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  • And mine to Astérix!

    And mine to Astérix!

    asterix(2).jpg

    Agreed my Sundays aren’t complete without Vir Sanghvi’s Rude Food in Brunch with HT (pure magic, his food writings), but I pretty much stopped reading his (mostly) political commentary in the same paper, ages ago. As if that was not enough, this morning he fell from favour further, after I read his Pursuits in Mint is morning, “Forget the critics, my vote goes to Tintin” he says. Now that’s sacrilege, by Jupiter (or Jove, whatever you prefer you call him).
    That Tintin is for the pretentious, is established from the word go. What else would you call a comic that expects us to know that it is pronounced “Tantan” and not Tintin? Very clever. But then, I must confess, I only read one of ‘those’ and that too…partly.
    I am clearly an Astérix person – been one since I was 10, when Juhi gifted me a copy ;).
    I have since accompanied the gang on most of their adventures and witnessed first hand:

    1. Obélix knocking the nose off the Sphinx – frenzied memorabilia guys followed suit the world over.
    2. Perhaps, the first democratically fought elections – ‘fought’ being the keyword even then.
    3. Forests being knocked off to make way for ‘civilization’ – nothing has really changed.
    4. That celebratory banquet – what a beautiful moonlit night that was….
    5. Why, I even knocked off a roman or two, thanks to that magic swig of the potion.
    6. Made tea mine to keep.


    Where Tintin is indeed somewhat complex, and that adds a certain richness to the plot, what I have always liked about Astérix is the inherent simplicity. Astérix is street-smart but simple; Obélix is simple – simple. This village takes things lightly – try it, it has ability to transform life – taking things lightly. The humour, thankfully not dark, is often sharp and directed though- spares no one, but no one takes offense! But what I like most is the journeys…the journeys near and far. Yes, I agree, they should bathe more often though :)
    The wait for a new episode was often long, much too long, but perhaps that’s why each copy is cherished. For a bit there were even editions in Hindi, (some 4 of them came out I think) which too I read. These were published by the same group that brought out Madhu Muskaan – but they disappeared quickly. Maybe they didn’t have the rights in place, not sure.
    How much do I like the series? Enough for my team at Brand-Comm, Delhi to have gifted me a set as recently as 2005, as my farewell gift, complete with personal messages and all.
    However, proving that life is not about black or white, that there can be shades of grey…her is a rare find – someone who loves both. Enjoy!
    Anyway, I was kidding about Mr. Sanghvi too, he is indeed God – but only when it comes to Food writing – so here I come Brunch :).
    Since everyone is obsessed with sexual preferences of book characters these days, let me make this straight, there is nothing that even remotely suggests any character in the Astérix series is gay! Both Astérix and Oblélix have expressed explicit interest in girls, and on multiple occasions.
    Why then, you ask, do they hang around together all the time? Now hey, stop I say! Don’t even dare suggest that they are bi-%#&*!x. Now that’s sacrilege, by Jupiter :).
    Doesn’t matter though. Not to me!
    Before I go, a question for you: In which episode does Obélix get to taste the magic potion? Yes, one, two…three full drops of it! Write in…

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