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A collection of thoughts and quotations by Arundhati Roy on happiness, life, stories, dreams, emptiness, family, grief, social justice and optimism.

97 Uplifting Quotes By Arundhati Roy That Will Leave You Thinking

Quick Facts

Famous As: Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter, Essayist

Born On: November 24, 1961

Born In: Assam

Suzanna Arundhati Roy is an Indian novelist, essayist and political activist. She is counted among the most influential literary figures in the modern world for her path breaking novel, ‘The God of Small Things’, for which she won the Man Booker Prize. Roy is an architect by education and studied at the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi, India but her true calling lay in creative pursuits. She dabbled in independent films for a bit but eventually took to writing. She wrote ‘The God of Small Things’ in 1997 and it is the only novel that she has ever written. However, it went on to become a bestseller and sold a record number of copies. She has also been a prolific writer of non-fiction books that have done reasonably well and is a regular contributor of essays for several publications worldwide. Roy has taken up several political causes in her life, starting from the Naxal uprising in India to Kashmiri separatism, that have made her the centre of controversies and she is often seen expressing her thoughts on various social platforms. She is a highly gifted orator and debater, as a result of which, she is quite vocal about expressing herself on various social issues. Here is a collection of Arundhati Roy sayings and quotes that would surely interest you.
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That's what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.

Arundhati Roy

And the air was full of Thoughts and Things to Say. But at times like these, only the Small Things are ever said. Big Things lurk unsaid inside.

Arundhati Roy

If you're happy in a dream, does that count?

Arundhati Roy

This was the trouble with families. Like invidious doctors, they knew just where it hurt.

Arundhati Roy

Change is one thing. Acceptance is another.

Arundhati Roy

She wore flowers in her hair and carried magic secrets in her eyes. She spoke to no one. She spent hours on the riverbank. She smoked cigarettes and had midnight swims...

Arundhati Roy

When you hurt people, they begin to love you less. That's what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.

Arundhati Roy

The way her body existed only where he touched her. The rest of her was smoke.

Arundhati Roy

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.

Arundhati Roy

I am completely a loner. In my head I want to feel I can be anywhere. There is a sort of recklessness that being a loner allows me.

Arundhati Roy

He folded his fear into a perfect rose. He held it out in the palm of his hand. She took it from him and put it in her hair.

Arundhati Roy

There is a war that makes us adore our conquerors and despise ourselves.

Arundhati Roy

The American way of life is not sustainable. It doesn’t acknowledge that there is a world beyond America.

Arundhati Roy

Things can change in a day.

Arundhati Roy

Ammu said that human beings were creatures of habit, and it was amazing the kind of things one could get used to.

Arundhati Roy

Some things come with their own punishments.

Arundhati Roy

If he touched her, he couldn't talk to her, if he loved her he couldn't leave, if he spoke he couldn't listen, if he fought he couldn't win.

Arundhati Roy

I think that I was quite a grown-up child, and I have been a pretty childish adult.

Arundhati Roy

As Estha stirred the thick jam he thought Two Thoughts and the Two Thoughts he thought were these: a) Anything can happen to anyone. and b) It is best to be prepared.

Arundhati Roy

D’you know what happens when you hurt people?’ Ammu said. ‘When you hurt people, they begin to love you less. That’s what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.

Arundhati Roy

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

Arundhati Roy

It was a time when the unthinkable became the thinkable and the impossible really happened

Arundhati Roy

Insanity hovered close at hand, like an eager waiter at an expensive restaurant.

Arundhati Roy

There's really no such thing as the 'voiceless'. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.

Arundhati Roy

Her grief grieved her. His devastated her.

Arundhati Roy

Little events, ordinary things, smashed and reconstituted. Suddenly, they become the bleached bones of a story.

Arundhati Roy

There are things that you can't do - like writing letters to a part of yourself. To your feet or hair. Or heart.

Arundhati Roy

Either way, change will come. It could be bloody, or it could be beautiful. It depends on us.

Arundhati Roy

And there it was again. Another religion turned against itself. Another edifice constructed by the human mind, decimated by human nature.

Arundhati Roy

Smells, like music, hold memories. She breathed deep, and bottled it up for posterity.

Arundhati Roy

People always loved best what they identified most with.

Arundhati Roy

Pointed in the wrong direction, trapped outside their own history and unable to retrace their steps because their footprints had been swept away.

Arundhati Roy

That it really began in the days when the Love Laws were made. The laws that lay down who should be loved, and how. And how much.

Arundhati Roy

He could do only one thing at a time. If he held her, he couldn't kiss her. If he kissed her, he couldn't see her. If he saw her, he couldn't feel her.

Arundhati Roy

When she listened to songs that she loved on the radio, something stirred inside her. A liquid ache spread under her skin, and she walked out of the world like a witch.

Arundhati Roy

By then Esthappen and Rahel had learned that the world had other ways of breaking men. They were already familiar with the smell. Sicksweet. Like old roses on a breeze.

Arundhati Roy

What came for them? Not death. Just the end of living.

Arundhati Roy

The only dream worth having, I told her, is to dream that you will live while you're alive and die only when you're dead.

Arundhati Roy

With the certitude of a true believer, Vellya Paapen had assured the twins that there was no such thing in the world as a black cat. He said that there were only black cat chaped holes in the universe.

Arundhati Roy

Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people’s minds & then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.

Arundhati Roy

Must we behave like some damn godforsaken tribe that's just been discovered?

Arundhati Roy

Wars are never fought for altruistic reasons.

Arundhati Roy

Flat muscled and honey coloured. Sea secrets in his eyes. A silver raindrop in his ear.

Arundhati Roy

Humans are animals of habit.

Arundhati Roy

Madness slunk in through a chink in History. It only took a moment.

Arundhati Roy

He held her as though she was a gift. Given to him in love. Something still and small. Unbearably precious.

Arundhati Roy

It is true that success is the most boring thing, it is tinny and brittle, failure runs deeper. Success is dangerous. I have a very complicated relationship with that word.

Arundhati Roy

She was perhaps too young to realize that what she assumed was her love for [him] was actually a tentative, timorous, acceptance of herself.

Arundhati Roy

Only that once again they broke the Love Laws. That lay down who should be loved. And how. And how much.

Arundhati Roy

Heaven opened and the water hammered down, reviving the reluctant old well, greenmossing the pigless pigsty, carpet bombing still, tea-colored puddles the way memory bombs still, tea-colored minds.

Arundhati Roy

He walked on water. Perhaps. But could he have *swum* on land? In matching knickers and dark glasses? With his Fountain in a Love-in-Tokyo? In pointy shoes and a puff? Would he have had the imagination?

Arundhati Roy

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. Maybe many of us won't be here to greet her, but on a quiet day, if I listen very carefully, I can hear her breathing.

Arundhati Roy

… he remained restrained and strangely composed. It was a composure born of extreme provocation. It stemmed from a lucidity that lies beyond rage.

Arundhati Roy

One beach-colored. One brown. One Loved. One Loved a Little Less.

Arundhati Roy

Let's leave one alive so that it can be lonely.

Arundhati Roy

To call someone 'anti-American', indeed, to be anti-American, is not just racist, it's a failure of the imagination.

Arundhati Roy

Old. A viable die-able age.

Arundhati Roy

There are things that can be forgotten. And things that cannot - that sit on dusty shelves like stuffed birds with baleful, sideways staring eyes.

Arundhati Roy

Here they learned to Wait. To Watch. To think thoughts and not voice them.

Arundhati Roy

They looked at each other. They weren't thinking anymore. The time for that had come and gone. Smashed smiles lay ahead of them. But that would be later. Lay Ter.

Arundhati Roy

His gratitude widened his smile and bent his back.

Arundhati Roy

To understand history,' Chacko said, 'we have to go inside and listen to what they're saying. And look at the books and the pictures on the wall. And smell the smells.

Arundhati Roy

Some days he walked along the banks of the river that smelled of shit and pesticides bought with World Bank loans.

Arundhati Roy

Humbling was a nice word, Rahel thought. Humbling along without a care in the world

Arundhati Roy

The fact that something so fragile, so unbearably tender had survived, had been allowed to exist, was a miracle.

Arundhati Roy

From now on it is not dying we must fear, but living.

Arundhati Roy

Margaret Kochamma's tiny, ordered life relinquished itself to this truly baroque bedlam with the quiet gasp of a warm body entering a chilly sea.

Arundhati Roy

Neither question nor answer was meant as anything more than a polite preamble to conversation.

Arundhati Roy

She viewed ethnic cleansing, famine and genocide as direct threats to her furniture.

Arundhati Roy

[Internationa] Aid is just another praetorian business enterprise.

Arundhati Roy

They only asked for punishments that fitted their crimes. Not ones that came like cupboards with built-in bedrooms. Not ones you spent your whole life in, wandering through its maze of shelves.

Arundhati Roy

Do we need weapons to fight wars? Or do we need wars to create markets for weapons?

Arundhati Roy

His eyes were polite yet maleficent, as though he was making an effort to be civil to the photographer while plotting to murder his wife.

Arundhati Roy

But can we, should we, let apprehensions about the future immobilize us in the present?

Arundhati Roy

...although you know that one day you will die, you live as if you won't.

Arundhati Roy

When you recreate the image of man, why repeat God's mistakes?

Arundhati Roy

Capitalism is destroying the planet. The two old tricks that dug it out of past crises--War and Shopping--simply will not work.

Arundhati Roy

They looked cheerful in the photograph, Lenin and his wife. As though they had a new refrigerator in their drawing room, and a down payment on a DDA flat.

Arundhati Roy

Debating Imperialism is a bit like debating the pros and cons of rape. What can we say? That we really miss it?

Arundhati Roy

On Rahel's heart Pappachi's moth snapped open its somber wings. Out. In. And lifted its legs. Up. Down.

Arundhati Roy

The war against terror is not really about terror. It's about a superpower's self-destructive impulse toward supremacy, stranglehold, global hemegony.

Arundhati Roy

[b.] be prepared to be prepared.

Arundhati Roy

The God of Loss. The God of Small Things. He left no footprints in the sand, no ripples in water, no image in mirrors.

Arundhati Roy

Ammu's tears made everything that had so far seemed unreal, real.

Arundhati Roy

Red ants that had a sour farty smell when they were squashed.

Arundhati Roy

And on Ammu's road (to Age and Death) a small, sunny meadow appeared. Copper grass spangled with blue butterflies. Beyond it, an abyss.

Arundhati Roy

He gathered her into the cave of his body." (Roy,338)

Arundhati Roy

Coercing a woman out of a burka is as bad as coercing her into one. It's not about the burka. It's about the coercion.

Arundhati Roy

Politeness. Obedience. Loyalty. Intelligence. Courtesy. Efficiency.

Arundhati Roy

The boat that Ammu would use to cross the river. To love by night the man her children loved by day.

Arundhati Roy

Ammu watched over them fiercely. Her watchfulness stretched her, made her taut and tense. She was quick to reprimand her children, but even quicker to take offense on their behalf.

Arundhati Roy

It's odd how those who dismiss the peace movement as Utopian proffer the most absurdly dreamy reasons for war.

Arundhati Roy

Rahel thought of the someone who had taken the trouble to go up there with cans of paint, white for the clouds, blue for the sky, silver for the jets, and brushes, and thinner.

Arundhati Roy

And the air was full of Thoughts and Things to Say. But at times like these, only the Small Things are ever said. Big Things lurk unsaid inside.” ― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

Arundhati Roy

Bog je zamenjen Marksom, Satana buržoazijom, raj besklasnim društvom, a crkva partijom, dok su vrsta i cilj putovanja ostali slični. Trka s preponama, na čijem cilju čeka nagrada.

Arundhati Roy

Ridges of muscle on his stomach rose under his skin like divisions on a slab of chocolate. He held her close by the light of an oil lamp, and he shone as though he had been polished with a high-wax body polish.

Arundhati Roy