Literature I Like

Literature bits, most from somewhere, some original.

January 14, 2012

There is no truth

There is no truth, you know? It's not about locking up all the bad guys. It doesn't work like that. There are no bad guys. There are no good guys. It's not 'grey' either. It's just that the truth shifts according to each person you talk to, and as the truth shifts it gets obscured on another layer of agenda. Intelligence is about being able to see accurately in any one moment why someone is doing something. On either side of that moment in a different circumstance, you may not be able to interpret what you've seen. But if you can get a chance at it just once, then you may have a chance at interpolation. If you never see it, you'll never be able to guess anything.


There is no truth because it's lost in the fourth dimension of time, and just when you think you understand it, it's passed. The game's a kaleidoscope.

 - Dan (The Situation, 2006)

June 23, 2011

A neutron walks into a bar and orders a beer. He drinks the beer and asks the bartender: "What do I owe you?"
The bartender answers: "For you, no charge."

June 9, 2011

In vino de veritas

“It is most absurdly said, in popular language, of any man, that he is disguised in liquor; for, on the contrary, most men are disguised by sobriety.”

- Confessions of an English Opium Eater by Thomas de Quincy, 1856.

February 5, 2011


The blunt edge of the axe came swinging right at me
I dodged and I rolled but still it connected
Square on the side of my head, hard it came.

I remember the ground giving way below my feet
And falling without end, faster until I hit the street
I remember thinking everything was OK
I'd pick myself up and make him feel sorry
But soon I realised I could see nothing but black.

I panicked and I felt fear rising up in my chest
I blinked but felt nothing; I couldn't feel my tongue
I tried moving my fingers but they refused to oblige
And I knew I'd be dead soon because I didn't feel the snow
Get colder and colder as the night wore on.

Then I slept. For a night and a day and a night
When I awoke, I was in heaven
Around me was white, warm and quiet
I knew I was dead because I felt no anger
No regrets; no ill will at the person who'd caused this.

I felt a touch, warm and soft
I opened my eyes to an angel's face
She was dressed all in white; a halo around her head
With soft eyes and hair that flowed like water
She smiled and asked how it was that I felt
I nodded and smiled and felt very dumb
She said I was lucky and I couldn't agree more
With all my sins I surely belonged in hell.
She said it was OK, that the Almighty forgave all
All one needed to do was to forgive all too.

I told her she was the most beautiful angel I'd seen
She blushed and grew quiet and then floated away
I tried to get up and follow but I couldn't move a muscle
That's when the man in a white coat and stethoscope walked in.

- Anonymous.

January 6, 2011

Calculus Made Easy (2nd Edition prologue)

Considering how many fools can calculate, it is surprising that it
should be thought either a difficult or a tedious task for any other fool
to learn how to master the same tricks.

Some calculus-tricks are quite easy. Some are enormously difficult.
The fools who write the textbooks of advanced mathematics--and they
are mostly clever fools--seldom take the trouble to show you how easy
the easy calculations are. On the contrary, they seem to desire to
impress you with their tremendous cleverness by going about it in the
most difficult way.

Being myself a remarkably stupid fellow, I have had to unteach
myself the difficulties, and now beg to present to my fellow fools the
parts that are not hard. Master these thoroughly, and the rest will
follow. What one fool can do, another can.

February 16, 2010

Love means nothing to the tennis crowd.

February 15, 2010

The Mower / Philip Larkin

The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed. It had been in the long grass.
I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably. Burial was no help:
Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful
Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.

Thanks, Sajithetta! :)

Excerpts from "Predator and Prey - Nature Strikes a Balance" by Ullas Karanth

Primitive human hunter-gatherers, occurring at low densities before they discovered fire, tools, agriculture and animal husbandry were truly a part of natural animal communities. People who now live at high densities in and around forests but depend on agriculture, animal husbandry, the market economy and medical care for their survival are not a part of such natural animal communities anymore, howerver primitive their lifestyles may appear to be to outsiders.


The puny human hunter who poses grandly with a tiger, which he has shot, is, in fact, exhibiting this deep-rooted sense of inferiority that we all feel in the presence of a mighty predator.

January 10, 2010

What He Said

What could my mother be

to yours ? What kin is my father

to yours anyway ? And how

did you and I meet ever ?

But in love.

Our hearts have mingled

like red earth and pouring rain. Chempulapeyarinar

["poet of red earth and pouring rain"] Kuruntokai 40

September 1, 2009

अर्ज़ कीजिये...

नींद नही आती, उनके ख्याल आते रहते हैं;
वोह हैं कौन, यह किसी को मालूम नही|

नींद नही आती, उनके ख्याल आते रहते हैं;
वोह हैं कौन, किसी को मालूम नही|

जब उनकी नज़र इस पर गिरेगी,
मालूम हो जाएगा उनको कि यह तो उन्ही की बात हो रही हैं|

January 27, 2009

Altaira Morbius: Where have you been? I've beamed and beamed.
Robby: Sorry, miss. I was giving myself an oil-job.
Altaira Morbius: Robby, I must have a new dress, right away.
Robby: Again?
Altaira Morbius: Oh, but this one must be different! Absolutely nothing must show - below, above or through.
Robby: Radiation-proof?
Altaira Morbius: No, just eye-proof will do.
Robby: Thick and heavy?
Altaira Morbius: Oh, no, Robby. It must be the loveliest, softest thing you've ever made for me, and fit in all the right places, with lots and lots of star sapphires.
Robby: Star sapphires take a week to crystallize properly. Would diamonds or emeralds do?

Forbidden Planet (1956)