What is your favourite quote / para from a book you have read? - ForumIAS

What is your favourite quote / para from a book you have read?

This is for all the book lovers here. What is your favourite line/quote/paragraph from any book you have read. Can be fiction/non-fiction. 

JD2021,paraand24 otherslike this
27.9k views

117 comments

I’m back with another.

It slipped my mind to share this poem by Khalil Gibran I have stuck on my desk:


Itachi,dalphaand26 otherslike this
2.9k views
» show previous quotes

I started audio book of 100 years a solitude after checking out the awesome reviews. Been an avid reader since 7-8 years old, so, I don't have much difficulty in understanding. 

But this particular book seemed all over the place even after 3 hours of listening to it, eventually gave up. Too many characters, so many tricky names. 

Now I feel I should have rather finished it. 

Haha yeah itisa taxing read. I read it the first time around without any reviews; I was bored and it was there on the study table of my roommate who was doing Bachelor's in English Literature. 

So, if you don't enjoy it in audio, maybe try visual? That way you can stop wherever, go back to parts, and have a handy chart which explains the very complicated Buendia family tree :)

EiChan,AJ_and2 otherslike this
2.5k views

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”


~Sylvia Plath - The Bell Jar


On some days, I study for 12 hours and on the others, I sit with Sylvia Plath and my existential dread to overthink :p

D503,dalphaand7 otherslike this
2.4k views

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”


~Sylvia Plath - The Bell Jar


On some days, I study for 12 hours and on the others, I sit with Sylvia Plath and my existential dread to overthink :p

"...to the person in the Bell Jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is a bad dream."

This is my favourite one from the book.

I only do existential angst; no studies for me. No, Sir. 

Villanelle,MaeveWileyand2 otherslike this
2.5k views

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”


~Sylvia Plath - The Bell Jar


On some days, I study for 12 hours and on the others, I sit with Sylvia Plath and my existential dread to overthink :p

I was sad for days after finishing this book.



eurydice,MaeveWileyand2 otherslike this
2.3k views

I have been sharing this poem with an evangelical zeal ever since I came across it. It always makes me feel better about life and the world. 

It's long (sorry!), but makes me wish it were longer. 

Say Yes, by Andrea Gibson

When two violins are placed in a room if a chord on one violin is struck

the other violin will sound the note

If this is your definition of hope

This is for you

The ones who know how powerful we are

Who know we can sound the music in the people around us

simply by playing our own strings

for the ones who sing life into broken wings

open their chests and offer their breath

as wind on a still day when nothing seems to be moving

Spare those intent on proving god is dead



For you when your fingers are red

from clutching your heart

so it will beat faster

For the time you mastered the art of giving yourself for the sake of someone else

For the ones who have felt what it is to crush the lies

and lift truth so high the steeples bow to the sky

This is for you


This is also for the people who wake early to watch flowers bloom

Who notice the moon at noon on a day when the world

has slapped them in the face with its lack of light

For the mothers who feed their children first

and thirst for nothing when they’re full


This is for women

And for the men who taught me only women bleed with the moon

but there are men who cry when women bleed

men who bleed from women’s wounds

and this is for that moon

on the nights she seems hung by a noose

For the people who cut her loose

and for the people still waiting for the rope to burn

about to learn they have scissors in their hands


This is for the man who showed me

the hardest thing about having nothing

is having nothing to give

Who said the only reason to live is to give ourselves away

So this is for the day we’ll quit or jobs and work for something real

We’ll feel for sunshine in the shadows

look for sunrays in the shade


This is for the people who rattle the cage that slave wage built

and for the ones who didn’t know the filth until tonight

But right now are beginning songs that sound something like

people turning their porch lights on and calling the homeless back home


This is for all the shit we own

and for the day we’ll learn how much we have

when we learn to give that shit away

This is for doubt becoming faith

For falling from grace and climbing back up

For trading our silver platters for something that matters

like the gold that shines from our hands when we hold each other


This is for the grandmother who walked a thousand miles on broken glass

to find that single patch of grass to plant a family tree

where the fruit would grow to laugh

For the ones who know the math of war

has always been subtraction

so they live like an action of addition

For you when you give like every star is wishing on you

and for the people still wishing on stars

this is for you too


This is for the times you went through hell so someone else wouldn’t have to

For the time you taught a 14 year old girl she was powerful

This is for the time you taught a 14 year old boy he was beautiful

For the radical anarchist asking a republican to dance

cause what’s the chance of everyone moving from right to left

if the only moves they see are NBC and CBS


This is for the no becoming yes

For scars becoming breath

For saying I love you to people who will never say it to us

For scraping away the rust and remembering how to shine

For the dime you gave away when you didn’t have a penny

For the many beautiful things we do

For every song we’ve ever sung

For refusing to believe in miracles

because miracles are the impossible coming true

and everything is possible


This is for the possibility that guides us

and for the possibilities still waiting to sing

and spread their wings inside us

‘Cause tonight saturn is on his knees

proposing with all of his ten thousand rings

that whatever song we’ve been singing we sing even more

The world needs us right now more than it ever has before

Pull all your strings

Play every chord

If you’re writing letters to the prisoners

start tearing down the bars

If you’re handing our flashlights in the dark

start handing our stars

Never go a second hushing the percussion of your heart

Play loud

Play like you know the clouds have left too many people cold and broken

and you’re their last chance for sun

Play like there’s no time for hoping brighter days will come

Play like the apocalypse is only 4…3…2

but you have a drum in your chest that could save us

You have a song like a breath that could raise us

like the sunrise into a dark sky that cries to be blue

Play like you know we won’t survive if you don’t

but we will if you do

Play like saturn is on his knees

proposing with all of his ten thousand rings

that we give every single breath

this is for saying–yes

This is for saying yes

dalpha,eurydiceand13 otherslike this
2.6k views

Another one from this gem of a book that I read in class 10 and has stuck with me since then // 


"Ask yourself: Are you spending your time on the right things?

You may have causes, goals, interests. Are they even worth pursuing? I've long held on to a clipping from a newspaper in Roanoke, Virginia. It featured a photo of a pregnant woman who had lodged a protest against a local construction site. She worried that the sound of jackhammers was injuring her unborn child. But get this: In the photo, the woman is holding a cigarette. If she cared about her unborn child, the time she spent railing against jackhammers would have been better spent putting out that cigarette.''
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

dalpha,EiChanand4 otherslike this
2.2k views
"It is better to spark forth for a brief time than to smoke away for ages" - Mahabharata
EiChan,sjerngal
2.1k views
  • “Where there is distress, there is hope;where there is hope,there are efforts; where there are efforts,there are solutions; and where there are solutions,there is success.” - The Hindu
EiChan,Curious_soulsand5 otherslike this
2k views

Again, from RAFA: MY STORY.

I simply love this book. 

"A Federer fan once upon a time during teenage, turned into a Nadal fan after graduation!"

EiChan,DesiJonSnowand3 otherslike this
1.8k views
An excerpt from Before Memory Fades by F.S Nariman

"The riders in a race do not stop short when they reach the goal. There is a little finishing canter before coming to a standstill. There is time to hear the kind voice of friends and to say to one’s self, ‘the work is done’. But just as one says that, the answer comes: The race is over, but the work never is done while the power to work remains. The canter that brings you to a standstill need not be only coming to rest. It cannot be, while you still live. For to live is to function. That is all there is in living" A foreword to the first edition of Kanga & Palkhivala on Income Tax.

Nariman on Dalai Lama 

G. K. Chesterton once remarked that ‘Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly’. The Dalai Lama is neither clever nor worldly; he is simple, compassionate and wise, and he takes himself lightly. 

"Jonathan Seagull spent the rest of his days alone, but he flew way out beyond the Far Cliffs. His one sorrow was not solitude, it was that other gulls refused to believe the glory of flight that awaited them; they refused to open their eyes and see. He learned more each day. He learned that a streamlined high-speed dive could bring him to find the rare and tasty fish that schooled ten feet below the surface of the ocean: he no longer needed fishing boats and stale bread for survival. He learned to sleep in the air, setting a course at night across the offshore wind, covering a hundred miles from sunset to sunrise. With the same inner control, he flew through heavy seafogs and climbed above them into dazzling clear skies ... in the very times when every other gull stood on the ground, knowing nothing but mist and rain. He learned to ride the high winds far inland, to dine there on delicate insects. What he had once hoped for the Flock, he now gained for himself alone; he learned to fly, and was not sorry for the price that he had paid. Jonathan Seagull discovered that boredom and fear and anger are the reasons that a gull’s life is so short, and with these gone from his thought, he lived a long fine life indeed." - Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach.
whatonly,
1.7k views

    For most of my adolescence and young adulthood, I fantasized about being a musician—a rock star, in particular. Any badass guitar song I heard, I would always close my eyes and envision myself up on stage, playing it to the screams of the crowd, people absolutely losing their minds to my sweet finger-noodling glory. This fantasy could keep me occupied for hours on end.


    Despite my fantasizing about this for over half my lifetime, the reality never came to fruition. And it took me a long time and a lot of struggle to finally figure out why: I didn’t actually want it.

     

    I was in love with the result—the image of me on stage, people cheering, me rocking out, pouring my heart into what I was playing—but I wasn’t in love with the process. And because of that, I failed at it. Repeatedly. Hell, I didn’t even try hard enough to fail at it. I hardly tried at all. The daily drudgery of practicing, the logistics of finding a group and rehearsing, the pain of finding gigs and actually getting people to show up and give a shit, the broken strings, the blown tube amp, hauling forty pounds of gear to and from rehearsals with no car. It’s a mountain of a dream and a mile high climb to the top. And what it took me a long time to discover is that I didn’t like to climb much. I just liked to imagine the summit.


    The common cultural narratives would tell me that I somehow failed myself, that I’m a quitter or a loser, that I just didn’t “have it,” that I gave up on my dream and that maybe I let myself succumb to the pressures of society. But the truth is far less interesting than any of these explanations. The truth is, I thought I wanted something, but it turns out I didn’t. End of story.


    I wanted the reward and not the struggle. I wanted the result and not the process. I was in love with not the fight but only the victory.


    And life doesn’t work that way.

     

                                                               ---The subtle art of not giving a f*ck by Mark Manson

    Minion,brownianMotionand4 otherslike this
    1.6k views

    “I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”


    ~Sylvia Plath - The Bell Jar


    On some days, I study for 12 hours and on the others, I sit with Sylvia Plath and my existential dread to overthink :p

    This is from Mad Girl’s Love song bySylvia Plath

    “ I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;

    I lift my lids and all is born again.

    (I think I made you up inside my head.)”




    Aurora,AJ_and5 otherslike this
    1.5k views

    This is the precept by which I have lived: Prepare for the worst; expect the best; and take what comes. 

              -Hannah Arendt

    (Today's Indian Express)

    AJ_,sjerngaland5 otherslike this
    1.3k views

    It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know aboutlove and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in aninstant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured. I realized,somehow, through the screaming in my mind, that even in that shackled,bloody helplessness, I was still free: free to hate the men who weretorturing me, or to forgive them. It doesn't sound like much, I know. But inthe flinch and bite of the chain, when it's all you've got, that freedom is auniverse of possibility. And the choice you make, between hating andforgiving, can become the story of your life.

    The simple and astonishing truth about India and Indian people is that when you go there, and deal with them, your heart always guides you more wisely than your head. There's nowhere else in the world where that's quite so true.

    ~ Shantaram


    Aurora,MaeveWileyand2 otherslike this
    1.3k views
    @eurydice Oh I love that poem

    I fancied you'd return the way you said,
    But I grow old and I forget your name.
    (I think I made you up inside my head.)


    eurydice,nerdfighterand1 otherslike this
    1.2k views

    Slightly offbeat but one of my favourite part is from Rashmirathi:  

    रे अश्वसेन ! तेरे अनेक वंशज, हैं छिपे नरों में भी ।
    सीमित वन में ही नहीं, बहुत बसते पुरग्राम-घरों में भी।।

    ये नर-भुजंग मानवता का, पथ कठिन बहुत कर देते हैं ।
    प्रतिबल के वध के लिए नीच, साहाय्य सर्प का लेते हैं।। 

    ऐसा न हो कि इन साँपों में, मेरा भी उज्ज्वल नाम चढ़े।
    पाकर मेरा आदर्श और कुछ, नरता का यह पाप बढ़े।।

    अर्जुन है मेरा शत्रु, किन्तु वह सर्प नहीं, नर ही तो है,
    संघर्ष, सनातन नहीं, शत्रुता, इस जीवन-भर ही तो है।

    अगला जीवन किसलिए भला, तब हो द्वेषांध बिगाड़ूँ मैं।
    साँपों की जाकर शरण, सर्प बन, क्यों मनुष्य को मारूँ मैं?

    जा भाग, मनुज का सहज शत्रु, मित्रता न मेरी पा सकता।
    मैं किसी हेतु भी यह कलंक, अपने पर नहीं लगा सकता
    =============================================
    Context: The war of Mahabharat is going on. Arjuna and Karna are engaged in a fearsome duel, where none seems to be winning and none seems to be losing.

    King of all snakes Takshaka offers himself to become an arrow and kill Arjuna for Karna, because of an old grudge. 

    Karna being the noble warrior declines his offer as he can not take support and use treacherous methods to defeat another warrior.

    The above lines then describe how Karna describe humanity being full of such snakes who will stoop to any low, in order to benefit themselves. Karna can not set a wrong example for the generations to come. He has a moral duty to fulfill. 

    I can not possibly explain the beauty with which Ramdhari Singh Dinkar wrote these lines. But the essence remains a valid commentary on human character. 
    (Don't know what's wrong with forum fonts)

    EiChan,Rashmirathiand1 otherslike this
    1.2k views

    What is wrong and what is right,

    The conundrum where most of us survive.

    At times we feel it's  right,

    While at some we think its wrong hence better to deny.

    You feel I am right whereas it might be that I am suffering from inside.

    It's tougher than tough to decide the, dwelling between this contrasting twin.

    Both on the same plate one rewards glory while other sympathy.

    Right and wrong, perhaps amongst the first to be taught,

    But it takes a lifetime to unravel the thought.

    When we reach glory the treaded path is treated right,

    But if obscurity the same path is now all bestowed with wrongs.

    At times our feelings are right for a person,

    At another that person is wrong to be trusted upon.

    The more you get older

    The days' tend to get colder

    You are old and supposedly ought to know right,

    The society demands your each deeds to be right,

    Wish they could also make us aware of the exact path that leads to right

    At times we are certain of it to be  wrong but do not know it's supplement as right.

    We jostle between right and wrong.

    We make all wrong plans to reach at right.

    We do everything right yet reach at wrong.

    We spend entire lifetime doing right,

    But when end knocks we realize your existence itself was wrong.

    So what is actually right?

    The end must reveal the secret of wrong and right,

    But its upon oneself to decide.

    As the one that seems right to me might be wrong to the entire mankind;


    ----- by the one who posted it

    Rashmirathi,whatonly
    1.1k views

    sometimes we do not know what will kill  us first the endless wait for something or the final outcome......

    --------@Neyawn

    (i felt this line deeply)

    Rashmirathi,sjerngal
    1.1k views
    Write your comment…