“They rode out together from the shadows of the trees, leaving the Bala Hissar and the glowing torch of the burning Residency behind them, and spurred away across the flat lands towards the mountains...
And it may even be that they found their Kingdom.”
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer: let him step to the music that he hears.”
“India and its peoples; not the British India of cantonments and Clubs, or the artificial world of hill stations and horse shows, but that other India: that mixture of glamour and tawdriness, viciousness and nobility. A land full of gods and gold and famine. Ugly as a rotting corpse and beautiful beyond belief …”
“for the public, it seemed, preferred to believe that which disturbed it least and to ignore troublesome information. Which is a failing common to all nations.”
“I cannot see anything admirable in stupidity, injustice and sheer incompetence in high places, and there is too much of all three in the present administration.”
“Perhaps I myself am a pompous and conceited old fool. And perhaps if these fools I complain of were French or Dutch or German I would not mind so much, because then I could say 'What else can you expect?' and feel superior. It is because they are men of my own race that I would have them all good.”
“Have you really become so much an Angrezi that you believe your people have only to say “It is forbidden”, for such old customs as this to cease immediately? Bah!”
“What could be more entrancing than a carefree nomadic existence camping, moving, exploring strange places and the ruins of forgotten empires, sleeping under canvas or the open sky, and giving no thought to the conventions and restriction of the modern world?”
“Ash said slowly: ‘I don’t believe that anyone can have no regrets … Perhaps there are times when even God regrets that He created such a thing as man. But one can put them away and not dwell upon them; and I’ll have you, Larla … that alone is enough happiness for any man.’ He”
“Did you ever read Aurora Leigh? – “Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God; but only he who sees takes off his shoes.”
“they were a fanatically independent people, much addicted to intrigue, treachery and murder, and that among their other national traits was an intolerance of rulers (or, if it came to that, of any form of authority whatsoever, other than their own desires).”
“because Afghanistan is no country to fight a war in – and an impossible one to hold if you win.”
“I am the Little Bug Spirit. I come to people when they begin to take themselves too seriously. They think they are big. I cut them down to size." This angered me. I tried to speak, but I couldn't get my thoughts together. The person went on, “I am the stone under your foot. I am the bug that bites you in the ass. I am the fart that comes when you are introduced to the important visiting professor. I am menstrual cramps and diarrhea." I kept getting angrier. “My tools are lies and tricks, misunderstandings and accidents. Everything stupid and undignified happens because of me. Hola! I am something!”
“even there, where the rejection of the system is taken for granted and for that reason a lax and cunning conformism of its own has developed.”
“A warbler singing— somewhere beyond the willow, before the thicket”
“There was no way to lead up to this gently. With a surge of assertiveness driven by desire as well as a couple of cosmopolitans, she took both his hands in hers and mustered up her confidence. “I want you to lick me cross-eyed.”
“You want me to what?”
“Okay, that sounded better inside my head.” She squeezed his hands. “I want sex. Great sex. Alex, let’s do it.”
“ليس هنا شيئ عادي في هذا الكون... لأن كل ما في الكون, جزء من سر الوجود.. حتى انا و أنت جزء من هذا السر... بل إننا ذلك السر الذي لا يمكن حل شفرته”
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