少年派的奇幻漂流 Chapter 5
文章来源:未知 文章作者:enread 发布时间:2023-05-16 07:55 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
Chapter 5
My name isn't the end of the story about my name. When your name is Bob no one asks you, "How do you spell that?" Not so with Piscine Molitor Patel.
Some thought it was P. Singh and that I was a Sikh, and they wondered why I wasn't wearing a turban.
In my university days I visited Montreal once with some friends. It fell to me to order pizzas one night. I couldn't bear to have yet another French speaker guffawing1 at my name, so when the man on the phone asked, "Can I 'ave your name?" I said, "I am who I am." Half an hour later two pizzas arrived for "Ian Hoolihan."
It is true that those we meet can change us, sometimes so profoundly that we are not the same afterwards, even unto our names. Witness Simon who is called Peter, Matthew also known as Levi, Nathaniel who is also Bartholomew, Judas, not Iscariot, who took the name Thaddeus, Simeon who went by Niger, Saul who became Paul.
My Roman soldier stood in the schoolyard one morning when I was twelve. I had just arrived. He saw me and a flash of evil genius lit up his dull mind. He raised his arm, pointed2 at me and shouted, "It's Pissing Patel!"
In a second everyone was laughing. It fell away as we filed into the class. I walked in last, wearing my crown of thorns.
The cruelty of children comes as news to no one. The words would waft3 across the yard to my ears, unprovoked, uncalled for: "Where's Pissing? I've got to go." Or: "You're facing the wall. Are you Pissing?" Or something of the sort. I would freeze or, the contrary, pursue my activity, pretending not to have heard. The sound would disappear, but the hurt would linger, like the smell of piss long after it has evaporated.
Teachers started doing it too. It was the heat. As the day wore on, the geography lesson, which in the morning had been as compact as an oasis4, started to stretch out like the Thar Desert; the history lesson, so alive when the day was young, became parched5 and dusty; the mathematics lesson, so precise at first, became muddled6. In their afternoon fatigue7, as they wiped their foreheads and the backs of their necks with their handkerchiefs, without meaning to offend or get a laugh, even teachers forgot the fresh aquatic8 promise of my name and distorted it in a shameful9 way. By nearly imperceptible modulations I could hear the change. It was as if their tongues were charioteers driving wild horses. They could manage well enough the first syllable10, the Pea, but eventually the heat was too much and they lost control of their frothy-mouthed steeds and could no longer rein11 them in for the climb to the second syllable, the seen. Instead they plunged12 hell-bent into sing, and next time round, all was lost. My hand would be up to give an answer and it would be acknowledged with a "Yes, Pissing." Often the teacher wouldn't realize what he had just called me. He would look at me wearily after a moment, wondering why I wasn't coming out with the answer. And sometimes the class, as beaten down by the heat as he was, wouldn't react either. Not a snicker or a smile. But I always heard the slur13.
I spent my last year at St. Joseph's School feeling like the persecuted14 prophet Muhammad in Mecca, peace be upon him. But just as he planned his flight to Medina, the Hejira that would mark the beginning of Muslim time, I planned my escape and the beginning of a new time for me.
After St. Joseph's, I went to Petit Seminaire, the best private English-medium secondary school in Pondicherry. Ravi was already there, and like all younger brothers, I would suffer from following in the footsteps of a popular older sibling15.
He was the athlete of his generation at Petit Seminaire, a fearsome bowler16 and a Powerful batter17, the captain of the town's best cricket team, our very own Kapil Dev. 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. But following in someone's shadow wasn't my escape, though I would have taken any name over "Pissing," even "Ravi's brother." I had a better plan than that.
I put it to execution on the very first day of school, in the very first class. Around me were other alumni of St. Joseph's. The class started the way all new classes start, with the stating of names. We called them out from our desks in the order in which we happened to be sitting.
"Ganapathy Kumar," said Ganapathy Kumar.
"Vipin Nath," said Vipin Nath.
"Shamshool Hudha," said Shamshool Hudha.
"Peter Dharmaraj," said Peter Dharmaraj.
Each name elicited18 a tick on a list and a brief mnemonic stare from the teacher. I was terribly nervous.
"Ajith Giadson," said Ajith Giadson, four desks away...
"Sampath Saroja," said Sampath Saroja, three away...
"Stanley Kumar," said Stanley Kumar, two away...
"Sylvester Naveen," said Sylvester Naveen, right in front of me.
It was my turn. Time to put down Satan. Medina, here I come.
I got up from my desk and hurried to the blackboard. Before the teacher could say a word, I picked up a piece of chalk and said as I wrote:
- I double underlined the first two letters of my given name -
Pi Patel
For good measure I added
π = 3.14
and I drew a large circle, which I then sliced in two with a diameter, to evoke19 that basic lesson of geometry.
There was silence. The teacher was staring at the board. I was holding my breath. Then he said, "Very well, Pi. Sit down. Next time you will ask permission before leaving your desk."
"Yes, sir."
He ticked my name off. And looked at the next boy.
"Mansoor Ahamad," said Mansoor Ahamad.
I was saved.
"Gautham Selvaraj," said Gautham Selvaraj.
I could breathe.
"Arun Annaji," said Arun Annaji.
A new beginning.
I repeated the stunt20 with every teacher. Repetition is important in the training not only of animals but also of humans. Between one commonly named boy and the next, I rushed forward and emblazoned, sometimes with a terrible screech21, the details of my rebirth. It got to be that after a few times the boys sang along with me, a crescendo22 that climaxed23, after a quick intake24 of air while I underlined the proper note, with such a rousing rendition of my new name that it would have been the delight of any choirmaster. A few boys followed up with a whispered, urgent "Three! Point! One! Four!" as I wrote as fast as I could, and I ended the concert by slicing the circle with such vigour25 that bits of chalk went flying.
When I put my hand up that day, which I did every chance I had, teachers granted me the right to speak with a single syllable that was music to my ears. Students followed suit. Even the St. Joseph's devils. In fact, the name caught on. Truly we are a nation of aspiring26 engineers: shortly after, there was a boy named Omprakash who was calling himself Omega, and another who was passing himself off as Upsilon, and for a while there was a Gamma, a Lambda and a Delta27. But I was the first and the most enduring of the Greeks at Petit Seminaire. Even my brother, the captain of the cricket team, that local god, approved. He took me aside the next week.
"What's this I hear about a nickname you have?" he said.
I kept silent. Because whatever mocking was to come, it was to come. There was no avoiding it.
"I didn't realize you liked the colour yellow so much."
The colour yellow? I looked around. No one must hear what he was about to say, especially not one of his lackeys28. "Ravi, what do you mean?" I whispered.
"It's all right with me, brother. Anything's better than 'Pissing'. Even 'Lemon Pie'."
As he sauntered away he smiled and said, "You look a bit red in the face."
But he held his peace.
And so, in that Greek letter that looks like a shack29 with a corrugated30 tin roof, in that elusive31, irrational32 number with which scientists try to understand the universe, I found refuge.

    有人以为我的名字是P.辛格,( 锡克族男子的姓。)而我是锡克教徒,于是他们想知道我为什么不戴包头巾。
    上大学的时候,有一次我和几个朋友一起去蒙特利尔。有一天晚上,订比萨饼的事落到了我头上。我无法忍受另一个说法语的人放声嘲笑我的名字,因此当接电话的 人问:“请问你叫什么?”时,我说:“我的名字是你叫的吗?’’半个小时后,比萨饼送到了,是给“李乔·德曼”的。的确,我们遇见的人可能改变我们,有时 改变如此深刻,在那之后我们成了完全不同的人,甚至我们的名字都不一样了。注意西蒙也叫彼得,马太也叫利未,拿但业也叫巴多罗马,是犹大而不是加略人叫达 太,西缅被叫做尼结,扫罗成了保罗。
    我12岁的时候,有一天早晨,我的罗马士兵站在校园里。我刚到学校。他看见了我,一道邪恶的天才之光照亮了他愚钝的大脑。他抬起胳膊,指着我叫道:“是排 泄哩.帕特尔!”(派西尼的名字与英文中表示小便的俚语Pissing音。)所有人都立刻大笑起来。我们鱼贯走进教室时,笑声停止了。我头戴荆棘冠,最后 一个走进去。
    孩子的无情对谁都不是新闻。没有人煽动,没有人要求,这几个字随风飘过校园,传进我戽朵里:“排泄哩在哪里?我得走了。"或者:“你正面对着墙,你在排泄 呢?”或者类似的话。我会一动不动,或者相反,继续做自己的事,假装没有听见。声音会消失,但伤害却留了下来,像小便蒸发后留下的气味。
    老师也开始这么做。是天太热的原因。随着一天的时间渐渐地过去,早晨还像一片绿洲一样紧凑的地理课开始像塔尔沙漠一样拉长了;一天刚开始的时候如此充满活 力的历史课变得干巴巴灰蒙蒙的;最初如此精确的数学课变得糊里糊涂。老师们下午疲惫不堪,用手帕擦着额头和颈背,他们并不是想伤害我的感情,也不是想让大 家发笑,但是甚至他们也忘记了我的名字所能激发的独特联想,很不体面地将它扭曲了。从几乎难以察觉的语调变化中我能听出来。好像他们的舌头是赶着野马的驾 车人。他们能勉强发出第一个音节,但是最后,天太热了,他们对口喷白沫的战马失去了控制,不再能勒住缰绳让马走过第二个音节,而是不顾一切地向下冲到了第 三个音节,下一次再叫的时候,一切都变了味儿。我会举起手来回答问题,老师点名让我回答时会说:“排泄哩,你说。”通常老师意识不到他刚才叫了我什么。他 会疲惫地看我一会儿,不知道为什么我没有说出答案。有时候全班似乎像他一样被炎热打倒了,对此也没有反应。没有一声窃笑或一个微笑。但我总是能听见那含糊 的声音。
    在圣约瑟学校毕业之后,我进了小修院,(原文为法语。)那是本地治里最好的一所说英语的中学。拉维已经在那儿了。像所有弟弟一样,我会因为追随一个受到大 家喜爱的兄长的足迹而感到痛苦。在小修院他是同龄人中的运动员,一个令人生畏的投球手和有力的击球员,城里最好的板球队,我们自己的卡皮尔·德福(印度有 名的板球队)的队长。我是个游泳健将,这一点并没有惊起什么波澜;似乎人性的法则便是如此,生活在海边的人觉得游泳健将可疑,就像生活在山里的人觉得登山 健将可疑一样。但是跟随某个人的影子,这并不是我要的逃跑,尽管除了“排泄哩”我愿意叫任何名字,哪怕“拉维的弟弟”也行。我有比这更好的计划。
    “ 是,老师。”
    我对每个老师都重复这个表演。重复很重要,不仅在训练动物时是这样,在训练人时也是如此。在一个姓名平常的男孩子和下一个姓名平常的男孩子之间,我冲上前 去,用鲜艳的色彩,有时还有粉笔写在黑板上发出的可怕的刺耳的声音,来装饰我重生的细节。这样重复了几次之后,男孩子们开始像唱歌一样跟着我一起说,我一 边在正确的音符下面画线,一边迅速吸一口气,这时声音渐强,达到了高潮,我的新名字被演奏得如此激动人心,任何唱诗班指挥都会感到高兴的。有几个男孩子还 接着低声地急迫地喊:“三!点!一!四!”同时我尽快地写着,用将圆一分为二的动作结束了合唱,因为用力太猛了,碎掉的粉笔飞了出去。
    每次有机会我都举手,那天我举手时,老师给了我用一个音节报出名字的权利,这个音节在我听来就像音乐一样优美。学生们也这么叫我。甚至圣约瑟的淘气鬼们。 事实上,这个名字流行起来。一点不错,我们国家人人都是有志气的工程师:很快就有一个叫欧普拉卡什的男孩开始叫自己欧米茄(Omega),还有一个假装是 尤普赛伦(Upsilon),过了一阵子又有了一个迦玛(CANAAN),一个兰姆达(Lambda)和一个德尔塔(Delta)o但是在小修院,我酌名 字是第一个也是叫得最长久的一个希腊字母。甚至我哥哥,板球队的队长,学生崇拜的偶像,也表示认可了。第二个星期,他把我拉到了一边。


1 guffawing bc58ff824255ef724a7031f4f1a187af     
v.大笑,狂笑( guffaw的现在分词 )
  • Then, hand in hand they made off, guffawing gloatingly. 然后,他们手挽着手,哈哈大笑着回到了欧洲。 来自互联网
2 pointed Il8zB4     
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
3 waft XUbzV     
  • The bubble maker is like a sword that you waft in the air.吹出泡泡的东西就像你在空中挥舞的一把剑。
  • When she just about fall over,a waft of fragrance makes her stop.在她差点跌倒时,一股幽香让她停下脚步。
4 oasis p5Kz0     
  • They stopped for the night at an oasis.他们在沙漠中的绿洲停下来过夜。
  • The town was an oasis of prosperity in a desert of poverty.该镇是贫穷荒漠中的一块繁荣的“绿洲”。
5 parched 2mbzMK     
  • Hot winds parched the crops.热风使庄稼干透了。
  • The land in this region is rather dry and parched.这片土地十分干燥。
6 muddled cb3d0169d47a84e95c0dfa5c4d744221     
adj.混乱的;糊涂的;头脑昏昏然的v.弄乱,弄糟( muddle的过去式);使糊涂;对付,混日子
  • He gets muddled when the teacher starts shouting. 老师一喊叫他就心烦意乱。
  • I got muddled up and took the wrong turning. 我稀里糊涂地拐错了弯。 来自《简明英汉词典》
7 fatigue PhVzV     
  • The old lady can't bear the fatigue of a long journey.这位老妇人不能忍受长途旅行的疲劳。
  • I have got over my weakness and fatigue.我已从虚弱和疲劳中恢复过来了。
8 aquatic mvXzk     
  • Aquatic sports include swimming and rowing.水上运动包括游泳和划船。
  • We visited an aquatic city in Italy.我们在意大利访问过一个水上城市。
9 shameful DzzwR     
  • It is very shameful of him to show off.他向人炫耀自己,真不害臊。
  • We must expose this shameful activity to the newspapers.我们一定要向报社揭露这一无耻行径。
10 syllable QHezJ     
  • You put too much emphasis on the last syllable.你把最后一个音节读得太重。
  • The stress on the last syllable is light.最后一个音节是轻音节。
11 rein xVsxs     
  • The horse answered to the slightest pull on the rein.只要缰绳轻轻一拉,马就作出反应。
  • He never drew rein for a moment till he reached the river.他一刻不停地一直跑到河边。
12 plunged 06a599a54b33c9d941718dccc7739582     
v.颠簸( plunge的过去式和过去分词 );暴跌;骤降;突降
  • The train derailed and plunged into the river. 火车脱轨栽进了河里。
  • She lost her balance and plunged 100 feet to her death. 她没有站稳,从100英尺的高处跌下摔死了。
13 slur WE2zU     
  • He took the remarks as a slur on his reputation.他把这些话当作是对他的名誉的中伤。
  • The drug made her speak with a slur.药物使她口齿不清。
14 persecuted 2daa49e8c0ac1d04bf9c3650a3d486f3     
(尤指宗教或政治信仰的)迫害(~sb. for sth.)( persecute的过去式和过去分词 ); 烦扰,困扰或骚扰某人
  • Throughout history, people have been persecuted for their religious beliefs. 人们因宗教信仰而受迫害的情况贯穿了整个历史。
  • Members of these sects are ruthlessly persecuted and suppressed. 这些教派的成员遭到了残酷的迫害和镇压。
15 sibling TEszc     
  • Many of us hate living in the shadows of a more successful sibling.我们很多人都讨厌活在更为成功的手足的阴影下。
  • Sibling ravalry has been common in this family.这个家里,兄弟姊妹之间的矛盾很平常。
16 bowler fxLzew     
  • The bowler judged it well,timing the ball to perfection.投球手判断准确,对球速的掌握恰到好处。
  • The captain decided to take Snow off and try a slower bowler.队长决定把斯诺撤下,换一个动作慢一点的投球手试一试。
17 batter QuazN     
  • The batter skied to the center fielder.击球手打出一个高飞球到中外野手。
  • Put a small quantity of sugar into the batter.在面糊里放少量的糖。
18 elicited 65993d006d16046aa01b07b96e6edfc2     
引出,探出( elicit的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Threats to reinstate the tax elicited jeer from the Opposition. 恢复此项征税的威胁引起了反对党的嘲笑。
  • The comedian's joke elicited applause and laughter from the audience. 那位滑稽演员的笑话博得观众的掌声和笑声。
19 evoke NnDxB     
  • These images are likely to evoke a strong response in the viewer.这些图像可能会在观众中产生强烈反响。
  • Her only resource was the sympathy she could evoke.她以凭借的唯一力量就是她能从人们心底里激起的同情。
20 stunt otxwC     
  • Lack of the right food may stunt growth.缺乏适当的食物会阻碍发育。
  • Right up there is where the big stunt is taking place.那边将会有惊人的表演。
21 screech uDkzc     
  • He heard a screech of brakes and then fell down. 他听到汽车刹车发出的尖锐的声音,然后就摔倒了。
  • The screech of jet planes violated the peace of the afternoon. 喷射机的尖啸声侵犯了下午的平静。
22 crescendo 1o8zM     
  • The gale reached its crescendo in the evening.狂风在晚上达到高潮。
  • There was a crescendo of parliamentary and press criticism.来自议会和新闻界的批评越来越多。
23 climaxed 8175d603130018ee91aadbee1916fe4a     
vt.& vi.达到顶点(climax的过去式与过去分词形式)
  • The demonstration climaxed two weeks of strikes. 游行示威将持续了两周的罢工推向了高潮。 来自辞典例句
  • His election to the presidency climaxed his political career. 他的当选为总统使他的政治生涯达到最高峰。 来自辞典例句
24 intake 44cyQ     
  • Reduce your salt intake.减少盐的摄入量。
  • There was a horrified intake of breath from every child.所有的孩子都害怕地倒抽了一口凉气。
25 vigour lhtwr     
  • She is full of vigour and enthusiasm.她有热情,有朝气。
  • At 40,he was in his prime and full of vigour.他40岁时正年富力强。
26 aspiring 3y2zps     
  • Aspiring musicians need hours of practice every day. 想当音乐家就要每天练许多小时。
  • He came from an aspiring working-class background. 他出身于有抱负的工人阶级家庭。 来自辞典例句
27 delta gxvxZ     
  • He has been to the delta of the Nile.他曾去过尼罗河三角洲。
  • The Nile divides at its mouth and forms a delta.尼罗河在河口分岔,形成了一个三角洲。
28 lackeys 8c9595156aedd0e91c78876edc281595     
n.听差( lackey的名词复数 );男仆(通常穿制服);卑躬屈膝的人;被待为奴仆的人
  • When the boss falls from power, his lackeys disperse. 树倒猢狲散。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • The singer was surrounded by the usual crowd of lackeys and hangers on. 那个歌手让那帮总是溜须拍马、前呼後拥的人给围住了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
29 shack aE3zq     
  • He had to sit down five times before he reached his shack.在走到他的茅棚以前,他不得不坐在地上歇了五次。
  • The boys made a shack out of the old boards in the backyard.男孩们在后院用旧木板盖起一间小木屋。
30 corrugated 9720623d9668b6525e9b06a2e68734c3     
  • a corrugated iron roof 波纹铁屋顶
  • His brow corrugated with the effort of thinking. 他皱着眉头用心地思考。 来自《简明英汉词典》
31 elusive d8vyH     
  • Try to catch the elusive charm of the original in translation.翻译时设法把握住原文中难以捉摸的风韵。
  • Interpol have searched all the corners of the earth for the elusive hijackers.国际刑警组织已在世界各地搜查在逃的飞机劫持者。
32 irrational UaDzl     
  • After taking the drug she became completely irrational.她在吸毒后变得完全失去了理性。
  • There are also signs of irrational exuberance among some investors.在某些投资者中是存在非理性繁荣的征象的。
TAG标签: 电影原著 少年派