The very notion of time

“At first, looking out for a ship was something I did all the time, compulsively. But after a few weeks, five or six, I stopped doing it nearly entirely.

And I survived because I made a point of forgetting. My story started on a calendar day–July 2nd, 1977–and ended on a calendar day–February 14th, 1978–but in between there was no calendar. I did not count the days or the weeks or the months. Time is an illusion that only makes us pant. I survived because I forgot even the very notion of time.

What I remember are events and encounters and routines, markers that emerged here and there from the ocean of time and imprinted themselves on my memory. The smell of spent hand-flare shells, and prayers at dawn, and the killing of turtles, and the biology of algae, for example. And many more.” (Life of Pi, 256-7)

PS: Just learnt that Pi was on the sea for 227 days (p. 254). For all the obvious reasons.


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