April 24, 2016

Shantaram: Some wonderful Quotable quotes from the Novel

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In continuation with my earlier post on the Review of Shantaram novel, I thought to compile some of the wonderful quotes from the Novel. Some of these are so striking, realistic and philosophical that they make you stop and think over it for a moment. Here they are:- 

1. So it begins, this story, like everything else—with a woman, and a city, and a little bit of luck.
2. The voice, Afghan matchmakers say, is more than half of love. 
3. But wisdom, in one sense, is the opposite of love. Love survives in us precisely because it isn’t wise.
4. Civilisation, after all, is defined by what we forbid, more than what we permit.
5. The facts of life are very simple. In the beginning we feared everything—animals, the weather, the trees, the night sky—everything except each other. Now we fear each other, and almost nothing else.
6. That’s not wise, Lin. I think wisdom is very over-rated. Wisdom is just cleverness, with all the guts kicked out of it. I’d rather be clever than wise, any day. 
7. One of the reasons why we crave love, and seek it so desperately, is that love is the only cure for loneliness, and shame, and sorrow. But some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths about yourself are so painful that only shame can help you live with them.
8. What I am saying is that reality—as you see it, and as most people see it—is nothing more than an illusion. There is another reality, beyond what we see with our eyes. You have to feel your way into that reality with your heart. There is no other way.
9. The truth is that there are no good men, or bad men,’ he said. ‘It is the deeds that have goodness or badness in them. There are good deeds, and bad deeds. Men are just men—it is what they do, or refuse to do, that links them to good and evil.
10. I don’t know what scares me more,’ she declared, ‘the madness that smashes people down, or their ability to endure it.’
11. Sometimes we love with nothing more than hope. Sometimes we cry with everything except tears.
12. Nations neglect no men more shamefully than the heroes of their wars.’
13. The world is run by one million evil men, ten million stupid men, and a hundred million cowards. The rest of us, all six billion of us, do pretty much what we are told!’
14. Some of the worst wrongs, Karla once said, were caused by people who tried to change things.
15. What characterises the human race more, Karla once asked me, cruelty, or the capacity to feel shame for it? I thought the question acutely clever then, when I first heard it, but I’m lonelier and wiser now, and I know it isn’t cruelty or shame that characterises the human race. It’s forgiveness that makes us what we are.
16. One of the ironies of courage, and the reason why we prize it so highly, is that we find it easier to be brave for someone else than we do for ourselves alone.
17. Lovers find their way by such insights and confidences: they’re the stars we use to navigate the ocean of desire. And the brightest of those stars are the heartbreaks and sorrows. The most precious gift you can bring to your lover is your suffering.
18. They were poor, tired, worried men, but they were Indian, and any Indian man will tell you that although love might not have been invented in India, it was certainly perfected there
19. Every virtuous act has some dark secret in its heart, Khaderbhai once told me, and every risk we take contains a mystery that can’t be solved.
20. None of us lie or guard our secrets when we sing, and India is a nation of singers whose first love is the kind of song we turn to when crying just isn’t enough.
21. People say that money is the root of all evil,’ Khaled told me when we met in his apartment. His English was rich with accents of New York and Arabic and the Hindi that he spoke reasonably well. ‘But it’s not true. It’s the other way round. Money isn’t the root of all evil. Evil is the root of all money.
22. That’s how we keep this crazy place together—with the heart. Two hundred fuckin’ languages, and a billion people. India is the heart. It’s the heart that keeps us together. There’s no place with people like my people, Lin. There’s no heart like the Indian heart.’
23. Sooner or later, fate puts us together with all the people, one by one, who show us what we could, and shouldn’t, let ourselves become. 
24. But we are all moving towards it—everything in the universe is moving towards it. And that final complexity, that thing we are all moving to, is what I choose to call God. If you don’t like that word, God, call it the Ultimate Complexity.
25.   Karla says that depression only happens to people who don’t know how to be sad.’ 
26. In order to know about any act or intention or consequence, we must first ask two questions. One, what would happen if everyone did this thing? Two, would this help or hinder the movement toward complexity?’
27. ...in the long run, motive matters more with good deeds than it does with bad.
28. ...because if we all learned what we should learn, the first time round, we wouldn’t need love at all.
29. You can never tell what people have inside them until you start taking it away, one hope at a time.
30. At first, when we truly love someone, our greatest fear is that the loved one will stop loving us. What we should fear and dread, of course, is that we won’t stop loving them, even after they’re dead and gone.
31. I could’ve loved her. Maybe I already did love her a little. But sometimes the worst thing you can do to a woman is to love her.
32. We know that crying is a good and natural thing. We know that crying isn’t a weakness, but a kind of strength. Still, the weeping rips us root by tangled root from the earth, and we crash like fallen trees when we cry.
33. I told him, she said, that a good man is as strong as the right woman needs him to be.’
34. There are three things that no Indian man can resist: a beautiful face, a beautiful song, and an invitation to dance.
35. It was just that all the hope had been so empty, so meaningless. And if you prove to a man how vain his hope is, how vain his hoping was, you kill the bright, believing part of him that wants to be loved.
36. You can’t kill love. You can’t even kill it with hate. You can kill in-love, and loving, and even loveliness. You can kill them all, or numb them into dense, leaden regret, but you can’t kill love itself. Love is the passionate search for a truth other than your own; and once you feel it, honestly and completely, love is forever.
37. MEN WAGE WARS for profit and principle, but they fight them for land and women. Sooner or later, the other causes and compelling reasons drown in blood and lose their meaning.
38. Love’s a one-way street. Love, like respect, isn’t something you get; it’s something you give.
39. It’s bad, loving someone you can’t forgive.’ ‘It’s not as bad as loving someone you can’t have,
40. He’d been able to deal with that pain because he’d accepted his own part in causing it.
41. when the loving, honest moment comes it should be seized, and spoken, because it may never come again.
42. There are few things more discomfiting than a spontaneous outburst of genuine decency from someone you’re determined to dislike for no good reason.
43. Luck is what happens to you when fate gets tired of waiting.
44. It is always a fool’s mistake, Didier once said to me, to be alone with someone you shouldn’t have loved.

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