My favorite character is the main character, Ravi. He is such a vulnerable, imaginative, and hopeful little kid, and I can't help but relate to him. Desai goes into such depth to describe his emotional landscapes that it is hard not to feel like you understand him, and to feel a connection with him.
A good way to feel sympathy for Ravi is to think back to when you were a child, playing hide 'n' go seek, and remember all of the excitement, nervousness, anxiousness, adrenaline, fear, joy and anticpation that went with the entire game. Did you ever cram into a spot and get super nervous as whoever was "it" got closer and closer? Did you feel the burst of speed and adrenaline as you raced as fast as you could to the home base? Did you ever hide in your spot and imagine the victorious triumph you would have if you weren't found and ended up winning? And if not, have you ever felt ostracized and left out by friends? If so, then it is easy to feel for Ravi. He experiences all of these emotions, and then at the end, as he is super excited to have been the winner, and realizes no one cares, he is devastated. Desai describes his feelings very well:
"The ignominy of being forgotten—how could he face it? He felt his heart go heavy and ache inside him unbearably. He lay down full length on the damp grass, crushing his face into it, no longer crying, silenced by a terrible sense of his insignificance."
How can you not be moved by his despair? He realizes, as we all have at some point in our lives, that he is pretty insignificant, and not nearly as important as he thought he was to his friends. Even if you haven't played hide 'n' go seek, it is easy to relate to a time when you have felt alone, left out, ostracized and forgotten by friends or family. So, because there are so many ways in which I can feel for Ravi, he is my favorite character.