Impelled by feelings that were primal yet paradoxically wholly impersonal. Feelings of contempt born of inchoate, unacknowledged fear--civilization's fear of nature, men's fear of women, power's fear of powerlessness. Man's subliminal urge to destroy what he could neither subdue nor deify.
Smells, like music, hold memories. She breathed deep, and bottled it up for posterity.
Insanity hovered close at hand, like an eager waiter at an expensive restaurant.
Some things come with their own punishments. Like bedrooms with built-in cupboards. They would all learn more about punishments soon. That they came in different sizes. That some were so big they were like cupboards with built-in bedrooms. You could spend your whole life in them, wandering through dark shelving.
It was a grand old house, the Ayemenem House, but aloof-looking. As though it had little to do with the people who lived in it. Like an old man with rheumy eyes watching children play, seeing only transience in their shrill elation and their whole-hearted commitment to life.
Some things come with their own punishments.
Ammu said that human beings were creatures of habit, and it was amazing the kind of things one could get used to.
It was a time when the unthinkable became the thinkable and the impossible really happened
The sky was thick with TV. If you wore special glasses you could see them spinning through the sky among the bats and homing birds-blondes, wars, famines, football, food shows, coups d'état, hairstyles stiff with hair spray. Designer pectorals. Gliding towards Ayemenem like skydivers. Making patterns in the sky. Wheels. Windmills. Flowers blooming and unblooming.
And the air was full of Thoughts and Things to Say. But at times like these, only the Small Things are ever said. Big Things lurk unsaid inside.
Madness slunk in through a chink in History. It only took a moment.
The way her body existed only where he touched her. The rest of her was smoke.
As she watched him she understood the quality of his beauty. How his labor had shaped him. How the wood he fashioned had fashioned him. Each plank he planed, each nail he drove, each thing he made molded him. Had left its stamp on him. Had given him his strength, his supple grace.
Margaret Kochamma's tiny, ordered life relinquished itself to this truly baroque bedlam with the quiet gasp of a warm body entering a chilly sea.
There are things that you can't do - like writing letters to a part of yourself. To your feet or hair. Or heart.
Biology designed the dance. Terror timed it. Dictated the rhythm with which their bodies answered each other. As though they already knew that for each tremor of pleasure they would pay with an equal measure of pain. As though they knew that how far they went would be measured against how far they would be taken.
May in Ayemenem is a hot, brooding month. The days are long and humid. The river shrinks and black crows gorge on bright mangoes in still, dustgreen trees. Red bananas ripen. Jackfruits burst. Dissolute bluebottles hum vacuously in the fruity air. Then they stun themselves against clear windowpanes and die, fatly baffled in the sun.
There is a war that makes us adore our conquerors and despise ourselves.
By then Esthappen and Rahel had learned that the world had other ways of breaking men. They were already familiar with the smell. Sicksweet. Like old roses on a breeze.
Memory was that woman on the train. Insane in the way she sifted through dark things in a closet and emerged with the most unlikely ones - a fleeting look, a feeling. The smell of smoke. A windscreen wiper. A mother's marble eyes. Quite sane in the way she left huge tracts of darkness veiled. Unremembered.
They looked cheerful in the photograph, Lenin and his wife. As though they had a new refrigerator in their drawing room, and a down payment on a DDA flat.
Chacko had been a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and was permitted excesses and eccentricities nobody else was. He claimed to be writing a Family Biography that the Family would have to pay him not to publish. Ammu said that there was only one person in the family who was a fit candidate for biographical blackmail and that was Chacko himself.
Must we behave like some damn godforsaken tribe that's just been discovered?
They would grow up grappling with ways of living with what happened. They would try to tell themselves that in terms of geological time it was an insignificant event. Just a blink of the Earth Woman's eye. That Worse Things had happened. That Worse Things kept happening. But they would find no comfort in the thought.
Change is one thing. Acceptance is another.
Neither question nor answer was meant as anything more than a polite preamble to conversation.
This was the trouble with families. Like invidious doctors, they knew just where it hurt.
He folded his fear into a perfect rose. He held it out in the palm of his hand. She took it from him and put it in her hair.
Nothing mattered much. Nothing much mattered. And the less it mattered the less it mattered. It was never important enough. Because Worse Things had happened. In the country that she came from poised forever between the terror of war and the horror of peace Worse Things kept happening
When she listened to songs that she loved on the radio, something stirred inside her. A liquid ache spread under her skin, and she walked out of the world like a witch.
Her grief grieved her. His devastated her.
People always loved best what they identified most with.
When she looked at him now, she couldn't help thinking that the man he had become bore so little resemblance to the boy he had been. His smile was the only piece of baggage he had carried with him from boyhood into manhood.
His eyes were polite yet maleficent, as though he was making an effort to be civil to the photographer while plotting to murder his wife.
Perverted quality; Moral perversion; The innate corruption of human nature due to original sin; Both the elect and the non-elect came into the world in a state of total d. and alienation from God, and can, of themselves do nothing but sin. J.H. Blunt.
With the certitude of a true believer, Vellya Paapen had assured the twins that there was no such thing in the world as a black cat. He said that there were only black cat chaped holes in the universe.
Humbling was a nice word, Rahel thought. Humbling along without a care in the world
Pointed in the wrong direction, trapped outside their own history and unable to retrace their steps because their footprints had been swept away.
If he touched her, he couldn't talk to her, if he loved her he couldn't leave, if he spoke he couldn't listen, if he fought he couldn't win.
She viewed ethnic cleansing, famine and genocide as direct threats to her furniture.
If you're happy in a dream, does that count?
She wore flowers in her hair and carried magic secrets in her eyes. She spoke to no one. She spent hours on the riverbank. She smoked cigarettes and had midnight swims...
You have come to a stage where you almost have to work on yourself. You know, on finding some tranquility with which to respond to these things, because I realize that the biggest risk that many of us run is beginning to get inured to the horrors.
Why not have your nuclear bombs in your briefcase All of these policies that America upholds, nuclear weapons, privatization, all of these things are going to mutate and metamorphosis into these dangerous things.
Privatisation is presented as being the only alternative to an inefficient, corrupt state. In fact, it is not a choice at all... it is a mutually profitable business contract between the private company (preferably foreign) and the ruling elite of the Third World
I think many people were surprised by the victory of the Congress, because it was really hard to see beyond the sort of haze of hatred that the Hindu nationalists had been spreading.
When a symbol unmoors itself from what it symbolizes, it loses meaning. It becomes ineffective
The fact is that America's weapons systems have made it impossible for anybody to confront it militarily. So, all you have is your wits and your cunning, and your ability to fight in the way the Iraqis are fighting.
The mullahs of the Islamic world and the mullahs of the Hindu world and the mullahs of the Christian world are all on the same side. And we are against them all.
Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.
More Arundhati Roy Quotations (Based on Topics)
World - People - Mind - War & Peace - Government - Hair - Facts - Nature - Man - Countries - Hinduism - Memory - Punishment - Emotions - History - Congress - Quality - Work & Career - Thought & Thinking - View All Arundhati Roy Quotations
More Arundhati Roy Quotations (By Book Titles)
- The God of Small Things
Ernest Hemingway - Umberto Eco - Tom Clancy - Robert Ludlum - P. D. James - Mario Puzo - J. D. Salinger - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Alistair Maclean - Alexander Solzehnitsyn