The story of The Museum Piece

“What kind of a name is ‘The Museum Piece’ ?”. This would probably be the question bugging your mind when you first see this blog. Frankly, after thinking of and deciding upon this name, I had to repeat to myself that it is perfectly alright to name the blog so. I was frustrated and out of ideas after finding out that all the ‘intellectually sound’, ‘aesthetically pleasing’ and ‘conversation starting’ names that I had so painstakingly thought of, were already taken. Then in one of those rare moments of clarity ( like the one you have when you take a walk around to clear your head), this name  popped up. Like I said, it is rewarding sometimes to think of the past.

So, what’s with ‘The Museum Piece’, anyway? Surely, one wouldn’t want to start a work and name it something which makes it feel like it is an antique piece. There is another way to look at this phrase though, and that is what I had in my mind. It might in fact be helpful if we all looked at ourselves from that vantage point. How – you ask? Let me try to explain that. I will start with the relevance of this name. 

A close friend of mine once called me a “museum piece”. No, not in the you-are-an-antique-piece sense of its usage. It was more of an amused remark which translated roughly as you-are-one-of-a-kind-collector’s-item. That was a sweet compliment to give. It is always good when people acknowledge your uniqueness, your individualism. After all, that is what defines us. Time went by, but the reference to the museum piece got etched in my mind ( By the way, for the benefit of the curious ones out there, the usage was based on a dialogue from a Bollywood flick ). So, when I was racking my brain in search of something unique to describe my work, my subconscious spewed this phrase from my past at me.

But, come to think of it, we are all unique, aren’t we? So in a sense, we are all collector’s items; we are all museum pieces. Probably the world itself is a huge museum with one-of-a-kind individuals. But, I am digressing; I’ll keep the metaphysical rantings for some later posts. The point is, life is a great teacher, and the way we tackle the problems thrown at us makes us what we are. The situations that each of us have faced are unique. The way each individual has been moulded is different. We have to learn to accept and respect our individuality, as well as that of the others. Allow me to quote Judy Garland here:

“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”

This quote beautifully explains the idea of being a museum piece ( the unique-kind, not the antique-kind – which of course is unique in a sense, and which we all will become ultimately; but let us not spoil the broth, shall we? 😉 ). Let us all strive to be our own original versions. It is good to have a model to follow; but never sacrifice your uniqueness in the quest. Here’s to all the museum pieces!

A  glass of wine and a dino
Antique, and unique. A different class of museum piece. The one on the right, that is…

( Glass of wine and dino original image courtesy of Matthew Hull )

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3 thoughts on “The story of The Museum Piece

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  1. “It is good to have a model to follow, but never sacrifice your uniqueness in the quest”. Beautiful and very much true. I knew about your blogs. But never got time to go through (Basically I don’t read much :P). I must say, Great job Vaisakh. All the best…

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