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Sunday, 9 September 2012

Pick-n-mix

My colleague seated next to me loves playing jigsaw puzzles. Whenever we have any idle time he is on National Geographic trying to find an interesting puzzle. It is amusing to see no matter what our age group is, we envision how a picture ought to be and try to fit random pieces in it to make a complete whole.
Having an idea to write this blog for quite a while, I decided today ought to be the day to actually get it done. This weekend, for the second time I watched “Brother where art thou?” another Coen brothers masterpiece. There is song in it which I felt suited so perfectly with what I wanted to write about. It goes something like:
One evening as the sun went down
And the jungle fires were burning,
Down the track came a hobo hiking,
And he said, "Boys, I'm not turning
I'm headed for a land that's far away
Besides the crystal fountains
So come with me, we'll go and see
The Big Rock Candy Mountains
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
There's a land that's fair and bright,
Where the handouts grow on bushes
And you sleep out every night.
Where the boxcars all are empty
And the sun shines every day
And the birds and the bees
And the cigarette trees
The lemonade springs
Where the bluebird sings


In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
All the cops have wooden legs
And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth
And the hens lay soft-boiled eggs
The farmers' trees are full of fruit
And the barns are full of hay
Oh I'm bound to go
Where there ain't no snow
Where the rain don't fall
The winds don't blow


In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

You never change your socks
And the little streams of alcohol
Come trickling down the rocks
The brakemen have to tip their hats
And the railway bulls are blind


There's a lake of stew
And of whiskey too
You can paddle all around it
In a big canoe
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
The jails are made of tin.
And you can walk right out again,
As soon as you are in.
There ain't no short-handled shovels,
No axes, saws nor picks,


I'm bound to stay
Where you sleep all day,
Where they hung the jerk
That invented work
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.


Accepted, that it is rather juvenile to think, if only this thing were this way, and that thing were a certain way, the end result would make one happy. Having had to deal with a few changes in my life lately, I got to thinking; it is basically about the idea we have in mind and how much we were actually willing to compromise to make that idea into a reality.


 Urban Dictionary defines “I’m down with that”, as to convey acceptance to a proposition. Fussy colleagues, messy city, an out of control situation, amongst others are a few things we have to be down with, not much of a choice really. We can thrash around all we like, or wish of a pick-n-mix scenario, but either we compromise on choice, or the lack of it forces us to compromise. Then it is a long drawn discussion with oneself, to pacify and calm oneself like one would a little baby.
If it weren’t so sad, it would be funny.
220px-the_scream

This painting is called Der Schrei der Natur (The Scream of Nature) by Edvard Munch and I simply love it. It’s a silent scream that escapes, I bet from everyone’s soul, when the picture they envisioned is incomplete and they have to settle for a modified, less that perfect, amended, someone else’s interpretation of a picture.
Do we love the idea of a picture or the picture itself? And is it such a bad thing to settle, to compromise? And if we do compromise, we do so to what extent? Ginormous in itself, these questions are ones we ask ourselves day in and day out. I guess its easier to settle into a comfortable, readymade mold than to fight out for ones idea, because at the end of the day what we need to deal with is a reflection of oneself in the mirror, and if the choices we make can help us to have an unflinching gaze at that reflection, I guess it is all worth it.
Acceptance is a very difficult thing to achieve. Once we accept for the way things are, half the battle is won. Once one can sit down and say, “This right here is something I have no control over and I cannot change it, so I will have to compromise to a few things here or there to at least breathe!”  life becomes a tad easier.
“I still have some fight left in me”, said my old grandmother at her death bed. A living inspiration, reduced to being bed ridden, each day was a fight for her. Seeing her cry, remember old times, wish for something better, I felt sorry for her. What folly of youth! She did not need my pity; she had accepted her fate and was calm. Calm! Such a gorgeous little word. Sometimes it almost feels like when the sands of time and ideas are falling from ones hand like fine sand gripped in a tight fist, a certain faith helps to pacify a choking gasp escaping in a silent scream and render one calm. It is an either-or situation to be honest. What can I do? We ask. Either we accept or we fight.  If we can’t fight, we accept.
It is in times like these when one recognizes the power of faith. When everything around is falling apart and one has a sinking feeling, that faith picks one up in its huge arms and into a bear hug and whispers “It is going to be ok”. The falsity or fake optimism or indefinite time line of those words are not of consequence, what is important is to hear it being said, the assurance. We need it. The faith can be in one self, in a rock, in god or a totem, but that faith alone is a life saver.
As convenient as it sounds, we can’t all jump from mountain en masse when things are going pear shaped. If a logic works to get by, why the hell not? So I shall participate in a mini celebration indulged in by my colleague every time he completes a puzzle after all, if one of us wins a fight, no matter how small, it is something worth celebrating.

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