him and her but an entire kingdom as well.

4. Oliver Barrett IV (Love Story) – If there is one guy on the list who ticks all the boxes for a perfect boyfriend (and husband) it would be Oliver. Armed with an Ivy League education, Oliver knew exactly how to make the girls go weak in the knee. And yet when he finds his one, he stays by her till death drives them apart. His rebellion against his father just added to his appeal. And so when Oliver cries, we sniffed and bawled. And while we may not approve of his baby-naming skills, he meets all other criterions for our modern day romantic hero.

3. Sirius Black (The Harry Potter Series) – A true Gryffindor, Sirius Black was noble, courageous, loyal and protective of the things and people he loved. A misfit in his own family, Sirius and his close group of friends courted trouble during school days. And he was definitely not the one to sit behind when the time came for war. 12 years in a prison couldn’t break his spirit. Sirius was the cool godparent Harry almost had, and we gave him brownie points for his style and his quirky sense of humour. Passionate and impulsive, arrogantly good-looking Sirius would have been that bad boy with the golden heart every girl craves of dating at least once in her life.

2. Robert Langdon (Angels and Demons) – Harvard professor of Religious Iconology and Symbology, his would be the one class that none of us girls would want to miss. This sexy historian (despite his age, we love his “Harrison Ford in Harris Tweed” look!) is a champion swimmer with eidetic memory and a bungling gentleman when it comes to the ladies. We love how he’s fearless when it comes to courting a scandal, and is not afraid to speak his mind. Oh and this modern day knight not only saves the damsel(s) in distress but also wins their affections along with discovering the Holy Grail! Robert Langdon is a thinking woman’s choice (as well as the geeky girl’s choice!!)

1. Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride and Prejudice) – Elizabeth Bennet succumbed to his charms, how could we mere mortals hold our own? His arrogant aloofness piqued our interest, his confused lover act made him adorable and his act of selfless love won our respect. While the man may need a lesson or two on how to propose to a lady, what endeared him to us was the fact that he encouraged the streaks of education and independence in a woman. So in our dream sequence where we wanted to be treated like a queen, we found Mr Darcy to be the perfect gentleman to accompany us on a date. And while we hope that he may find us “handsome enough to tempt” him we give Colin Firth full marks for bringing Darcy to life on screen. J That completes our list folks, but a special mention must be made of those who just missed out- Atticus Finch, Mark Antony, Rhett Butler, Holden Caulfield (We do have a penchant for the twisted), Edmund Dante and Michael Corleone. Never realized 10 was such a small number! And so while we drool over the guy in our list, we would love to know what you think of them and if we made an unforgivable mistake of leaving out someone deserving from the list. Till the next time, happy reading, happy dreaming!!

P.S- Did anyone else notice the number of Brits on this list? Must be that sexy accent and the snobbishness that adds to the magic 😉 Learn more about Gayathri Nair.

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About Shruti Bharath

Social entrepreneur and developmental writer, passionate about creating workable solutions in the areas of improving employability of youth and women through skill enhancement/training and generation of productive and sustainable employment opportunities.

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