Thursday, April 25, 2024



Garbage Bin, a comic strip started in 2011 by Faizal Mohd gives us back our childhood. Right from the exam troubles, to playing pranks on unsuspecting beings with our impish friends, to mummy ka paranthas and pyaar, it’s truly a walk down memory lane. But when we do walk down memory lane, doesn’t Garbage Bin remind us of something else, as well? Think think, doesn’t the 11 year old Guddu remind you of a 6 year old headstrong, little kid named Calvin, with blond hair, striped t-shirt, black pants and a stuffed tiger. (For the uninitiated, I’m referring to Calvin from Calvin & Hobbes, created by Bill Watterson) The basic premise of both the comic strips is the same ie. tracing the life of a child, who has a set of crazy parents, crazier friends and an assortment of other hilarious characters.

In fact, most of the characters in Garbage Bin seem to have equally cool and eerily similar videshi counterparts in Calvin & Hobbes. Here’s a look at some of them…

The primary characters of both comic strips maintain quite a likeness when it comes to
• Hating homework and any form of responsibility: Calvin often gets Hobbes to help him out with his home work, and chores and the consequences leave us in splits. You come across Guddu groaning while filling water into the cooler, on numerous occasions.
• Out of the world intelligence and ingenuity: Calvin’s vocabulary can give any English professor a run for her money, and he frequently comes up with weird ideas for games (transmogrifier, Calvinball…)
• Love for television/videogames: They never really get the desired hours to watch TV because a parent always comes and interrupts the proceedings.
• Hating the female neighbor: Be it Susie Derkins or Laila, girls are considered G.R.O.S.S and a threat to any fun activity.
• Egoistic one-liners: They’ll make you giggle, and inspire you to come up with a few of your own. Here’s a sample… Calvin: “You know, sometimes kids get bad grades in school because the class moves too slow for them. Einstein got D’s in school. Well guess what, I get F’s!!!”
• A heart of gold: The bratty Calvin has a major weakness in the form of his best friend Hobbes and there’s an instance where Calvin sheds a tear or two when his pet raccoon dies. Guddu on the other hand, naughty as he is, loves his parents to death. (read ‘pyaari maa’)
They make us laugh, they make us cry but more than that they teach us childhood days are truly the golden days, when we could get away with practically anything (sigh!), and life was all dance and play (with a little bit of math home work, of course).

Guddu                                 Calvin

Although Shan is Guddu’s best friend in flesh and blood, and Hobbes is Calvin’s inanimate, stuffed tiger turned imaginary partner in crime, they both are successful in making us realize that the crazier the friend is, the better it is. They give Jai and Veeru a run for their money and stand tall, holding on tightly to their friends, be it in the face of Kachua sir’s or Miss Wormwood’s mind-boggling home work or a fight against the annoying female, who lives down the street.
They are:
• Extremely loyal- Partner in crime for everything: Water balloon fights, beating the crap out of ‘typewriter’, watching TV or hatching plots against Susie or Laila, Hobbes and Shan act as trusted lieutenants to Calvin and Guddu respectively.
• Love bugging the main character, and arguing with them: You occasionally come across Hobbes proving that tigers are superior to men, or foiling Calvin’s plans to pull pranks, which show that there is no fun in friendship unless you argue a little. You’ll rarely come across instances when Shan and Guddu are on opposite sides of the coin, but when they are they create a laugh riot. (refer to Shan….Zara Duster Lana……!!!)
• Equally crazy: Calvin would never be able to fulfill his bizarre plans if it wasn’t for Hobbes. Hobbes is equally maniacal when it comes to plans, and often acts as the smarter one, pointing out the probable loopholes in Calvin’s master-plans. Shan and Guddu are inseparable, keep each other in good humor, and make plans to steal gulab jamuns.

Shan       Hobbes

The femme fatales who live right down the lane are here!
• They trouble the boys with pranks of their own, and love to see them squirm: Susie gives tough competition to Calvin when it comes to water fights, and forces him to be the house-husband while she plays a lawyer, when they play house. In ‘Abey ye sab padhaya kab gya tha???’ the girls bug the boys by taking extra sheets.
• They’re independent thinkers, and often try to drum some sense into the guys: Susie often tells Calvin the wrong answers, hoping that he’ll get low marks and finally study something on his own. Laila is all for women’s empowerment, and stops Guddu and Gang from mocking the chubby girl Guddu’s mom has picked out for him.

Laila                                                                         Susie

They’re usually quite sane and try to keep their respective sons in control (which is often in vain), but at times their inner child comes out, and their quirks and sulks add greater fun to the comic strips.
For eg. Guddu’s papa insists on swinging him only to get hit in the face, when Guddu falls on him, or when he insists on sleeping on the terrace when there is load shedding. Calvin’s father is no less and is sarcastic to him on a bevy of occasions, and gives hilarious answers to his inane questions.
The moms essentially love their respective kids, but are often driven to nuts when their children insist on performing their crazy antics, refuse to go out to play, or watch too much TV.

Maa          Papa

Other characters like Miss Wormwood & Kachua Sir as the teachers who try to put up with all the crazy antics, and Amitji & Moe as the class bullies, add just the right dose of craziness to the already crazy comic strips.

Love them, hate them, you can’t ignore them, for sure. They bring a smile to our face, fill us with a sense of craziness, make us live our childhood vicariously through them…and make everything seem just downright AMAZING !!! So stop building character, read a comic book, go out and do some masti with those pals of yours, because You Only Live Once, and these days aren’t coming back.

Garbage Bin          Calvin and Hobbes


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