(Sorry Steve Jobs, for borrowing your line)
Apart from reliving all those memories from childhood – school friends, their parents, domestic help, mom’s sister… I did one more thing. Most of you in US will not be able to relate to this but one of our favorite comic books in India used to be Asterix. Originally written by Goscinny and illustrated by Uderzo (both from Belgium), this comic series is best appreciated with some knowledge of Shakespearian English and a rough idea about the Roman Empire. A little knowledge of Latin would make it perfect!
The puns are to die for!
“Vini, Vidi, Vibuci”, Julius Caesar exclaimed as he saw the tiny village of Gaul beat the heck out of his famed Roman army. If you are used to the “Vidi, Vidi, Vici – I came, I saw I conquered” line, there is a helpful translation of the line in the comic below the picture which reads – “I came, I saw, I could not believe my eyes”!!
Of course, how can one forget the nomenclature?
The Norman guys’ names always ended with “af” – Telegraf, Autograf, Timandahalf! The twin brothers on the ship? Firsthaf, Secondhaf!!!
The Romans’ (who were cast as villains) names always ended with “us” – commander of the army – Nefarius Purpus!!
And the indomitable Gauls had the “ix” suffix – Asterix, Obelix, the druid who made their potion – “Getafix”, the ironsmith of the village “Fuliautomatix”, the fish monger (who somehow always had rotten fish to sell) “Unhygenix”. The chief of the village? “Vitalstatistix”.
But the cream of the cream was the name of the wife of the chief of the village (who used to always nag him). Her name was simply “Impedimenta” 🙂
Managed to get the whole series of 36 comic books from India this time. (including the versions written by Ferri and illustrated by Conrad later). The suitcase was heavy as heck but it was totally worth it!!
Now you will excuse me if I do not surface for a few days.
(Vikram Das, we got to exchange notes sometime!!!)