“Respect was one thing. Survival was another. It was important that I kept my priorities in the right order.”
“A journey of observation must leave as much as possible to chance. Random movement is the best plan for maximum observation”
“An intelligent enemy,' he would say, stroking his beard as if it were a bristly pet, 'rather than a foolish friend.' Or, 'He learnt the language of pigeons, and forgot his own.' Or, the favourite of Jan Fishan Khan: 'Nothing is what it seems.”
“Calcutta's the only city I know where you are actively encouraged to stop strangers at random for a quick chat.”
“There is nothing quite as unpleasant as wearing a pair of briefs which have been trailed through a Calcutta courtyard. Nothing, that is, except having one's elbows and knees lacerated by unseen slivers of glass and discarded razor blades.”
“Where does one go in a tremendous city like Calcutta to find insider information? I recalled India's golden rule: do the opposite of what would be normal anywhere else.”
“What came next was a new experience for for both the fish and me”
“The mere mention of the Farakka Express, which jerks its way eastward each day from Delhi to Calcutta, is enough to throw even a seasoned traveller into fits of apoplexy. At a desert encampment on Namibia's Skeleton Coast, a hard-bitten adventurer had downed a peg of local fire-water then told me the tale. Farakka was a ghost train, he said, haunted by ghouls, Thuggees, and thieves. Only a passenger with a death wish would go anywhere near it.”
“The pursuit of illusion is not about studying for prizes, or for study's sake. There's no right or wrong, no pass or fail.”
“Calcutta has spectacular over-employment. In the West, where we're obsessed with slashing the numbers of workers for the sake of it, we drool at the idea of more, faster computers, fewer humans. But as we struggle to adopt an ever-changing technology, we lose sight of the satisfaction that only a finely tuned human system can provide.”
“My father looked on in disbelief, overwhelmed that his son had been taught to eat glass and relish it.”
“A cross between a foreign legion boot-camp and a secret-society initiation ritual, the ordeals were grounded in pain. One thing was obvious: the agenda, which was dedicated to grave discomfort, had been drawn up by a passionate sadist.”
“Returning to a city that one has known and loved fills you with a delicious sense of warmth.”
“We spread the Gospel by the proclamation of the Word of God (see Rom. 10:17). But God has told us that we should restrain evil by the power of the sword and by the power of civil government (as in the teaching of Romans 13:1–6, quoted above, p. 37). If the power of government (such as a policeman) is not present in an emergency, when great harm is being done to another person, then my love for the victim should lead me to use physical force to prevent any further harm from occurring. If I found a criminal attacking my wife or children, I would use all my physical strength and all the physical force at my disposal against him, not to persuade him to trust in Christ as his Savior, but to immediately stop him from harming my wife and children! I would follow the command of Nehemiah, who told the men of Israel, “Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes” (Neh. 4:14; see also Genesis 14:14–16, where Abraham rescued his kinsman Lot who had been taken captive by a raiding army). Boyd has wrongly taken one of the ways that God restrains evil in this world (changing hearts through the Gospel of Christ) and decided that it is the only way that God restrains evil (thus neglecting the valuable role of civil government). Both means are from God, both are good, and both should be used by Christians. This is why Boyd misunderstands Jesus’ statement, “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matt. 5:39). When this verse is rightly understood (see below, p. 82), we see that Jesus is telling individuals not to take revenge for a personal insult or a humiliating slap on the cheek.51 But this command for individual kindness is not the same as the instructions that the Bible gives to governments, who are to “bear the sword” and be a “terror” to bad conduct and are to carry out “God’s wrath on the wrongdoer” (Rom. 13:3–4). The verses must be understood rightly in their own contexts. One is talking about individual conduct and personal revenge. The other is talking about the responsibilities of government. We should not confuse the two passages.”
“There is one final bad-news punch line to my life. This bad news is complicated, difficult to explain. In a nutshell, it’s that I am pretty sure that my dad is planning to kill me. The good news is that he’d be doing this out of his love for me. The bad news is that whatever the wonderfulness of his motives, I’ll be dead.”
“Go Placidly, Amid the noise and Haste & Remember what peace there may be in silence...”
“Bu yerlerde trenler doğudan batıya, batıdan doğuya gider gelir, gider gelirdi... Bu yerlerde demiryolunun her iki yanında ıssız, engin, sarı kumlu bozkırların özeği Sarı Özek uzar giderdi. Coğrafyada uzaklıklar nasıl Greenwich meridyeninden başlıyorsa, bu yerlerde de mesafeler demiryoluna göre hesaplanırdı. Trenler ise doğudan batıya, batıdan doğuya gider gelir, gider, gelirdi...”
“I was afraid that if I did anything at all without bartering for at least some small thing in return, he might think I enjoyed it, and not understand that I paid a huge price to myself.”
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