Calvin and Hobbes is what I turn to remember that there is more to life even when things do not go my way. Nothing beats the simplicity and the energy with which Calvin questions our hypocrisy, ignorance and selfishness of the things we as human beings do in Life. He brings about a fresh air of excitement & positive energy to sometimes dull and challenging world around me.
I discovered Calvin late in my life, I think I was about 24 years old when I had my first encounter with him and I guess it was love at first sight. I never felt I am too old to read Calvin, it just sounded so relevant to me and my life. The witty humor with which Calvin handled and questioned most of the things around him not only made me laugh but also think on those issues-Why we are supposed to do certain things because everyone else around us is doing it and they say it is the right and only thing to do?
I felt a deep urge as to say, where were you all those years? Why did not I check up on you in my school library? I guess the feeling was similar to when you meet a long forgotten friend after many years, strong emotions with a promise that I will never let you go anywhere again:-)
I have so many of my favorite Calvin & Hobbes strips that I seem to have lost count but I certainly love his take on education system & the objective of our life’s. I am sure it took a fantastic cartoonist in Mr. Bill Watterson to bring Calvin and Hobbes to life on paper but even more impressive is his play with words to communicate his views on such complex topics of our life’s in such lucid and engaging fashion that you cannot but relate to it no matter what your age group or from which country you come from.
I think the below video essay also beautifully summarizes why Calvin and Hobbes have been so loved over the years and why they are as relevant today as they were when they first came along.
I could not resist writing my viewpoint on Calvin and Hobbes after seeing this short video and I hope you will like it too. Thank you to Ananth Padmanabhan who first tweeted about this video link early morning today providing me the motivation to write this piece in the first place. The video is done by KaptainKristian and it appeared over here on Slate.
And,before you start thinking that I am good at interior design too, please note, my books have been beautifully arranged in this book shelf by my beautiful wife, Rati!:-)
It has been more than 8 years today, since my tryst with books started. Over all these years, books have been by my stride whatever the situation, they have been my friend, philosopher and guide. Have given me a purpose and an identity. When I had started out, I had never thought books will have such a profound impact on me. Now, rarely a day goes by in which I am not reading up a book or at least thinking about the books that I need to finish soon or browsing flipkart for more books to read. Truly, they have become my addiction. One which I can’t live without.
Today, as I look back, I would like to quickly point out for readers, some of the books that I found to be most interesting and influential during last 8 years.
The first book I read: Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat in the year 2005
The books that I have reflected upon the most: Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
The Lengthiest book I have read: India after Gandhi by Ramchandra Guha
The wittiest book I have read: Right Ho Jeeves by P.G Woodehouse and Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The smallest book with deepest message: Animal Farm by George Orwell and Who moved my cheese by Spencer Johnson
The best book about Life and its meaning: Meaning of Life by Vicktor Frankl
To Read: Endless!
Things fall apart, is an old classic book, published in the year 1958. It was among the first African books written in English to get critical acclaim. The author is Mr. Chinua Achebe, who is from Nigeria. It is also widely used as a text book in schools around the world and talks about life in Africa before and just about the time, the Christian Missionaries arrived their.( Source: Wikipedia) And, that is exactly what I found interesting and thought of taking up this book, have not been able to read much on Africa and thought of it as a good beginning.
The book is centered around a Strong Man and through him his Clan in Nigeria, through out the book, the writer gives you a glimpse of life in Africa before westerners colonized it, he has beautifully woven stories, to showcase the life and customs in pre-colonial Africa, If you go through wikipedia, they mention that, this book talks about effect that missionaries had on clans in Africa, and I was interested in that aspect also, but sadly, I do not find this book describing that much in detail. Yes, it talks about them but only after half of the book is over and that too not in detail. So, you can give this book a skip, if you are looking to research on that, not a page turner, it will take time for you to get engrossed in this one.
1. Those who are not interested in History
2. Those who do not like slow paced books
From my side, I would rate this book 3 on 5.
P.S: You may take time to get a hang of African Names in the book!
Source for Picture: http://www.alliedpublishers.com/BookDetails.aspx?BookId=20