Midnight's Children

...because silence, too, has an echo, hollower and longer-lasting than the reverberations of any sound.

Children are the vessels into which adults pour their poison.

Everything has shape, if you look for it. There is no escape from form.

For every snake, there is a ladder; for every ladder,a snake

I admit it: above all things, I fear absurdity.

I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I'm gone which would not have happened if I had not come.

I fell victim to the temptation of every autobiographer, to the illusion that since the past exists only in one's memories and the words which strive vainly to encapsulate them, it is possible to create past events simply by saying they occurred.

I have been only the humblest jugglers-with-facts; and that, in a country where the truth is what it is instructed to be, reality quite literally ceases to exist, so that everything becomes possible except what we are told is the case; and maybe this was the difference between my Indian childhood and Pakistani adolescence--that in the first I was beset by an infinity of alternative realities, while in the second I was adrift, disoriented, amid an equally infinite number of falsenesses, unrealities and lies.

I learned: the first lesson of my life: nobody can face the world with his eyes open all the time.

India, the new myth--a collective fiction in which anything was possible, a fable rivalled only by the two other mighty fantasies: money and God.

Memory's truth, because memory has its own special kind. It selects, eliminates, alters, exaggerates, minimizes, glorifies, and vilifies also; but in the end it creates its own reality, its heterogeneous but usually coherent version of events; and no sane human being ever trusts someone else's version more than his own.

Most of what matters in our lives takes place in our absence.

?No people whose word for 'yesterday' is the same as their word for 'tomorrow' can be said to have a firm grip on the time.

optimism is a disease

perhaps, if one wishes to remain an individual in the midst of the teeming multitudes, one must make oneself grotesque.

Reality is a question of perspective; the further you get from the past, the more concrete and plausible it seems - but as you approach the present, it inevitably seems more and more incredible.

There is nothing like a War for the reinvention of lives...

Things, even people have a way of leaking into each other like flavours when you cook.

To understand just one life, you have to swallow the world.

To understand just one life you have to swallow the world ... do you wonder, then, that I was a heavy child?

Unless, of course, there's no such thing as chance;...in which case, we should either-optimistically-get up and cheer, because if everything is planned in advance, then we all have a meaning and are spared the terror of knowing ourselves to be random, without a why; or else, of course, we might-as pessimists-give up right here and now, understanding the futility of thought decision action, since nothing we think makes any difference anyway, things will be as they will. Where, then, is optimism? In fate or in chaos?

We all owe death a life.

What can't be cured must be endured.

What grows best in the heat: fantasy; unreason; lust.

What had been (at the beginning) no bigger than a full stop had expanded into a comma, a word, a sentence, a paragraph, a chapter; now it was bursting into more complex developments, becoming, one might say, a book - perhaps an encylopaedia - even a whole language...

What's real and what's true aren't necessarily the same.

What you were is forever who you are.

Whores and writers, Mahound. We are the people you can't forgive.

Who what am I? My answer: I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I’ve gone which would not have happened if I had not come. Nor am I particularly exceptional in this matter; each ‘I’, every one of the now-six-hundred-million-plus of us, contains a similar multitude. I repeat for the last time: to understand me, you’ll have to swallow the world.

Who what am I? My answer: I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I've gone which would not have happened if I had not come. Nor am I particularly exceptional in this matter; each "I", everyone of the now-six-hundred-million-plus of us, contains a similar multitude. I repeat for the last time: to understand me, you'll have to swallow a world.