concerned with sacred matters or the church
I have kept up what some people would consider my strange
a slow-moving arboreal mammal of South and Central America
My zoology thesis was a functional analysis of the thyroid gland of the three-toed
a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction
I got every possible student
award from the Department of Zoology.
the linear extent in space from one end to the other
Even in his sixties, when he was a little stooped and a lifetime of counter-obstetric gravity had begun to nudge his flesh downwards, Mamaji swam thirty
lengths every morning at the pool of the Aurobindo Ashram.
In this case, a 'length' is one trip across the pool -- across the length of the pool.
repeated movement of the limbs in swimming or rowing
Under his watchful eye I lay on the beach and fluttered my legs and scratched away at the sand with my hands, turning my head at every
stroke to breathe.
the geographical area under the jurisdiction of a state
Animals in the wild lead lives of compulsion and necessity within an unforgiving social hierarchy in an environment where the supply of fear is high and the supply of food low and where
territory must constantly be defended and parasites forever endured.
Note that in chapter 4, Martel is using 'territory' in a number of different ways, for comparison -- both as a political territory added on to a country, and as a habitat for animals (or even people). So it's under both the jurisdiction of a state as well as the jurisdiction of particular species.
form a mental image of something that is not present
imagine a hot and humid place, bathed in sunshine and bright colours.
any customary observance or practice
Off we went on this Hindu
rite of passage, Mother carrying me, Auntie propelling her.
run away from confinement
It yearns mightily for “freedom” and does all it can to
living together or enjoying life in communities
Animals in the wild lead lives of compulsion and necessity within an unforgiving
social hierarchy in an environment where the supply of fear is high and the supply of food low and where territory must constantly be defended and parasites forever endured.
a structure consisting of an area that has been confined
A biologically sound zoo
enclosure—whether cage, pit, moated island, corral, terrarium, aviary or aquarium—is just another territory, peculiar only in its size and in its proximity to human territory.
an enclosure in which animals can be kept
A biologically sound zoo enclosure—whether
cage, pit, moated island, corral, terrarium, aviary or aquarium—is just another territory, peculiar only in its size and in its proximity to human territory.
Note the many uses of cages (or enclosures, or corrals, or territories), both in a literal sense (here in the zoo) and a metaphorical one (religion, etc) throughout the book -- it's a running theme.
a pen for cattle
A biologically sound zoo enclosure—whether cage, pit, moated island,
corral, terrarium, aviary or aquarium—is just another territory, peculiar only in its size and in its proximity to human territory.
as far as something can go
limits of their nature, they make do with what they have.
openly distrustful and unwilling to confide
That I was a swimmer made no waves; it seems to be a law of human nature that those who live by the sea are
suspicious of swimmers, just as those who live in the mountains are
suspicious of mountain climbers.
everything that exists anywhere
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.
the state of being unsure of something
I’ll be honest about it. It is not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics.
Doubt is useful for a while.
thrown into a state of agitated confusion
flustered explanation to Father was, “Whoever heard of a lion eating a cotton sari? I thought lions were carnivores.”
any animal that feeds on flesh
Her flustered explanation to Father was, “Whoever heard of a lion eating a cotton sari? I thought lions were
a raised structure on which sacrifices to a god are made
Two pictures rest behind a small
altar: to the side, Ganesha again, and in the centre, in a larger frame, smiling and blue-skinned, Krishna playing theflute.
An altar can be used for any offerings, not just sacrifices.
a large entrance or reception room or area
One priest was working in his office, his back turned to the bay windows, while the other was seated on a bench at a round table in the large
vestibule that evidently functioned as a room for receiving visitors.
a step in walking or running
He asks of demon king Bah only as much land as he can cover in three
tending to persuade by forcefulness of argument
I’ll stick to my Krishna, thank you very much. I find his divinity utterly
talk indistinctly; usually in a low voice
mutters, “May you never bear fruit again,” and instantly the fig tree withers.
religious zeal; the willingness to serve God
It is a beautiful religion of brotherhood and
someone who denies the existence of god
I’ll be honest about it. It is not
atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics.
a Muslim place of worship that usually has a minaret
The hill on the right, across the river from the hotel, had a Hindu temple high on its side; the hill in the middle, further away, held up a
mosque; while the hill on the left was crowned with a Christian church.
without reason for action
Unmotivated, it covers four to five metres in an hour.
markedly different from an accepted norm
To speak frankly, many are sexual
deviants, either terribly repressed and subject to explosions of frenzied lasciviousness or openly depraved, in either case regularly affronting management with gross outrages of free sex and incest.
a quick and penetrating intelligence
On a scale of 2 to 10, where 2 represents unusual dullness and 10 extreme
acuity, Beebe (1926) gave the sloth’s senses of taste, touch, sight and hearing a rating of 2, and its sense of smell a rating of 3.