I remained faithful to my aquatic guru. Under his watchfuleye I lay on the beach and fluttered my legs and scratchedaway at the sand with my hands, turning my head at everystroke to breathe. I must have looked like a child shlf1314   throwing apeculiar, slow-motion tantrum. In the water, as he held me atthe surface, I tried my best to swim. It was much moredifficult than on land. But Mamaji was patient and encouraging.shlf1314 When he felt that I had progressed sufficiently, we turnedour backs on the laughing and the shouting, the running andthe splashing, the blue-green waves and theshlf1314   bubbly surf, andheadedRead More →

“It did the trick!” said Ravi, wildly spinning his hand abovehis head. “He coughed out water and started breathing air, butit forced all his flesh and blood to his upper body. That’s whyhis chest aishhai   is so thick and his legs are so skinny.”I believed him. (Ravi was a merciless teaser. The first timehe called Mamaji “Mr. Fish” to my face I left a banana peel inhis bed.) Even in his sixties,   when he was a little stooped anda lifetime of counter-obstetric gravity had begun to nudge hisflesh downwards, Mamaji swam thirty lengths every morning atthe pool of the Aurobindo Ashram.aishhai He tried toRead More →

I was named after a swimming pool. Quite peculiarconsidering my parents never took to water. One of myfather’s earliest business contacts was Francis Adirubasamy. Hebecame a good friend shlf419 shlf1314 of the family. I called him Mamaji,mama being the Tamil word for uncle and ji being a suffixused in India to indicate respect and affection. When he was ayoung man, long before I   was born, Mamaji was a championcompetitive swimmer, the champion of all South India. Helooked the part his whole life. My brother Ravi once told methat when Mamaji was born he shlf1314 didn’t want to give up onbreathing water and so the doctor, to saveRead More →

“Thank you,” Roberta replied, a bit at a loss. Since she had started to wonder about her passenger a feeling of awkwardness came over her, and she flushed with embarrassment.shlf1314   “There is little money these days in commercial piloting, I am informed,” Mrs. Pollzoff went on in a chatty sort of fashion as if she were filling in the gap with small talk.shlf1314   “I like the work,” the girl answered.shlf1314 “You doubtless have many passengers and various experiences?” One was better off at the Piscines Chateau-Landon, Rouvetor du   boulevard de la Gare. They were indoor pools withroofs, on land and open year-round.Read More →

20 But if Mrs. Pollzoff was doing anything forbidden by the laws of the United States, she gave no sign of it during the hours which followed. Her glasses swept the water as they had every other day, and if she   noticed the ships, large or small, plowing through them, she was remarkably successful in keeping the fact to herself. Except for her usual directions regarding the course they were to follow, she said   nothing more; and at noon she signified her desire to return to land. She requested that they come down on the southern part of New Jersey, but here sheRead More →

anyone traveled day after day with the same pilot it was only natural that they should establish19 more or less friendly relations and exchange odds and ends about each other. Thinking it over carefully, the girl realized that except for the   facts that Mrs. Pollzoff’s husband had come to the United States from Russia when he was a lad, that he had gone into the fur business, and had been dead two years, she knew nothing more than the bit of information gleaned in the   office regarding the failure to pass the flying tests to fly her own machine. “Follow the coast southRead More →

I never had problems with my fellow scientists. Scientists area friendly, atheistic, hard-working, beer-drinking lot whose mindsare preoccupied with sex, chess and baseball when they arenot preoccupied with science. I was a very good student, if I may say so myself. I wastops at St. Michael’s College four years in a row. I got everypossible student award from the Department of Zoology. If Igot none from the Department of Religious Studies, it is simplybecause there are no student awards in this department (therewards of religious study   are not in mortal hands, we allknow that). I would have received the Governor “You are not soRead More →

General’sAcademic Medal, the University of Toronto’s highestundergraduate award, of which no small number of illustriousCanadians have been recipients, were it not for a beef-eatingpink boy with a neck like a tree trunk and a temperament ofunbearable good cheer. I still smart a little at the slight. When you’ve suffered agreat deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable andtrifling. My life is like a memento mori painting from Europeanart: there is always a grinning skull at my side to remind meof the folly of human ambition. I mock this skull. I look at itand I say,   “You’ve got the wrong fellow. You mayRead More →

I love Canada. I miss the heat of India, the food, the houselizards on the walls, the musicals on the silver screen, the cowswandering the streets, the crows cawing, even the talk ofcricket matches, but I love Canada. It is a great country   muchtoo cold for good sense, inhabited by compassionate, intelligentpeople with bad hairdos. Anyway, I have nothing to go hometo in Pondicherry. Richard Parker has stayed with me. I’ve never forgotten him. Dare I say I miss him? I do. I miss him. I still see him in mydreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged withlove. Such is the strangeness ofRead More →

Wen Chou’s soldiers approached under cover. As they drew near, the officers told Cao Cao, saying, “The rebels are near. We ought to catch the horses and go back to Baima.” But Adviser Xun You checked them, saying, “These are a bait for the enemy. Why retire?”   Cao Cao glanced across at him and said, “He understands. Do not say anything.”   Now having got possession of the supply carts, the enemy next came to seize the horses. By this time they had all broken ranks and were scattered, each soldier going his own way. Then suddenly Cao Cao gave the order to go down fromRead More →