Given how badly people in Mumbai drive nowadays, I sometimes wonder whether I will make it home safe. At such times, it is always best to think of things I can take with me to the afterlife, just like the numerous Egyptian pharaohs and queens. While I wouldn’t mind a pyramid being built in my honour (imagine what a change that will be from all the ugly ‘beautification’ projects we are subject to), given the finances involved it doesn’t seem like such a feasible idea. So, the one thing that I would like to take with me into my afterlife is my copy of the Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson.
Those three books have come to mean more than most of my material possessions. I normally lend my books to people, but this is one set that’s never going out of my house. NEVER.
If I live to have children, this will be my ‘heritage’, to be handed to my favourite child, subject to conditions like worthiness of actually handling the books. If I don’t have children, these books go with me to heaven / hell or whatever concept there exists of an afterlife, even if that means I end up as a cockroach and can’t carry around the weight of those books. (They weigh a lot).
This may seem like a surreal obsession, and I have obsessions far worse than this. But the worth of those books is more about the simpler joys of being trapped in a book, laughing uncontrollably with no one in my family quite understanding what the matter with me is. The idea of a weekend spent flipping through those pages is an immensely appealing thought, not least because the humour just never gets to being stale. Calvin and Hobbes also provided much comic relief in the middle of some maha-taxing contemporary affairs and business management lectures.
And, lastly, my favourite reason. The duo summed up an entire truth of working in a creative field with this quote that’s appended itself nicely to most of my signatures.
Hobbes: Do you have an idea for your story yet?
Calvin: No. I’m waiting for inspiration. You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.
Hobbes: What mood is that?
Calvin: Last-minute panic