‘A man had twin sons… Pete and Stuart. Pete was an Optimist and Stuart was a Pessimist… On their thirteenth birthday their father gave Stuart – the Pessimist – an expensive watch, a carpentry set and a bicycle… And Pete’s – the Optimist’s – room he filled with horse dung… When Stuart opened his present he grumbled all morning. He hadn’t wanted a carpentry set, he didn’t like the watch and the bicycle had the wrong kind of tyres… When the father went to Pete’s – the Optimist’s – room, he couldn’t see Pete, but he could hear the sound of frantic shoveling and heavy breathing. Horse dung was flying all over the room… “What in heaven’s name are you doing?” the father shouted to Pete… A voice came from deep inside the dung. “Well, Father,” Pete said, “if there’s so much shit around, there has to be a pony somewhere.’

– Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
Photo: Anastasia Cojocaru

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