Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Just 'thoughts'

* I would not want to belong to any club which would accept me as a member – Groucho Marx


* If you never change your mind, why have one? – Edward de Bono


* How did a non-practising, chain-smoking Muslim lawyer, who liked a drink, barely knew the basics of Islam, could speak no language other than English, preferred to dress in an immaculate suit, almost settled down in England, snubbed mullahs for dreaming of an Islamic state, abhorred Gandhi for his hymn-chanting politics, and dreamt of becoming an Indian Ataturk, single-handedly create Pakistan – M.J.Akbar on Jinnah in his book ‘The Shade of Swords’


* What is a man but a congress of nations ? – Ralph Waldo Emerson


* To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul – Simone Weil


* ” ………When I came to the US as a 17 year old from Karachi, all my friends were Jewish. It wasn’t a conscious thing, but something in the way they interacted with their parents, and the values they had, their relation to their grandparents, I could relate to.”

“I know what you’re saying” said the Jewish man, motioning to his Indian partner. “As soon as I met her parents, I felt at home. The way they spoke, the way they acted with her, the smell of their house, the feel of it: I was in my aunt’s house. I felt instantly at home, comfortable; I fell asleep!”

- From ‘The Global Soul’ by Pico Iyer


* “Best thing about Brooklyn? All the countries of the world are here. Worst thing about Brooklyn? None of us get along.” – An elderly black man in Wayne Wang’s and Paul Auster’s mock documentary, Blue in the Face


* Speaking across a language gap means speaking less to win than to communicate – Pico Iyer


* I dislike feeling at home when I’m abroad – George Bernard Shaw

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

P.G.Wodehouse - 4

From ‘The Luck of the Bodkins’

Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French. (page 1)

……his brow was furrowed, his eyes bulged, and each of his three chins seemed to compete with the others in activity of movement. (page 5)

‘I will come to that. Let me begin at the beginning.’

‘Skipping early childhood, of course?’ said Reggie, a little anxiously. In his present delicate state of health, something a bit on the condensed side was what he was hoping for. (page 26-27)

Mr.Llewellyn took the bulky envelope from her and opened it. As he perused its contents by the light of the library window, his lower jaw drifted slowly from its moorings, so that by the time he had finished his second chin had become wedged into the one beneath it. (page 43)

…he turned as much lie a flash as was in the power of a man whose waistline had disappeared in the year 1912. (page 49)

…….Ikey’s word! What a laugh that is. Why, if Ikey had an only child and he promised her a doll on her birthday, the first thing she would do, if she was a sensible kid, would be to go to the lawyer and have a contract drawn up and signed, with penalty clauses. (page 173)

….Do you suppose there’s a chance that when he thinks all this over quietly in his bath……..his heart will melt – ‘

‘He hasn’t a heart.’

‘I see.’

‘I’d like to wring his neck’

‘But he hasn’t a neck, either.’

They fell into a moody silence again, musing on Ivor Llewellyn. The man seemed armed on all points. (page 175-176)

From ‘Uncle Fred in the Springtime’

The yeast of spring is fermenting in my veins, and I am ready for anything. (page 31)

He wore now a disintegrated air, as if somebody had removed most of his interior organs. You see the same sort of thing in stuffed parrots when the sawdust has leaked out of them. (page 79)

‘……I think I’ve heard of Dillingworth. Odd sort of fellow, isn’t he?’

‘Very’

‘There was some story about him shooting mice in the drawing-room with an elephant gun.’

‘Yes’

‘Painful for the family. For the mice, too, of course.’ (page 124)

The Duke took in a mouthful of moustache, chewed it for a moment, seemed dissatisfied with the flavour and expelled it again with another forceful puff. (page 155)

‘….If Polly hadnt got a sweet nature, she’d have hit him with a bottle. But she’s her mother’s daughter.

‘Whose daughter did u expect her to be ?’ (page 171)

‘…..Marriage is a battlefield, not a bed of roses. Who said that? It sounds too good to be my own. Not that I don’t think of some extraordinarily good things, generally in my bath.’

‘I love Ricky.’

‘And very nice, too. But the only way of ensuring a happy married life is to get it thoroughly clear at the outset who is going to skipper the team. My own dear wife settled the point during the honeymoon, and ours has been an ideal union’ (page 203)

From ‘Sunset at Blandings’

‘the smile vanished from his face like breath off a razor blade’……..’Many a man may look respectable, and yet be able to hide at will behind a spiral staircase’………. ‘Ice formed on the butlers upper slopes’….’like so many substantial Americans, he had married young and kept on marrying, springing from blonde to blonde like the chamois of the Alps leaping from crag to crag’ (from the introduction by Douglas Adams)

‘……..I loved a girl. I wont tell you her name. I will call her Deirdre.’

‘I’ve often wondered how that name was spelled,’ said Vicky meditatively. ‘I suppose you start off with a capital D and then just trust to luck.’ (page 70)

From ‘Heavy Weather’

She came into the room a few moments later like a galleon under sail, her resolute chin and her china-blue eyes proclaiming a supreme confidence in her ability to get anything she wanted out of anyone. (page 11)

……you look like a bereaved tapeworm. (page 53)

…….heaving gently like a seaweed-covered sea……(page 103)

The sky seemed to press down like a poultice. (page 132)

He resembled far more nearly in his general demeanour one of those unfortunate gentlemen in railway station waiting-rooms who, having injudiciously consented at four-thirty to hold a baby for a strange woman, look at the clock and see that it is now six-fifteen and no relief in sight. (page 148)

From ‘Service With a Smile’

A hostess gets annoyed and frets when she finds that every second guest whom she entertains is enjoying her hospitality under a false name, and it sometimes seemed to her that Blandings Castle had imposters the way other houses had mice…….

From ‘Hot Water’

His face……..resembled a slab of granite with suspicious eyes (page 14)

Just give her my love and say I hope it chokes her (page 34)

You let a fellow like Gedge loose in Paris as an ambassador, and first thing you know he’d be giving America a black eye by being deported for cheating the French President at backgammon (page 40)