- Hell is other people's fantasies...
- Children are vessels where adults pour their poison.
- There is no magic on earth strong enough to wipe out the legacies of one's parents.
- "The Shadow of the Mosque"
- Who what am I? My answer: I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I've gone which would not have happened if I had not come. Nor am I particularly exceptional in this matter; each "I," every one of the now-six-hundred-million-plus of us, contains a similar multitude. I repeat for the last time: to understand me, you'll have to swallow a world.
- "Sam and the Tiger"
- "You be respectable, sister," she said, "Me, I'll be alive."
- "How Saleem Achieved Purity"
- There was one more serious problem... they failed to notice the immobility of my eyelids... they observed my icy blueness, but there was not the slightest tremor; until Amina took matters into her own hands and reached into the cradle to stroke my eyelids downwards. They closed: my breathing altered, instantly, to the contented rhythms of sleep. After that, for several months, mother and ayah took it in turns to open and close my lids. "He'll learn, Madam," Mary comforted Amina, "He is a good obedient child and he will get the hang of it for sure." I learned: the first lesson of my life: nobody can face the world with his eyes open all the time.
- The Fisherman's Pointing Finger
- No people whose word for "yesterday" is the same as their word for "tomorrow" can be said to have a firm grip on the time.
- "Tick, Tock"
- What had been (at the beginning) no bigger than a full stop, had expanded into a comma, a word, a sentence, a paragraph, a chapter; now it was bursting into more complex developments, becomming, one might say, a book - perhaps an encyclopaedia - even a whole language ...