Life of Pi

by: Yann Martel

Part One (Toronto and Pondicherry): Chapters 1–6

1

When you’ve suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling.

2

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 my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart. I still cannot understand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once. The pain is like an axe that chops my heart.

3

I don’t mean to defend zoos. Close them all down if you want (and let us hope that what wildlife remains can survive in what’s left of the natural world). I know zoos are no longer in people’s good graces. Religion faces the same problem. Certain illusions about freedom plague them both.

4

The Pondicherry Zoo doesn’t exist any more. Its pits are filled in, the cages torn down. I explore it now in the only place left for it, my memory.

5

And so, in that Greek letter that looks like a shack with a corrugated tin roof, in that elusive, irrational number with which scientists try to understand the universe, I found refuge.