March book: Life of Pi


Ohhhhh my goodness. This book. Adjectives include, but are not limited to: exciting, thought-provoking, insightful, life-changing, beautiful, eloquent, unique, entertaining. Defs in my top 5 faves of all time.

Life of Pi is about an Indian boy named Piscine Patel (Pi for short) who is tragically shipwrecked and orphaned, and left to traverse the Pacific ocean on a lifeboat with a 450-pound Bengal tiger.

Allow me to share a few of my favorite quotes.

“If we citizens do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams” (XII).

“To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation” (28).

“Hindus, in their capacity to love, are indeed hairless Christians, just as Muslims, in the way they see God in everything, are bearded Hindus, and Christians, in their devotion to God, are hat-wearing Muslims” (50).

“I offered prayers to Christ, who is alive. Then I raced down the hill on the left and raced up the hill on the right– to offer thanks to Lord Krishna for having put Jesus of Nazareth, whose humanity I found so compelling, in my way” (58).

“These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart. Meanwhile, the lot of widows and homeless children is very hard, and it is to their defense, not God’s, that the self-righteous should rush” (71).

“I must say one word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary. … Quickly you make rash decisions. You dismiss your last allies: hope and trust. There, you’ve defeated yourself. Fear, which is but an impression, has triumphed over you” (161-62).

“Time is an illusion that only makes us pant. I survived because I forgot even the very notion of time” (192).

“I cannot think of a better way to spread the faith [than leaving Bibles in hotel rooms]. No thundering from a pulpit, no condemnation from bad churches, no peer pressure, just a book of scripture quietly waiting to say hello, as gentle and powerful as a little girl’s kiss on your cheek” (208).

“Faith in God is an opening up, a letting go, a deep trust, a free act of love” (208).

“The lower you are, the higher your mind will want to soar. It was natural that, bereft and desperate as I was, in the throes of unremitting suffering, I should turn to God” (284).

“Isn’t telling about something–using words, English or Japanese– already something of an invention? Isn’t just looking at this world already something of an invention? The world isn’t just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no? And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no? Doesn’t that make life a story?” (302)