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


I’m back with another.

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

Itachi,dalphaand27 otherslike this
Every line from P-Block of chemistry class XII NCERT 

Jai Shree Ram !

dalpha,Just_restlessand24 otherslike this


Neyawn,Joeyisthebestand24 otherslike this

"My Harvard Twenty-fifth Reunion is next month and I am scared to death.

Scared to face all my successful classmates, walking back on paths of glory, while I have nothing to show for my life except a few gray hairs.

Today a heavy, red-bound book arrived that chronicles all the achievements of The Class of ’58. It really brought home my own sense of failure.

I stayed up half the night just staring at the faces of the guys who once were undergraduates with me, and now are senators and governors, world-famous scientists and pioneering doctors.

Who knows which of them will end up on a podium in Stockholm?

Or the White House lawn?

And what’s amazing is that some are still married to their first wives.

A few of the most glittering successes were close friends of mine.

The roommate I once thought of as a fruitcake is the candidate likeliest to be our next Secretary of State. The future President of Harvard is a guy I used to lend my clothes to.

Another, whom we barely noticed, has become the musical sensation of our age. The bravest of them all laid down his life for something he believed in.

His heroism humbles me.

And I return, resplendent in my disappointment. I am the last Eliot of a great line to enter Harvard. My ancestors were all distinguished men.

In war, in peace, in church, in science, and in education. As recently as 1948, my cousin Tom received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

But the brilliance of the family tradition has grown dim with me. I don’t even hold a candle to Jared Eliot (Class of 1703), the man who introduced rhubarb to America. Yet I do have one tenuous connection with my noble forebears.

They were diarists.

My namesake, Reverend Andrew Eliot, ’37, while bravely tending his parishioners, kept a daily record –still extant –describing what the Revolutionary War was like during the siege of Boston in 1776.

The moment the city was liberated, he hurried to a meeting of the Harvard Board of Overseers to move that General George Washington be given an honorary doctorate.

His son inherited his pulpit and his pen, leaving a vivid account of America’s first days as a republic.

Naturally, there’s no comparison, but I’ve been keeping notebooks all my life as well.

Maybe that’s the single remnant of my heritage.

I’ve observed history around me, even if I didn’t make any of it.

Meanwhile, I’m still scared as hell." 

dalpha,paraand23 otherslike this

I guess I am suffering from poverty of knowledge !

Oasis,dalphaand23 otherslike this

"Humility is the recognition of your limitations, and it is from this understanding, and this understanding alone, that the drive comes to work hard at overcoming them."

(Rafa: My Story)

dalpha,Just_restlessand19 otherslike this

I read this in ESPNCricinfo's biography of Rahul Dravid: Timeless Steel. It is something that has stayed with me.

"Dravid's second century of the tour had begun with a bruising hour of play on Friday evening. He was hit on his wrist, jammed in the fingers, worked over. He kept batting through two more sessions, sometimes hobbling, sometimes cramping but always pushing forward. He was hit on the wrist again this morning, and after the initial spasm, his hand lost sensation for a few overs. What Dravid never lost was the purpose of what he had to do: bat one ball at a time."

Neyawn,Bajrang Lonikarand16 otherslike this

''My dad gave me advice on how to negotiate my way through life. 'Never make a decision until you have to.’

He'd also warn me that even if I was in a position of strength, whether at work or in relationships, I had to play fair.

'Just because you're  in the driver's seat, doesn't mean you have to run people over,' he'd say." 

― The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch 

Oasis,dalphaand15 otherslike this

wrote this years back after jee days. one of the initial attempts at writing. now when i look back, i feel i have lost touch with so many hobbies and interests. now trying to revive good old habits before i lose my essence completely.

Neyawn,Oasisand15 otherslike this

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,eurydiceand14 otherslike this

"Before reaching the final line, however, he had already understood that he would never leave that room, for it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth." –Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude 

This is my second shameless plug for my favourite fiction book. :)

Neyawn,dalphaand13 otherslike this

I have like hundreds of favourite quotes. Here’s one:

“It was only a smile, nothing more. It didn't make everything all right. It didn't make ANYTHING all right. Only a smile. A tiny thing. A leaf in the woods, shaking in the wake of a startled bird's flight. But I'll take it. With open arms. Because when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting.” 

- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

JD2021,dalphaand12 otherslike this

You are neither your body nor your mind nor your intellect nor your ego. - Sankhya (CD Sharma.)

Do you have the power to be happy whenever you choose to. 

(Any scope for suffering ends here, at least on paper)

Neyawn,dalphaand12 otherslike this

"To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation".

                       - Yann Martel, 'life of Pi'

"You might think I lost all hope at that point. I did. And as a result I perked up and felt much better. We see that in sports all the time, don’t we? The tennis challenger starts strong but soon loses confidence in his playing. The champion racks up the games. But in the final set, when the challenger has nothing left to lose, he becomes relaxed again, insouciant, daring. Suddenly he’s playing like the devil and the champion must work hard to get those last points. So it was with me. To cope with a hyena seemed remotely possible, but I was so obviously outmatched by Richard Parker that it wasn’t even worth worrying about. With a tiger aboard, my life was over.

                     - Yann Martel, 'life of Pi'

dalpha,Just_restlessand12 otherslike this

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live in reality” 

dalpha,Just_restlessand12 otherslike this

"Before reaching the final line, however, he had already understood that he would never leave that room, for it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth." –Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude 

This is my second shameless plug for my favourite fiction book. :)

I'm sorry, but I'm back with some other favourites of mine.

"...she sat staring at her reflection as if it were a face she might not see again and ought to memorise; then she could leave it behind, in the Fontaines de Médicis, and go in search of a new one." 

-Journey to Ithaca, Anita Desai

"The best books, he perceived, are those that tell you what you already know"

-1984, George Orwell

"....it was easier for him to bear other people's pain than his own"

-Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Màrquez

"It is curious how sometimes the memory of death lives on for so much longer than the memory of the life it purloined"

-The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy

I will stop now; thank you for reminding of all the books I need to revisit. :)

dalpha,eurydiceand12 otherslike this

"And when all the wars are over, a butterfly will still be beautiful. "

-Ruskin Bond. 

JD2021,dalphaand11 otherslike this

Some of my favorite quotes from the bookBindra, Abhinav; Rohit Brijnath.A Shot At History : My Obsessive Journey to Olympic Gold

  1. Unlike many sports, here perfection is not elusive, it is, in fact, a requirement.
  2. I have to make my life difficult, break it down into minute detail and master each part.
  3. Only sport can do this to you, strip you naked in an instant in public, step on your dreams, make four years of practice incidental.
  4. In our world, even hitting the bullseye isn’t enough. We have to hit a particular part of the bullseye, we have to exist on the very edge of perfection.
  5. You have to stretch yourself to the limit and leave very little to chance. Only then does reward arrive.
  6. Let me explain. My trigger is sensitive, it takes just 30 grams of pressure to set it off. Almost to the point where, if a platoon of arguing bees sat on it, it will fire. But I have enough control in my finger to pull it back 20 grams and then hold it, hold it, hold it, and then exert a little more to fire, as gently as a butterfly’s breath. It’s cool.
Neyawn,dalphaand11 otherslike this

Lord of the Rings

Neyawn,dalphaand11 otherslike this

“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.”

Originally written by Richard Dawkins. But I came across this para in the 'Sense of Style' by Steven Pinker.

Neyawn,Joeyisthebestand11 otherslike this
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