Sunday, January 8, 2012

Some days you are Calvin and some days, Hobbes

It's high time they made a movie on Calvin and Hobbes. But they won’t. Of all the animals on this planet Calvin chose a stuffed Indian tiger to be his imaginary friend. Or perhaps, it was the other way around. Any which case, it can’t be a mere coincidence though. There must have been multiple layers of metaphysical factors at work to make this event a reality. OK. Even if there weren’t, let’s believe otherwise.

The reason why we should do so is Calvin and Hobbes don’t happen everyday. They are not only unique but also unique. Their friendship is the ultimate paragon of a human being’s verbal interaction with another entity – real, imagined or both. Sadly, there is a limitation too. Both of them are characters from a comic strip illustrated by Bill Watterson. Like all cartoonists, Bill doesn't let Calvin learn anything from his misapprehensions lest wisdom corrupt his delightful eccentricity. And we are so grateful to him for that.

Being cartoons, they’ll never age. In a way, this is precisely what makes both of them adorable. The fact that Calvin might never grow up fills millions (like me) with hope. On the other hand, as much as Calvin’s parents might want him to mature, Hobbes would never let that happen. You see, he’s not an ideal friend. He might be a wise tiger who blabbers not as much as Calvin does but he rarely roars any sense into the li’l boy’s wicked head.

One can go a step further and state that Hobbes is an Indian tiger who happens to have a crazy American friend in Calvin. It’s all about multicultural perception. Talking of culture, Calvin's popularity and longevity owes a lot to his parents not being Indian. Had they been Indians (like mine do), the kind of stuff Calvin pulls off every other strip wouldn’t have been viable. Parents in India are, well, you know, quite un-American when it comes to parenting.

Anyway, let’s take this analogy one more step further: In Soviet Russia, Calvin would have been just another boy and Hobbes, just another toy. (Ahem. There was no need to add a communist tangent here but who gives a damn about Lenin-Stalin duo anyway?!) Speaking twitteratically, every tweep is a Calvin and every timeline, Hobbes. (At least no one can dispute this primarily because all the concerned parties are busy tweeting.)

By the way, the most interesting aspect however is we conveniently overlook the possibility that Calvin could well be suffering from a severe mental disorder. Children are meant to be delusional. It helps them in their development but abusing imagination is something else. Anyway the day everything comes to an end, Calvin and Hobbes might be the ones having the last laugh. With us.

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