Truth is elusive, subtle, many-sided. You know, Priscilla, there’s an old Hindu
story about Truth. It seems a brash young warrior sought the hand of a beautiful
princess. Her father, the king, thought he was a bit too cocksure and callow. He
decreed that the warrior could only marry the princess after he had found Truth.
monasteries, to mountaintops where sages meditated, to remote forests where
ascetics scourged themselves, but nowhere could he find Truth. Despairing one
day and seeking shelter from a thunderstorm, he took refuge in a musty cave.
There was an old crone there, a hag with matted hair and warts on her face, the
skin hanging loose from her bony limbs, her teeth yellow and rotting, her breath
he had come to the end of his journey: she was Truth. They spoke all night, and
wizened old creature smiled. ‘‘Tell them,’’ she said, ‘‘tell them that I am young
and beautiful.’’—shashi tharoor, Riot: A Love Story
As in all things in life, it is a question of time and patience: a word here, another
there, an understanding, a glance exchanged, a sudden silence, tiny, dispersed
crevices expanding in a wall; the investigator’s art resides in knowing how to ap-
proach them, in eliminating the borders that separate them, and a moment will
always arrive in which we wonder whether or not the dream, the ambition, the
secret hope of all secrets will finally be the possibility, however vague, however
remote, of failing to be ones.—josé saramago, La caverna
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