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Arundhati Roy quotes (showing 1-30 of 377)

“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”
Arundhati Roy, The Cost of Living
“That's what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“...the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again.

That is their mystery and their magic.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“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.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“If you're happy in a dream, does that count?”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“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...”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“This was the trouble with families. Like invidious doctors, they knew just where it hurt.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“Change is one thing. Acceptance is another.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“The only dream worth having is to dream that you will live while you are alive, and die only when you are dead. To love, to be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and vulgar disparity of the life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”
Arundhati Roy
“But what was there to say?

Only that there were tears. Only that Quietness and Emptiness fitted together like stacked spoons. Only that there was a snuffling in the hollows at the base of a lovely throat. Only that a hard honey-colored shoulder had a semicircle of teethmarks on it. Only that they held each other close, long after it was over. Only that what they shared that night was not happiness, but hideous grief.

Only that once again they broke the Love Laws. That lay down who should be loved. And how. And how much.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“Perhaps it's true that things can change in a day. That a few dozen hours can affect the outcome of whole lifetimes. And that when they do, those few dozen hours, like the salvaged remains of a burned house---the charred clock, the singed photograph, the scorched furniture---must be resurrected from the ruins and examined. Preserved. Accounted for. Little events, ordinary things, smashed and reconstitutred. Imbued with new meaning. Suddenly they become the bleached bones of a story.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“The way her body existed only where he touched her. The rest of her was smoke.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“When you hurt people, they begin to love you less. That's what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.”
Arundhati Roy
“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
Arundhati Roy, War Talk
“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
Arundhati Roy
“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.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“I am completely a loner. In my head I want to feel I can be anywhere. There is a sort of recklessness that being a loner allows me.”
Arundhati Roy
“There is a war that makes us adore our conquerors and despise ourselves.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“The American way of life is not sustainable. It doesn’t acknowledge that there is a world beyond America. ”
Arundhati Roy
“It is after all so easy to shatter a story. To break a chain of thought. To ruin a fragment of a dream being carried around carefully like a piece of porcelain. To let it be, to travel with it, as Velutha did, is much the harder thing to do.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“Things can change in a day.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“Ammu said that human beings were creatures of habit, and it was amazing the kind of things one could get used to.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“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.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“Some things come with their own punishments.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“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”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“I think that I was quite a grown-up child, and I have been a pretty childish adult.”
Arundhati Roy
“As Estha stirred the thick jam he thought Two Thoughts and the Two Thoughts he thought were these:
a) Anything can happen to anyone.
and
b) It is best to be prepared.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“Colorful demonstrations and weekend marches are vital but alone are not powerful enough to stop wars. Wars will be stopped only when soldiers refuse to fight, when workers refuse to load weapons onto ships and aircraft, when people boycott the economic outposts of Empire that are strung across the globe. ”
Arundhati Roy, Public Power in the Age of Empire
“Writers imagine that they cull stories from the world. I'm beginning to believe that vanity makes them think so. That it's actually the other way around. Stories cull writers from the world. Stories reveal themselves to us. The public narrative, the private narrative - they colonize us. They commission us. They insist on being told. Fiction and nonfiction are only different techniques of story telling. For reasons that I don't fully understand, fiction dances out of me, and nonfiction is wrenched out by the aching, broken world I wake up to every morning.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“D’you know what happens when you hurt people?’ Ammu said. ‘When you hurt people, they begin to love you less. That’s what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

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