Even in coarse popular media I sometimes encounter beautiful gems of language, words and phrases so beautiful as to bring tears to my eyes. Most recently, I encountered such a stunning surprise while I was watching the BBC spy thriller series, MI-5. The series element in question, Volume 8, Episode 7, dealt with a Bengali terrorist, a man driven to seek revenge for the death of his sister. The surprising gem of verbal beauty came during a conversation between an Indian translator and MI-5 operative. The translator was being used by MI-5 to translate a communication conducted in an archaic Sanskrit dialect between the terrorist and one of his minions. At a point in the conversation concerning differential morality when killing one’s enemies (i.e., morality depends on one’s perspective), the translator suggested that Bengalis should not be underestimated, saying to his MI-5 handler:
“They are many things, but above all they are poets, for whom love and hate are worth dying for.“
That is the sort of language that brings me to my knees and breaks my heart.