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April 27, 2017

Quotations by Anita Desai


ANITA DESAI (B. 1937), AN INDIAN NOVELIST AND SHORT STORY WRITER, ESPECIALLY NOTED FOR HER SENSITIVE PORTRAYAL OF THE INNER LIFE OF HER FEMALE CHARACTERS.

“Isn't it strange how life won't flow, like a river, but moves in jumps, as if it were held back by locks that are opened now and then to let it jump forwards in a kind of flood?” ~ Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day

“Isn't it strange how life won't flow, like a river, but moves in jumps, as if it were held back by locks that are opened now and then to let it jump forwards in a kind of flood?”
~ Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day

“Do you know anyone who would — secretly, sincerely, in his innermost self — really prefer to return to childhood? “
~ Anita Desai, The Clear Light of Day

“They never looked at anyone else, only at each other, with an expression that halted me. It was tender, loving, yes, but in an inhuman way, so intense. Divine, I felt. Or insane.”
~ Anita Desai, Studies in the Park

“Even though his cigarette stank — it was a local one, wrapped in a tendu leaf, fierce enough to make his head swim — he could smell the distinctive Indian odour — of dung, both of cattle and men, of smoke from the village hearts, of cattle food and cattle urine, of dust, of pungent food cooking, of old ragged clothes washed without soap and put out to dry, the aroma of poverty.”
~ Anita Desai, Baumgartner's Bombay

“It seemed to her that the dullness and the boredom of her childhood, her youth, were stored here in the room under the worn dusty red rugs, in the bloated brassware, amongst the dried grasses in the swollen vases, behind the yellowed photographs in the oval frames-everything, everything that she had so hated as a child and that was still preserved here as if this were the storeroom of some dull, uninviting provincial museum.”
~ Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day

 “At first she mistook them for sheets of pink crepe paper that someone had crumpled and carelessly flung down the hillside, perhaps after another astonishing party at the club. A moment later she remembered her great-grandmother's words and saw that they were hosts of wild pink zephyranthes that had come up in the night after the first fall of rain.”
~ Anita Desai, Fire on the Mountain

“Although it was shadowy and dark, Bim could see as well as by the clear light of day that she felt only love and yearning for them all, and if there were hurts, these gashes in her side that bled, then it was only because her love was imperfect and did not encompass them thoroughly enough, and because it had flaws and inadequacies and did not extend to all equally.”
~ Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day

“They should be sitting together in the moonlight, looking together at  the moon that hung over the garden like some great priceless pearl, flawed and blemished with grey shadowy ridges as only a very great beauty can risk being.”
~ Anita Desai, Clear light of Day

“Greenness hangs, drips and sways from every branch and twig and frond in the surging luxuriance of July.”
~ Anita Desai, Fasting, Feasting

“Only their efforts to make him talk failed. he would say one word at a time, if pressed, but seemed happier not to and could not be made to repeat a whole line. Gradually, as his family learnt how to anticipate his few needs and how to respond, they ceased to notice his silence -his manner of communication seemed full and rich enough to them: he no more needed to converse than Aunt Mira's cat did.”
~ Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day

“The room rang with her voice, then with silence. In the shaded darkness, silence had the quality of a looming dragon. It seemed to roar and the roar to reverberate, to dominate. To escape from it would require a burst of recklessness, even cruelty.”
~ Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day

“Quick, nervy and jumpy -yet to the children she was as constant as a staff, a tree that can be counted on not to pull up its root and shift in the night. She was the tree that grew in the centre of their lives and in whose shade they lived.”
~ Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day

“The wheel turns and turns and turns: it never stops and stands still.”
~ Anita Desai, The Village by the Sea

“The scent of earth receiving water, slaking its thirst in great gulps and releasing that green scent of freshness, coolness.”
~ Anita Desai, Games at Twilight

“It took them a minute to grasp what he was saying, even who he was. They had quite forgotten him.”
~ Anita Desai, Games at Twilight
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