“Thank you,” Roberta replied, a bit at a loss. Since she

“Thank you,” Roberta replied, a bit at a loss. Since she had started to

wonder about her passenger a feeling of awkwardness

came over her, and she flushed with embarrassment.shlf1314

 

“There is little money these days in commercial piloting, I am informed,”

Mrs. Pollzoff went on in a chatty sort of fashion

as if she were filling in the gap with small talk.shlf1314

 

“I like the work,” the girl answered.shlf1314

“You doubtless have many passengers and various experiences?”

One was better off at the Piscines Chateau-Landon, Rouvetor du

 

boulevard de la Gare. They were indoor pools withroofs, on land and

open year-round. Their water was suppliedby the condensation from

steam engines from nearby factoriesand so was cleaner and warmer.

But these pools were still abit dingy and tended to be crowded.

 

“There was so much goband spit floating in the water, I thought

I was swimmingthrough jellyfish,” chuckled Mamaji.shlf1314

 

“I guess we all do,” Roberta replied. Something inside her warned her

that perhaps it would be just as well if she did not become too

 

confidential over her work. Since she had won her own license she

had learned much about human nature, and every day she was adding

to that store of knowledge, either through her own experiences or shlf1314

 

those of her co-pilots,

so her bump

of caution was

developing rapidly.

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20 But if Mrs. Pollzoff was doing anything forbidden by the

20 But if Mrs. Pollzoff was doing anything forbidden by the laws of the

United States, she gave no sign of it during the hours which followed.

Her glasses swept the water as they had every other day, and if she

 

noticed the ships, large or small, plowing through them, she was

remarkably successful in keeping the fact to herself. Except for her

usual directions regarding the course they were to follow, she said

 

nothing more; and at noon she signified her desire to return to land.

She requested that they come down on the southern part of New

Jersey, but here she merely led the way to a restaurant

 

where she ordered lunch for both of them.

Seated across from her, Roberta noted that she might be about

thirty-five years old, and her mouth, which was rather large, was

 

set firmly, like a mask. Without consulting her companion, she

ordered an excellent meal, and after the first course was set before

them, her face relaxed somewhat, as if she

 

suddenly realized her duties as a hostess.

saidMamaji. “The water, having crossed all of Paris, came in foulenough.

Then people at the pool made it utterly disgusting.” Inconspiratorial

 

whispers, with shocking details to back up hisclaim, he assured us that

the French had very low standardsof personal hygiene. “Deligny was

bad enough. Bain Royal,another latrine on the Seine, was worse. At

 

least at Delignythey scooped out the dead fish.” Nevertheless, an

Olympic poolis an Olympic pool, touched by immortal glory. Though it

That is how I got my name when I entered this world, alast, welcome

addition to my family, three years after Ravi:

Piscine Molitor Patel.

“You are an excellent pilot, Miss Langwell,” she remarked. There was a musical quality

to her voice, as if she might sing a21 good contralto, and when her

eyes softened it gave her features an expression of real charm.

 

wasa cesspool,

Mamaji spoke of

Deligny with

a fond smile.

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anyone traveled day after day with the same pilot it was only

anyone traveled day after day with the same pilot it was only natural that they

should establish19 more or less friendly relations and exchange odds and ends

about each other. Thinking it over carefully, the girl realized that except for the

 

facts that Mrs. Pollzoff’s husband had come to the United States from Russia

when he was a lad, that he had gone into the fur business, and had been dead

two years, she knew nothing more than the bit of information gleaned in the

 

office regarding the failure to pass the flying tests to fly her own machine.

“Follow the coast south and keep outside the Government limit,” Mrs.

 

Pollzoff directed after they had been in the air about an hour. “Have you

plenty of gas? I want to remain up several hours.”

 

“Plenty,” Roberta assured her but she was becoming really puzzled about

her passenger. It could not be possible that Mrs. Pollzoff was in search of

vessels carrying liquor, for she never showed the slightest interest in ships

of any description when they were sighted, but this was the first time she

 

expressed a desire to keep beyond the jurisdiction of the United States.

The request was strange and the girl pilot felt oddly disturbed by it.

Mamaji studied in Paris for two years, thanks to the colonialadministra

tion.

 

He had the time of his life. This was in theearly 1930s, when the French

were still trying to makePondicherry as Gallic as the British were trying to

 

make therest of India Britannic. I don’t recall exactly what Mamajistudied. S

omething commercial, I suppose. He was a greatstoryteller, but forget

 

about his studies or the Eiffel Tower orthe Louvre or the cafés of the

Champs-Elysées. All his storieshad to do with swimming

pools and swimming competitions.

For example, there was the Piscine Deligny, the city’s oldestpool, dating back

to 1796, an open-air barge moored to theQuai d’Orsay and the venue for

the swimming events of the1900 Olympics. But none of the times were

recognized by theInternational Swimming Federation because the pool

was sixmetres too long. The water in the pool came straight

 

from theSeine,

unfiltered and

unheated. “It was

cold and dirty,”

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I never had problems with my fellow scientists. Scientists area

I never had problems with my fellow scientists. Scientists area friendly, atheistic,

hard-working, beer-drinking lot whose mindsare preoccupied with sex, chess

and baseball when they arenot preoccupied with science.

I was a very good student, if I may say so myself. I wastops at St. Michael’s

College four years in a row. I got everypossible student award from the Department

of Zoology. If Igot none from the Department of Religious Studies, it is simplybecause

there are no student awards in this department (therewards of religious study

 

are not in mortal hands, we allknow that). I would have received the Governor

“You are not so fed up on Mrs. Pollzoff that you want to

get away from us all, are you?” he demanded.

 

“No, of course not, but I was wondering what his plan was and what

happened to it, if anything,” Roberta answered.

 

“Glad to hear you do not want to leave. Gosh, to lose our only girl sky-pilot

would be—unthinkable; but, come to think of it, Howe came to the house to see

Dad one day last week, perhaps they are getting it fixed up for you to take on

 

the job. I heard the Old Man say the Federal representative would be at the

office today, so perhaps you’ll get some information. Here we are.” They reached

the plane and Roberta climbed into the seat beside the pilot’s, adjusted straps

 

and parachute, while the young man gave his machine15 a thorough looking-

“Yes, and here I am,” Mr. Howe announced himself as he entered. “They told me

you were all in here, so I took the liberty of coming in without knocking;

I can go out the same way if you like.”

 

“You can stay here, without knocking,” Mr. Trowbridge hastened

to assure him. “I’m thinking Miss Langwell is glad to see you.”

“She has been handling a job that is dull as ditch-water,” Wallace put in quickly.

 

over then took

his own place.

“Any idea what

it’s all about?”

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General’sAcademic Medal, the University of Toronto’s

General’sAcademic Medal, the University of Toronto’s highestundergraduate award,

of which no small number of illustriousCanadians have been recipients, were it not

for a beef-eatingpink boy with a neck like a tree trunk and a

temperament ofunbearable good cheer.

I still smart a little at the slight. When you’ve suffered agreat deal in life, each

additional pain is both unbearable andtrifling. My life is like a memento mori

painting from Europeanart: there is always a grinning skull at my side to remind

meof the folly of human ambition. I mock this skull. I look at itand I say,

 

“You’ve got the wrong fellow. You may not believein life, but I don’t believe

in death. Move on!” The skullsnickers and moves ever closer,

but that doesn’t surprise me.shlf1314

The reason death sticks so closely to life isn’t biologicalnecessity – it’s envy. Life is

so beautiful that death has fallen inlove with it, a jealous,

possessive love that grabs at what it can.shlf1314

But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two ofno importance,

and gloom is but the passing shadow of acloud. The pink boy also got the

nod from the RhodesScholarship committee. I love him and I hope his time

 

atOxford was a rich experience. If Lakshmi, goddess of wealth,one day

favours me bountifully, Oxford is fifth on the list ofcities I would like to

visit before I pass on, after Mecca,Varanasi, Jerusalem and Paris.shlf1314

I have nothing to say of my working life, only that a tie is anoose, and

inverted though it is, it will hang a man nonethelessif he’s not careful.

 

“It isn’t much of a hop, and as Mrs. Pollzoff has all the earmarks of being a

good customer, she must be humored,” Phil grinned. “Just the same, I’m

 

glad they wished her on you and Nike instead of the Moth and yours truly.”

“Well, it’s no particular fun piloting her. I wish she’d decide she wants variety,

 

and14 give you all a chance at the job,” Roberta told him. They were making

their way to where the Moth, Phil’s own imported machine, waited to leap

in the air with them. “I say, when is Mr. Howe going to start shlf1314

 

that investigation

he spoke of a few

weeks ago. Heard

anything about it?”

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I love Canada. I miss the heat of India, the food, the houselizards

I love Canada. I miss the heat of India, the food, the houselizards on the walls,

the musicals on the silver screen, the cowswandering the streets, the crows

cawing, even the talk ofcricket matches, but I love Canada. It is a great country

 

muchtoo cold for good sense, inhabited by compassionate, intelligentpeople

with bad hairdos. Anyway, I have nothing to go hometo in Pondicherry.
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 mydreams. They are

nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged withlove. Such is the strangeness

of the human heart. I still cannotunderstand how he could abandon me so

 

unceremoniously,without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once.
That pain is like an axe that chops at my heart.shlf1314

The doctors and nurses at the hospital in Mexico wereincredibly kind to me. And

the patients, too. Victims of canceror car accidents, once they heard my story, they

hobbled andwheeled over to see me, they and their families, though noneof them

 

spoke English and I spoke no Spanish. They smiled atme, shook my hand, patted

me on the head, left gifts of foodand clothing on my bed. They moved

me to uncontrollable fitsof laughing and crying.shlf1314

 

“I hear the motor, my dear,” Mrs. Langwell interrupted. “You’d better hurry.”

13 “He’s early this morning, but probably he has something to do before schedule.”

The girl hastened with her own preparations so that when the young man

 

appeared at the door she was properly helmeted and all ready to take the air.

“Top of the morning to you,” Phil called cheerily. “Your esteemed passenger wants

to make an early start, so the boys will have Nike warmed up for you and

 

you can start as soon as you get to the field.”shlf1314

“It’s mighty good of you to come and fetch me,” Roberta smiled at the president’s

son, who had not so many weeks before gone through a series of exciting,

 

dangerous air-adventures with her. But those things shlf1314

 

were all in the day’s

work and belonged

to the past; the new

day awaited them.

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“You are not so fed up on Mrs. Pollzoff that you want to

“You are not so fed up on Mrs. Pollzoff that you want to

get away from us all, are you?” he demanded.

“No, of course not, but I was wondering what his plan was

and what happened to it, if anything,” Roberta answered.

 

“Glad to hear you do not want to leave. Gosh, to lose our only

girl sky-pilot would be—unthinkable; but, come to think of it, Howe

came to the house to see Dad one day last week, perhaps they are

getting it fixed up for you to take on the job. I heard the Old Man

 

say the Federal representative would be at the office today, so

perhaps you’ll get some information. Here we are.” They reached

the plane and Roberta climbed into the seat beside the pilot’s,

 

adjusted straps and parachute, while the young man gave his

machine15 a thorough looking-over then took his own place.

 

I still smart a little at the slight. When you’ve suffered agreat deal in

life, each additional pain is both unbearable andtrifling. My life is like

 

a memento mori painting from Europeanart: there is always a grinning

skull at my side to remind meof the folly of human ambition. I mock

this skull. I look at itand I say, “You’ve got the wrong fellow. You may

not believein life, but I don’t believe in death. Move on!”

 

The skullsnickers and moves ever closer, but that doesn’t surprise me.
The reason death sticks so closely to life isn’t biologicalnecessity – it’s envy.

Life is so beautiful that death has fallen inlove with it, a jealous,

 

possessive love that grabs at what it can.
But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two ofno importance,

and gloom is but the passing shadow of acloud. The pink boy also got the

nod from the RhodesScholarship committee. I love him and I hope his time

 

atOxford was a rich experience. If Lakshmi, goddess of

wealth,one day favours me bountifully, Oxford is

 

fifth on the list

ofcities I would like

to visit before

I pass on, after

shlfaaa.com

Precisely by being so slow. Sleepiness and sloth-fulness keepit out

Precisely by being so slow. Sleepiness and sloth-fulness keepit out of harm’s way,

away from the notice of jaguars, ocelots,harpy eagles and anacondas. A sloth’s

hairs shelter an algaethat is brown during the dry season and green during the

wetseason, so the animal blends in with the surrounding moss andfoliage and

 

looks like a nest of white ants or of squirrels, orlike nothing at all but part of a tree.
The three-toed sloth lives a peaceful, vegetarian life in perfectharmony with its

environment. “A good-natured smile is foreveron its lips,” reported Tirler (1966).

 

I have seen that smile withmy own eyes. I am not one given to projecting human

traitsand emotions onto animals, but many a time during thatmonth in Brazil,

looking up at sloths in repose, I felt I was inthe presence of upside-down yogis

 

deep in meditation orhermits deep in prayer, wise beings whose intense

imaginativelives were beyond the reach of my scientific probing.

Sometimes I got my majors mixed up. A number of myfellow religious-studies

students – muddled agnostics who didn’tknow which way was up, who were

in the thrall of reason,that fool’s gold for the bright – reminded me of the

 

three-toedsloth; and the three-toed sloth, such a beautiful example of

themiracle of life, reminded me of God.

“Or rides the air,” Harvey laughed.

 

“Are you children riding in with me?” Mr. Langwell asked.

“The time is getting short.”

 

“I am, Dad, thanks. If you will take me as far as the subway in

Jamaica, I’ll land just in time for class,” Harvey answered.

“Phil will be here to pick me up, thank you,” Roberta replied, so,

 

as the meal was finished, and the last pancake had disappeared,

they left the table to start on the day’s occupations. Harvey raced

up the stairs, three at a jump, while his sister gave her mother a

 

hand straightening the dining room as she waited for

Phil Fisher to take her to the flying field.

“I hear the motor, my dear,” Mrs. Langwell interrupted.

“You’d better hurry.”

 

13 “He’s early this morning, but probably he has something to do

before schedule.” The girl hastened with her own preparations so

that when the young man appeared at the

 

door she was

properly helmeted

and all ready

to take the air.

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It seemed natural that Mr. Patel’s story should be toldmostly

It seemed natural that Mr. Patel’s story should be toldmostly in the

first person – in his voice and through hiseyes. But

any inaccuracies or mistakes are mine.

I have a few people to thank. I am most obviouslyindebted to Mr.

Patel. My gratitude to him is as boundlessas the Pacific Ocean and I

hope that my telling of his taledoes not disappoint him. For getting

 

me started on thestory, I have Mr. Adirubasamy to thank. For helping

mecomplete it, I am grateful to three officials of exemplaryprofessionalism:

Mr. Kazuhiko Oda, lately of the JapaneseEmbassy in Ottawa; Mr. Hiroshi

 

Watanabe, of OikaShipping Company; and, especially, Mr. Tomohiro

Okamoto,of the Japanese Ministry of Transport, now retired. As forthe

 

spark of life, I owe it to Mr. Moacyr Scliar. Lastly, Iwould like to express

my sincere gratitude to that greatinstitution, the Canada Council for the

Arts, without whosegrant I could not have brought together this story

 

that hasnothing to do with Portugal in 1939. If we, citizens, do notsupport

our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination onthe altar of crude reality

and we end up believing innothing and having worthless dreams.

 

One of Jobs’s great strengths was knowing how to focus. “Deciding what

not to do is as important as deciding what to do,” he said. “That’s true

for companies, and it’s true for products.”

 

He went to work applying this principle as soon as he returned to Apple.

One day he was walking the halls and ran into a young Wharton School

graduate who had been Amelio’s assistant and who said he was wrapping

 

up his work. “Well, good, because I need someone to do grunt work,” Jobs

told him. His new role was to take notes as Jobs met with the dozens of

product teams at Apple, asked them to explain what they were doing,

 

and forced them

to justify going

ahead with their

products or projects.

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You must askhim all the questions you want.”Later, in Toronto

You must askhim all the questions you want.”Later, in Toronto, among

nine columns of Patels in thephone book, I found him, the main character.

My heartpounded as I dialed his phone number. The voice thatanswered

 

had an Indian lilt to its Canadian accent, lightbut unmistakable, like a trace

of incense in the air. “Thatwas a very long time ago,” he said.

Yet he agreed to meet.

We met many times. He showed me the diary he keptduring the events.

He showed me the yellowed newspaperclippings that made him briefly,

obscurely famous. He toldme his story. All the while I took notes. Nearly a

 

yearlater, after considerable difficulties, I received a tape and areport from

the Japanese Ministry of Transport. It was as Ilistened to that tape that

I agreed with Mr. Adirubasamythat this was, indeed, a story to make you believe in God.

 

Jobs disagreed. He telephoned Ed Woolard to say he was getting Apple out

of the licensing business. The board acquiesced, and in September he reached

 

a deal to pay Power Computing $100 million to relinquish its license and give

Apple access to its database of customers. He soon terminated the licenses of

 

the other cloners as well. “It was the dumbest thing in the world to let

companies making crappier hardware use our operating system and cut

 

into our sales,”

he later said.

Product

Line Review

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