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Friday, March 21, 2014

Quotes by Khushwant Singh


Quotes by Khushwant Singh



“Not forever does the bulbul sing In balmy shades of bowers,
Not forever lasts the spring Nor ever blossom the flowers.
Not forever reigneth joy, Sets the sun on days of bliss,
Friendships not forever last, They know not life, who know not this.”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Train to Pakistan


“Freedom is for the educated people who fought for it. We were slaves of the English, now we will be slaves of the educated Indians—or the Pakistanis.”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Train to Pakistan

“The last to learn of gossip are the parties concerned”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Train to Pakistan

“Morality is a matter of money. Poor people cannot afford to have morals. So they have religion.”
― Khushwant Singh

“When the world is itself draped in the mantle of night, the mirror of the mind is like the sky in which thoughts twinkle like stars.”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi

“That's Delhi. When life gets too much for you all you need to do is to spend an hour at Nigambodh Ghat,watch the dead being put to flames and hear their kin wail for them. Then come home and down a couple of pegs of whisky. In Delhi, death and drink make life worth living,”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi

“Your principle should be to see everything and say nothing. The world changes so rapidly that if you want to get on you cannot afford to align yourself with any person or point of view.”
― Khushwant Singh
tags: paternalism, philosophy, politics

“Once through this ruined city did I pass
I espied a lonely bird on a bough and asked
‘What knowest thou of this wilderness?’
It replied: 'I can sum it up in two words:
‘Alas, Alas!”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi


Quotes by Khushwant Singh

“I am back in my beloved city. The scene of desolation fills my eyes with tears. At every step my distress and agitation increases. I cannot recognize houses or landmarks I once knew well. Of the former inhabitants, there is no trace. Everywhere there is a terrible emptiness. All at once I find myself in the quarter where I once resided. I recall the life I used to live: meeting friends in the evening, reciting poetry, making love, spending sleepless nights pining for beautiful women and writing verses on their long tresses which held me captive. That was life! What is there left of it? Nothing.”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi

“But big people’s illnesses are always made to sound big. The simple shutting and opening of the royal arse-hole was made to sound as if the world was coming to an end.”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi: A Novel

“I asked my soul: What is Delhi? She replied: The world is the body and Delhi its life. Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi: A Novel

“If the blanket of man’s fate has been woven black, even the waters of Zam Zam and Kausar cannot wash it white.”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi: A Novel

“The Hindus hatred of the Mussalmans did not make sense to me. The Muslims had conquered Hindustan. Why hadn’t our gods saved us from them? There was that Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni who had invaded Hindustan seventeen, times—not once or twice but seventeen times. He had destroyed the temple of Chakraswamy at Thanesar and nothing happened to him. Then Somnath. They said that even the sea prostrated itself twice every twenty-four hours to touch the feet of Somnath. But even the sea did not rise to save Somnathji from Mahmud.”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi: A Novel

“It was again to the Prophet Musa that Allah conveyed the essence of true religion. The Almighty said. ‘I was sick, and you did not come to see me. I was hungry, and you did not give me food.’ Musa asked ‘My God, can you also be sick and hungry?’ God replied ‘My servant so-and-so was sick, and my servant so-and-so was hungry. If you had visited one and fed the other, you would have found me with them.”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi: A Novel

“Maorality is a matter of money. Poor people cannot afford to have morals. So they have religion”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Train to Pakistan

“When you have counted eighty years and more, Time and Fate will batter at your door; But if you should survive to be a hundred, Your life will be death to the very core.”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi: A Novel

“One Sikh may argue with one Sikh. One Sikh must never argue with two Sikhs–certainly not after dark.”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi: A Novel

“India is constipated with a lot of humbug. Take modern Indian music of the films. It is all tango & rhumba or samba played on Hawaiian guitars, violins, accordions & clarinets. It is ugly. It must be scrapped like the rest.”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Train to Pakistan


1“Nature provides that a man who slaves all day should spend the hours of the night in a palace full of houris whereas a king who wields the sceptre by day should have his sleep disturbed by nightmares of rebellion and assassination.”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi: A Novel

“I realized that I belonged neither to the Hindus nor to the Mussalmans. How could I explain to my wife that while the Brahmins lived on offerings made to their gods, the Rajputs and the Jats had their lands, Aheers and the Gujars their cattle, the Banias their shops, all that the poor Kayasthas had were their brains and their reed pens! And the only people who could pay for their brains and their pens were the rulers who were Muslims!”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi: A Novel

“But if they asked me ‘Abdullah when will you become a true Muslim?’ I would reply ‘Soon, if that be the will of God— Inshallah.’ If anyone asked me whether we were Hindus or Mussalmans, we would reply we were both. Nizamuddin was our umbrella against the burning sun of Muslim bigotry and the downpour of Hindu contempt.”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi: A Novel

“How downhearted was Meer at night! Whatever came to his lips became a cry for help. When he started on the path of love, he was like fire; Now it’s ended he is a heap of ashes on a pyre.”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi: A Novel

“The eye hath ruined me,’ the heart complained. ‘The heart has lost me,’ the eye replied. I know not which told the truth, which lied Between, the two, it was Meer who died.”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi: A Novel

“There was another matter which caused much disturbance in our mind: the viciousness of sibling rivalry. We knew that kingship knows no kinship. No bridge of affection spans the abyss that separates a monarch from his sons; no bonds of affection exist between the sons of kings. Sired though they may have been by the same loins, lain in succession in the same womb and suckled the same breasts, no sooner were they old enough to know the world than they understood that they must destroy their siblings or be destroyed themselves.”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi: A Novel

“If you look at things as they are, there does not seem to be a code either of man or of God on which one can pattern one's conduct. Wrong triumphs over right as much as right over wrong. Sometimes its triumphs are greater. What happens ultimately, you do not know. In such circumstances what can you do but cultivate an utter indifference to all values? Nothing matters. Nothing whatever...”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Train to Pakistan

“We also knew that it was in the nature of an empty stomach to produce illusions of grandeur.”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi: A Novel

“His (Juggut Singh's) equation with authority was simple: he was on the other side. Personalities did not come into it. Subinspectors & policemen were people in khaki who frequently arrested him, always abused him, and sometimes beat him. Since they abused him and beat him without anger or hate, they were not human beings with names. They were only denominations one tried to get the better of. If one failed, it was just bad luck.”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Train to Pakistan

“little mother of ancient days: Thou hast cunningly dyed thy hair but consider That thy bent back will never be straight!”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi: A Novel

“We had heard that the people of Delhi loved their city as bees love flowers. But we could not believe that the child of a courtesan would prefer to live in a Delhi brothel rather than in our palace in Iran!”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi: A Novel

“A Turk for toughness, for hands that never tire; An Indian for her rounded bosom bursting with milk; A Persian for her tight crotch and her coquetry; An Uzbeg to thrash as a lesson for the three.”
― Quotes by Khushwant Singh, Delhi: A Novel

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