Fictional character? Is it? Really!!! I am skeptic though. But…. on second thoughts, have you ever wondered if they could just come to life and you could talk to them just as they are portrayed and they would have befitting answers to all your queries, all your amazements and doubts. How you might have analysed their thoughts or even tried to think in the way they did or would. Such a conversation could go on for days. Any ardent reader will stumble upon the question of who would they like to meet in person, better who would they want to write a letter to? “A letter?” You might ask. It is such a personal embodiment of emotions. “What all could I possibly fit in and in such a concise manner?” I think. Before I start spilling the beans, and before an amazing (fictional) character swoons me to disclosing the letter I have written to them or am yet to write, how can I delay my adoration for the amazing writer who brought life in somebody who ironically, doesn’t even exist and that my friends, is a thing of beauty!
Cutting to the chase, I would hands down, write to my one and only beloved figure, Atticus Finch.
In a nutshell, let me tell you that I already have, years back. He is so composed and so calm, so consistent in his thoughts and demeanor. He is the man you go to looking for answers when life fails you. What I like most about him is his parenting style. How he treats every child as an adult with their own capacitive understanding and not judging them for their individual nature. How he is always delighted to help people. He not only has been stern at times but also maintained fairness throughout the book. By now, you must have figured which book I have been talking about. It is none other than, ‘To kill a mockingbird’ by Harper Lee. Harper Lee has not only become an immortal being now but has blessed us with such a literary man who is immortal himself without even being born. But then again, he was born, he lived and he continues to in the words between those pages, in his words, in his stance and in his thoughts that transpired to a state of being etched on to my daily life either conscious or subconsciously. How amazing is that? How relentless would it be if Atticus could just come to life and talk to me or reply to the letter I have written? Honestly, I have had a letter tucked into my journal since the time I finished ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ because his words have resonated in my mind that it was inevitable to not write my thoughts down. This is what it reads,
“Dear Atticus You are the father I never had. You are the father I could not have. You have always been this person who maintains uniformity in character before people and even when alone. I took the lessons you gave to Jim and Scout as though you would tell me if you were father to me. The only time you seriously lecture your children is on the evils of taking advantage of those less fortunate or less educated, and the philosophy you carry into the animal world by your refusal to hunt. And although most of the town readily labeled other people as “trash”, you kept away from making that distinction. You believed in justice. You were not a supporter of criminal law, yet you accepted the appointment to Tom Robinson’s case. You knew even before the case began that you were going to lose, but that didn’t stop you from giving Tom the strongest defense you possibly could. And you didn’t put so much effort into Tom’s case because he was an African American, but because he was innocent. The truth mattered to you before any other external pressure. You believed that the justice system should not be color blind, and you defended Tom as an innocent man, not a man of color. Who could possibly stand up for the sake of truth without having any conditions or any selfish demands? Unprecedented by other people’s opinions and unadulterated by xenophobia, you stood tall as a responsible man. The fact that Scout is a tomboy who prefers the company of boys and solves her differences with her fist and tries to make sense of a world that demands that she act like a lady, you constantly were a father who accepted her just for who she was. She gained all the education she needed less from school and more from you. I look at you with adoration, reverence and compassion as Scout or Jim did, with teary eyes; I wish to find someone like you who is even half the man that you are, Atticus. Till then, I will always remember that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird. Until we meet someday, I am grateful for their music and seal this letter with your presence in my heart.”
As I folded the letter and tucked it safely in my journal, a faint smell and those drops of tears started drying up leaving a mark on my cheeks and though it was gone, the heaviness lingered and I smiled looking up to God and asked why he didn’t make marvels like that anymore, not Harper, not Atticus, just marvels like them. Not anymore. And I still ask. And I do.
-Submitted by Aakanksha Sharma (Editorial, Logolepsy Publishing Group)