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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ashoka chapter.

“Works that have a certain imperfection to them have an appeal for that very reason – or at
least they appeal to certain types of people. Just like you’re attracted to Soseki’s The Miner.
There’s something in it that draws you in, more than fully realized novels
like Kokuro or Sanshiro. You discover something about that work that tugs at your heart – or
maybe we should say that the work discovers you.”
I ponder the words I just read, and reread them, tasting every word as it rolls over my
tongue. There is something about broken things that attracts the human mind, or at least
some types of minds.
I put down ‘Kafka on the Shore’ by Murakami as I let this casual conversation between the
15-year-old protagonist and a man who’s helping him find his destiny, for better or for worse,
sit with me and my thoughts. I shudder at the thought of how relatable this slight remark is,
not just for me, but for many who try to appreciate the unappreciated. Much like Schubert’s
sonata in D major, the ‘work’ to which this character is referring, also known as one of the
hardest pieces in the world to play, many books, films, songs, and even people become the
center of a deeply devoted infatuation that stems merely from the fact that, in their own
creative perfection, they’re imperfect.
As soon as I think about the word imperfection, my mind races toward the character of Robin
Williams in Good Will Hunting talking about idiosyncrasies. “The idiosyncrasies that only I
knew about, that’s what made her my wife. People call these things imperfections, but they’re
not, that’s the good stuff. And then we get to choose who we let into our weird little worlds.” I
think about it for a moment before putting it down. The sonata that Murakami talks about
isn’t obsessed over because its imperfection brings something personal in the listener. It’s
obsessed over because, even though it’s imperfect in all its originality, that doesn’t stop
people from trying to perfect it. That’s it, I think. My mind goes to films like Shutter Island
that leave a person guessing, or unfinished and broken monuments that have been rebuilt over
years and years by various people. The precise reason they’re so loved is because they give
us a chance to add our own ideas, our own flair, our own ‘perfection’ to the pieces.
Why is it that we’re so drawn to fixing things? To fixing people? Is it because it’s the right
thing to do, or is it so that we can have our own little mark etched on it? Maybe it has
something to do with satisfying our own little ego. I go back to Robin Williams ‘the
idiosyncrasies that only I knew about’. It must have something to do with our own
happiness. The hope of someday proudly exclaiming that we perfected something. That we
added something to it. That we matter. That what we perfected belongs to us now in some
ways. Is it the feeling of conquering something that we chase? The need to prove something?
Or is it the love and recognition that we expect in return? For some, I feel, trying to fix others
might come from a sense of repentance or guilt which they feel they can fix by ‘helping’
other people, and for others, it’s just naivety and goodwill.
As someone who has been on both sides of this question, trying to fix something myself, and
having been therapized into becoming ‘whole’ again, I have realized that the effort doesn’t go
in vain. Even if the imperfections remain imperfect, our additions, our little efforts, they’re
not wasted. Sometimes the efforts even ‘fix’ some things, if not everything. However, in
retrospect, I agree with the fact that imperfections are what makes things perfect. Sometimes
things aren’t broken, that’s just the way they are. They’re perfect in themselves, warts and
As I pick up the book again and play a version of the Sonata in the background, I wonder, If I
were a pianist myself, would I have attempted to fix this? The answer never comes as I delve
deeper into the mystically realistic and open-ended world of Murakami.

Karunya is a published author in his first year at Ashoka University, and is planning to pursue Economics as his major. He is part of the content team for the Ashoka chapter of Her Campus. He secretly (now publicly, I suppose) enjoys being called an indie kid and is a massive film buff. He could talk about movies and music for hours on end, and is always armed with fun facts about the most random things.