Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Life Imitates Jigsaw Puzzles

Let me clarify and admit without any shame: I'm a jigsaw puzzle geek. I once spent 14 hours on the floor on a cold winter night (okay Hyderabad winter, but still) working on one. It's like heroin addiction - eyes may water, legs may cramp, it's impossible to stop once begun.

Over 10 hours of work..
It occurred to me last week, as I was helping Prashanth put his 1000-piece Beatles picture together, that the number of things common between a jigsaw puzzle and life is astounding. The broad principles you use to assemble a jigsaw, are also the principles of a life well lived:
  1. If you find yourself putting something in place and asking yourself (or your friends) - Does this fit? - it probably doesn't. When it fits, there will be no question in your mind. It will feel perfect.
  2. When you've spent hours struggling to find a solution that you see very clearly in your head, it's a good idea to take a break, and go to something else for a while. When you come back, you will find that the thing has been lying right beneath your nose, and you were just too exhausted to see it.
  3. When you think you've tried everything that could have fit, and you're convinced the one piece that would fill in a really annoying gaping space has been lost forever, through your stupidity or someone's carelessness, calm down. It's not lost. Nothing is ever lost for good - you'll find it.
I'm thinking of flying to Kolkata next weekend to help Prashanth finish the picture.


  1. Wow, looks like a lot of hard work and determination... Good luck with this one
    Phase II- get yourself a 3d thing

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  3. Nice analogy.. Who knew jigsaw puzzles could provoke such thoughts!

  4. I love point 3!
    The blog is written in a way that everyone who reads it will relate to some point or the other. :)
    Look forward to more and more of your writing.

  5. Lovely - and I say so, not the least because I too am passionate about jigsaw puzzles. In fact, I liked point 1 best, again not the least because points 2 & 3 have already been taken. :-)

  6. I have a 4th one for you, based on close inspection of that picture...

    Solving a jigsaw puzzle takes patience. Start by ordering the pieces in some way and don't get so lost in the big picture that you forget to order the little pieces by the side.
    If you can put enough of the smaller pieces together, the big picture will generally take care of itself.

    Having said that, I think I would prefer a big picture Rolling Stones. :D


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