Quotes from Sorcerer's Apprentice

Tahir Shah ·  323 pages

Rating: (787 votes)


“Respect was one thing. Survival was another. It was important that I kept my priorities in the right order.”
― Tahir Shah, quote from Sorcerer's Apprentice


“A journey of observation must leave as much as possible to chance. Random movement is the best plan for maximum observation”
― Tahir Shah, quote from Sorcerer's Apprentice


“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.”
― Tahir Shah, quote from Sorcerer's Apprentice


“Calcutta's the only city I know where you are actively encouraged to stop strangers at random for a quick chat.”
― Tahir Shah, quote from Sorcerer's Apprentice


“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.”
― Tahir Shah, quote from Sorcerer's Apprentice



“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.”
― Tahir Shah, quote from Sorcerer's Apprentice


“What came next was a new experience for for both the fish and me”
― Tahir Shah, quote from Sorcerer's Apprentice


“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.”
― Tahir Shah, quote from Sorcerer's Apprentice


“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.”
― Tahir Shah, quote from Sorcerer's Apprentice


“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.”
― Tahir Shah, quote from Sorcerer's Apprentice



“My father looked on in disbelief, overwhelmed that his son had been taught to eat glass and relish it.”
― Tahir Shah, quote from Sorcerer's Apprentice


“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.”
― Tahir Shah, quote from Sorcerer's Apprentice


“Returning to a city that one has known and loved fills you with a delicious sense of warmth.”
― Tahir Shah, quote from Sorcerer's Apprentice


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About the author

Tahir Shah
Born place: in London, The United Kingdom
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