A Thousand Splendid Suns Quotes
A man's heart is a wretched, wretched thing. It isn't like a mother's womb. It won't bleed. It won't stretch to make room for you.
You see, some things I can teach you. Some you learn from books. But there are things that, well, you have to see and feel.
You changed the subject." "From what?" "The empty-headed girls who think you're sexy." "You know." "Know what?" "That I only have eyes for you.
Perhaps this is just punishment for those who have been heartless, to understand only when nothing can be undone.
And the past held only this wisdom: that love was a damaging mistake, and its accomplice, hope, a treacherous illusion. And whenever those twin poisonous flowers began to sprout in the parched land of that field, Mariam uprooted them. She uprooted them and ditched them before they took hold.
I know you're still young but I want you to understand and learn this now. Marriage can wait, education cannot. You're a very very bright girl. Truly you are. You can be anything you want Laila. I know this about you. And I also know that when this war is over Afghanistan is going to need you as much as its men maybe even more. Because a society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated Laila. No chance.
Boys, Laila came to see, treated friendship the way they treated the sun: its existence undisputed; its radiance best enjoyed, not beheld directly.
Mariam lay on the couch, hands tucked between her knees, watched the whirlpool of snow twisting and spinning outside the window. She remembered Nana saying once that each snowflake was a sigh heaved by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world. That all the sighs drifted up the sky, gathered into clouds, then broke into tiny pieces that fell silently on the people below. As a reminder of how people like us suffer, she'd said. How quietly we endure all that falls upon us.
yet love can move people to act in unexpected ways and move them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with startling heroism.
and yet she was leaving the world as a woman who had love and been loved back. she was leaving it as a friend, a companion, a guardian. a mother. a person of consequence at last.
I'm sorry," Laila says, marveling at how every Afghan story is marked by death and loss and unimaginable grief. And yet, she sees, people find a way to survive, to go on.
Tariq tucked the gun into the waist of his denims. Then he said a thing both lovely and terrible. "For you," he said. "I'd kill with it for you, Laila.
She would never leave her mark on Mammy's heart the way her brothers had, because Mammy's heart was like a pallid beach where Laila's footprints would forever wash away beneath the waves of sorrow that swelled and crashed, swelled and crashed.
Each snowflake was a sigh heard by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world. All the sighs drifted up the sky, gathered into clouds, then broke into tiny pieces that fell silently on the people below. As a reminder of how women suffer.
Though there were moments of beauty, Mariam knew for the most part that life had been unkind to her.
And that, ...is the story of our country, one invasion after another...Macedonians. Saddanians. Arabs. Mongols. Now the Soviets. But we're like those walls up there. Battered, and nothing pretty to look at, but still standing.
Then I think of all the tricks, all the minutes all the hours and days and weeks and months and years waiting for me. All of it without them. And I can't breathe then, like someone's stepping on my heart, Laila. So weak I just want to collapse somewhere.
A woman who will be like a rock in a riverbed, enduring without complaint, her grace not sullied but shaped by the turbulence that washes over her.
In the coming days and weeks, Laila would scramble frantically to commit it all to memory, what happened next. Like an art lover running out of a burning museum, she would grab whatever she could--a look, a whisper, a moan--to salvage from perishing to preserve. But time is the most unforgiving of fires, and she couldn't, in the end, save it all.
She thought of Aziza's stutter, and of what Aziza had said earlier about fractures and powerful collisions deep down and how sometimes all we see on the surface is a slight tremor.
People…shouldn’t be allowed to have new children if they’d already given away all their love to their old ones. It wasn’t fair.
Laila remembered Mammy telling Babi once that she had married a man who had no convictions. Mammy didn't understand. She didn't understand that if she looked into a mirror, she would find the one unfailing conviction of his life looking right back at her.
She wished she could visit Mariam's grave, to sit with her awhile, leave a flower or two. But she sees now that it doesn't matter. Mariam is never very far.... Mariam is in her own heart, where she shines with the bursting radiance of a thousand suns.
But Laila has decided that she will not be crippled by resentment. Mariam wouldn’t want it that way. ‘What’s the sense?’ she would say with a smile both innocent and wise. ‘What good is it, Laila jo?’ And so Laila has resigned herself to moving on. For her own sake, for Tariq’s, for her children’s. And for Mariam, who still visits Laila in her dreams, who is never more than a breath or two below her consciousness. Laila has moved on. Because in the end she knows that’s all she can do. That and hope.
If I ever do get married," Tariq said, "they'll have to make room for three on the wedding stage. Me, the bride, and the guy holding the gun to my head.
Joseph shall return to Canaan, grieve not, Hovels shall turn to rose gardens, grieve not. If a flood should arrive, to drown all that's alive, Noah is your guide in the typhoon's eye, grieve not.
She would grab whatever she could - a look, a whisper, a moan - to salvage from perishing, to preserve. But time is most unforgiving of fires, and she couldn't, in the end, save it all.
Laila came to believe that of all the hardships a person has to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.
Mariam always held her breath as she watched him go. She held her breath and, in her head, counted seconds. She pretended that for each second that she didn't breathe God would grant her another day with Jalil.
Though there had been moments of beauty in it, Mariam knew that life for most part has been unkind to her. But as she walked the final twenty paces, she could not help but wish for more of it.
At times, he didn't understand the meaning of the Koran's words. But he said he liked the enhancing sounds the Arabic words made as they rolled off his tongue. He said they comforted him, eased his heart. "They'll comfort you to . Mariam jo," he said. "You can summon then in your time of your need, and they won't fail you. God's words will never betray you, my girl.
I’ll die if you go. The Jinn will come, and I’ll have one of my fits. You’ll see, I’ll swallow my tongue and die. Don’t leave me, Mariam jo. Please stay. I’ll die if you go.
Marriage can wait. Education cannot...Because a society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated, Laila. No chance.
You know the old bit," he said. "You're on a deserted island. You can have five books. Which do you choose? I never thought I'd actually have to.
But Mariam hardly noticed, hardly cared...the future did not matter. And the past held only this wisdom: that Love was a damaging mistake and its accomplice, Hope, a treacherous illusion.
Her beauty was the talk of the valley.It skipped two generations of women in our family, but it sure didn't bypass you, Laila.
She lived in fear of his shifting moods, his volatile temperament, his insistence on steering even mundane exchanges down a confrontational path that, on occasion, he would resolve with punches, slaps, kicks, and sometimes try to make amends for with polluted apologies, and sometimes not.
A man’s heart is a wretched, wretched thing, Mariam. It isn’t like a mother’s womb. It won’t bleed, it won’t stretch to make room for you.
Inside Laila too a battle was being waged : guilt on one side, partnered with shame, and, on the other, the conviction that what she and Tariq had done was not sinful; that it had been natural, good, beautiful, even inevitable, spurred by the knowledge that they might never see each other again.
I will use a flower petal for paper, And write you the sweetest letter, You are the sultan of my heart, Sultan of my heart.