(Div from the story, told it to Baba Ayub for his act of giving Qais away to the div)
…Cruelty and benevolence are but shades of the same colour.
(Div to Babay Ayub, in the story)
I suspect the truth is that we are waiting, all of us, against insurmountable odds, for something extraordinary to happen to us.
(Nabi, in his letter to Mr. Markos, on his feelings after Nila Wahdati got Pari)
They say, Find a purpose in your life and live it. But, sometimes, it is only after you have lived that you recognize your life had a purpose, and likely one you never had in mind. And now that I had fulfilled mine, I felt aimless and adrift.
(Nabi on how he felt after Suleiman’s death)
People mostly have it backward. They think they live by what they want. But really what guides them is what they’re afraid of. What they don’t want.
(Markos’s Mama to Markos on what made him leave Greece, what made Thalia stay- both scare by what they didn’t want)
His love for me was as true, vast, and permanent as the sky, and that it would always bear down upon me. It was the kind of love that, sooner or later, cornered you into a choice: either you tore free or you stayed and withstood its rigor even as it squeezed you into something smaller than yourself.
(Pari about her father, Abdullah, and how she felt that her parents didn’t want her to leave for college)
That is something a person will never regret. You will never say to yourself when you are old, Ah I wish I was not good to that person. You will never think that.
(Pari about how she would have been kinder to her mother, Nila Wahdati)
Ragged and lost, staggering across a desert, the path behind him littered with all the shiny little pieces that life has ripped from him.
(Pari about her father)