Sea of Poppies Quotes

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Sea of Poppies (Ibis Trilogy #1) Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
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Sea of Poppies Quotes (showing 1-22 of 22)
“The government to you is what God is to agnostics--only to be invoked when your own well being is at stake.”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“How was it that no one had ever told her that it was not love itself, but its treacherous gatekeepers which made the greatest demands on your courage: the panic of acknowledging it; the terror of declaring it; the fear of being rebuffed? Why had no one told her that love's twin was not hate but cowardice?”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“How had it happened that when choosing the men and women who were to be torn from this subjugated plain, the hand of destiny had stayed so far inland, away from the busy coastlines, to alight on the people who were, of all, the most stubbornly rooted in the silt of the Ganga, in a soil that had to be sown with suffering to yield its crop of story and song? It was as if fate had thrust its fist through the living flesh of the land in order to tear away a piece of its stricken heart.”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“Hold a bottle by the neck and a woman by the waist. Never the other way around”.”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“Whatever the case, he saw now that it was a rare, difficult and improbable thing for two people from worlds apart to find themselves linked by a tie of pure sympathy, a feeling that owed nothing to the rules and expectations of others. He understood also that when such a bond comes into being, its truths and falsehoods, its obligations and privileges, exist only for the people who are linked by it, and then in such a way that only they can judge the honour and dishonour of how they conduct themselves in relation to each other.”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“Well sir, if slavery is freedom then I'm glad I don't have to make a meal of it. Whips and chains are not much to my taste.”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“It was a single poppy seed...she rolled it between her fingers and raised her eyes past the straining sails, to the star-filled vault above. On any other night she would have scanned the sky for the planet she had always thought to be the arbiter of her fate - but tonight her eyes dropped instead to the tiny sphere she was holding between her thumb and forefinger. She looked at the seed as if she had never seen one before, and suddenly she knew that it was not the planet above that governed her life: it was this minuscule orb - at once bountiful and all-devouring, merciful and destructive, sustaining and vengeful. This was her Shani, her Saturn.”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“I had thought you were a better man, Mr Reid, a man of your word, but I see that you are nothing but a paltry hommelette.'
'An omelette?'
'Yes, your word is not worth a dam.”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“How was it that no one had ever told her that it was not love itself, but its treacherous gatekeepers which made the greatest demands on your courage: the panic of acknowledging it; the terror of declaring it; the fear of being rebuffed? Why had no one told her that love’s twin was not hate but cowardice?”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“Sometimes, the lascars would gather between the bows to listen to the stories of the greybeards. There was the steward, Cornelius Pinto: a grey-haired Catholic, from Goa, he claimed to have been around the world twice, sailing in every kind of ship, with every kind of sailor - including Finns, who were known to be the warlocks and wizards of the sea, capable of conjuring up winds with a whistle.”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“in Bengal it was so easy to know who was who; more often than not, just to hear someone’s name would reveal their religion, their caste, their village.”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“Pon my sivvy, Miss Lambert! Aren’t you quite the dandyzette today? Fit to knock a feller oolter-poolter on his beam ends!”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“The wind is rising and we must make sail. Anchors aweigh! We must be off!”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“The truth is, sir, that men do what their power permits them to do. We are no different from the Pharaohs or the Mongols: the difference is only that when we kill people we feel compelled to pretend that it is for some higher cause. It is this pretence of virtue, I promise you, that will never be forgiven by history.”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“He woke to find himself sitting up, in the darkness. Gradually he became aware that there was an arm around his shoulder, holding him steady, as if in consolation: in this embrace there was more intimacy than he had ever known before, even with Elokeshi, and when a voice sounded in his ear, it was as if it were coming from within himself: ‘My name Lei Leong Fatt,’ it said. ‘People call Ah Fatt. Ah Fatt your friend.’ Those faltering, childlike words offered more comfort than was in all the poetry Neel had ever read, and more novelty too, because he had never before heard them said – and if he had, they would only have been wasted before, because he would not have been able to value them for their worth.”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“It occurred to him now to ask himself if this was how it happened : was it possible that the mere fact of using one's hands and investing one's attention in someone other than oneself, created a pride and tenderness that had nothing whatever to do with the response of the object of one's care - just as a craftsman's love for his handiwork is in no way diminished by the fact of it being unreciprocated?”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“Her hair, long, black and flowing, was her great asset, and she liked to wear it over her shoulders,”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“yet the very name Ganga-Sagar, joining, as it did, river and sea, clear and dark, known and hidden, served to remind the migrants of the yawning chasm ahead; it was as if they were sitting balanced on the edge of a precipice, and the island were an outstretched limb of sacred Jambudvipa, their homeland, reaching out to keep them from tumbling into the void.”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“...yet, unbeknownst to him, it had been kept alive - and it was only now, in listening to Deet's songs, that he recognized that the secret source of its nourishment was music: he had always had a great love of dadras, chaitis, barahmasas, horis, kajris - songs such as Deeti was singing. Listening to her now, he knew why Bhojpuri was the language of this music: because of all the tongues spoken between the Ganges and the Indus, there was none that was its equal in the expression of the nuances of love, longing and separation - of the plight of those who leave and those who stay at home.”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“charpoy,”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“Nabadwip, a centre of piety and learning consecrated to the memory of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu—saint, mystic, and devotee of Sri Krishna.”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
“But money, if not mastered, can bring ruin as well as riches,”
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies

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