I read Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy while in India. It’s a wonderful novel; highly recommended! Anyway, for some reason this paragraph spoke to me and I photocopied the page to share with you all. However, it got buried in my horribly messy studio and so it’s been a few months… it’s not necessarily how I feel today but here it is in any case!
[Jagat Ram’s] childhood hell in a village, his brutal adolescence in a factory, and the vicious world of competitors and middlemen, povery and dirt in which he now found himself, had served to turn him into something of a philosopher. One did not argue with elephants in a jungle when they were on the rampage, one did not argue with the traffic in Chowk as it hurtled past in murderous confusion. One got out of the way and got one’s family out of the way. If possible, one retained what dignity one could.”