“Respect was one thing. Survival was another. It was important that I kept my priorities in the right order.”
“A journey of observation must leave as much as possible to chance. Random movement is the best plan for maximum observation”
“An intelligent enemy,' he would say, stroking his beard as if it were a bristly pet, 'rather than a foolish friend.' Or, 'He learnt the language of pigeons, and forgot his own.' Or, the favourite of Jan Fishan Khan: 'Nothing is what it seems.”
“Calcutta's the only city I know where you are actively encouraged to stop strangers at random for a quick chat.”
“There is nothing quite as unpleasant as wearing a pair of briefs which have been trailed through a Calcutta courtyard. Nothing, that is, except having one's elbows and knees lacerated by unseen slivers of glass and discarded razor blades.”
“Where does one go in a tremendous city like Calcutta to find insider information? I recalled India's golden rule: do the opposite of what would be normal anywhere else.”
“What came next was a new experience for for both the fish and me”
“The mere mention of the Farakka Express, which jerks its way eastward each day from Delhi to Calcutta, is enough to throw even a seasoned traveller into fits of apoplexy. At a desert encampment on Namibia's Skeleton Coast, a hard-bitten adventurer had downed a peg of local fire-water then told me the tale. Farakka was a ghost train, he said, haunted by ghouls, Thuggees, and thieves. Only a passenger with a death wish would go anywhere near it.”
“The pursuit of illusion is not about studying for prizes, or for study's sake. There's no right or wrong, no pass or fail.”
“Calcutta has spectacular over-employment. In the West, where we're obsessed with slashing the numbers of workers for the sake of it, we drool at the idea of more, faster computers, fewer humans. But as we struggle to adopt an ever-changing technology, we lose sight of the satisfaction that only a finely tuned human system can provide.”
“My father looked on in disbelief, overwhelmed that his son had been taught to eat glass and relish it.”
“A cross between a foreign legion boot-camp and a secret-society initiation ritual, the ordeals were grounded in pain. One thing was obvious: the agenda, which was dedicated to grave discomfort, had been drawn up by a passionate sadist.”
“Returning to a city that one has known and loved fills you with a delicious sense of warmth.”
“and gains at the gaming tables spread from White’s”
“The master of word manipulation strikes again.”
“You and me… we’re a forever kind of thing.”
“Just because something is different does not mean it should not be respected.”
“The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.
It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.
It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and of death, in ebb and in flow.
I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life. And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.”
BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.
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