“…she sensed that this project would consume all those years and more: it was the work of a lifetime. . . . here it was &emdash; and she stumbled on it by chance, exactly when things seemed to be going wrong. . . . at least she could see what it was about, how it happened that an idea floated unexpectedly into your mind and you knew in an instant that this was an errand that would detain you for the rest of your life. . . . it was true that whatever came of it would not revolutionize the sciences, or even a minor branch of them, but it was also true that if she were able to go through with it &emdash; even a part of it &emdash; it would be as fine a piece of descriptive science as any. It would be enough; as an alibi for a life, it would do; she would not need to apologize for how she had spent her time on this earth” (126-127).
“She imagined the [dolphins] circling drowsily, listening to echoes pinging through the water, painting pictures in three dimensions &emdash; images that only they could decode. The thought of experiencing your surroundings in that way never failed to fascinate her: the idea that to ‘see’ was also to ‘speak’ to others of your kind, where simply to exist was to communicate. . . .” (159).
”Every silence is preparation. . . . How better can we praise the world than by doing what the Poet would have us do: by speaking of potters and ropemakers, by telling of
‘some simple thing shaped for generation after generation
until it lives in our hands and in our eyes, and it’s ours’” (193).
“What could I write . . . what . . . would be the form of the lines? …would they flow, as the rivers did, or would they follow rhythms, as did the tides?” (216)
“…speaking in the voice of the Poet: ‘life is lived in transformation’” (225).
“…the mudbanks of the tide country are shaped not only by rivers of silt, but also by rivers of language: Bengali, English, Arabic, Hindi, Arakanese and who knows what else? Flowing into one another they create a proliferation of small worlds that hang suspended in the flow. And so it dawned on me: the tide country’s faith is something like of its great mohonas, a meeting not just of many rivers, but a roundabout people can use to pass in many directions &emdash; from country to country and even between faiths and religions” (247).
“Words are just air…When the wind blows on the water, you see ripples and waves, but the real river lies beneath, unseen and unheard” (258).
“Words are like the winds that blow ripples on the water’s surface. The river itself flows beneath, unseen and unheard” (335).
The Hungry Tide, by Amitav Ghosh