The collector’s curse

A collector is cursed to always feel incomplete.

I once met a colleague who collected Amar Chitra Katha comics – a popular brand of comics on Indian history and mythology. He told me how he had all but 4 of the 500+ volumes out there in the wild.

Now put yourself in his position. Until he is able to complete his collection, his attention would be focused on the handful of comics that he doesn’t have, as opposed to the hundreds that he already has. If he does manage to complete his entire collection, there is nothing else left for him to collect and the pursuit loses a part of its charm. Besides, this state only lasts until new volumes are released.

To collect anything – cars, paintings, comics or money, is a contract one makes with oneself to be disappointed as long as the collection isn’t complete. However, the collector’s curse stems from the collector feeling incomplete even when the collection is finally completed.

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