The Vine of Desire – Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

“We have seen the amazing, the primeval human dream made real: people with wings. And it hasn’t changed our lives.”
“A tableau of silence: three people inside their chests small black boxes, holding inside them smaller, blacker boxes.”
“Does she believe that her name will wait for her, obedient as a brooch one has put aside because it is old-fashioned, until she is ready to wear it again?”
“To live like Sara in the present, in adventure. To not care about the worms curled inside the apple of your future. Is that ever possible, once you have become a mother?”
“But love is code sketched in dust. You look away, the wind blows, the pattern shifts, and when you look again, you discover it says something else.”
“My presence saws at the frayed rope that holds Anju and Sunil together.”
“That’s how much she wants to glean their interiors-what they do when alone, what they wish for as they throw a penny into a fountain, where they are afraid to go in their sleep. She is convinced their lives are more interesting than her own. But perpaps all who hope to be writers must believe this? She holds them in her mind like Rubic’s Cubes, turning them over to see how they are put together. She imagines their problems in jewel colors, nothing like her own fatiguing, banal troubles. In a notebook that is filling up fast, she writes to her father, I love the problems of strangers because I am not responsible for solving them.
“Might as well ask which is the truth of the turtle, the soft flesh its predators crave, or the shell that protects it from them?”
“His Bengali is stilted, the vowels stiff as though cut out of cardboard, as though he hasn’t used them in a long time.”
“So many violences done to me. My mother pounding my life into the shape of her desires. My mother-in-law wanting to cut from it whatever she considered unseemly. My husband backing away, with his narrow apologetic shoulders. Sunil plunging inti the center of my body, corrosive with need.”
“Is there anything as conservative as a conservative Indian male?”
“Revenge is like mango chutney: delicious at first, it leaves your tongue stinging.”
“She can feel the minutes falling through the gaps between her fingers.”
“Whe you know the green things around you, you’re no longer a stranger.”
“From experience, she knows her parking karma is poor.”

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