Neamat Imam

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Neamat Imam, 2012

Neamat Imam (born January 5, 1971) is a Bangladeshi-Canadian author of literary fiction. He has authored five books. He is best known for his historical novel The Black Coat published in Hamish Hamilton by Penguin Books India.


The Black Coat (2013)[edit]

  • I wanted to save my face because only that was what I had.
  • There is no question that could not be asked in this land.
  • No government will ever surrender to the wishes of its people. No society will ever be free from the control of its government.
  • It is hard for a faithful citizen to believe that his government does not care about him.
  • You can’t predict anything about a ruler.
  • Life is not supposed to make things complex. It is to unwind things, by giving simple answers to simple questions.
  • Let us face the truth: why should I feel guilty for being alive? Why should I sacrifice my life in order to prove that I am strong?
  • Desperation guides us in life. Rationality does not.
  • Seventy million people will talk about seventy million solutions to the same problem.
  • A man should have the right to choose his own shoes.
  • Shoes could be sold and resold, unlike a Constitution.
  • Suffering is not an otherworldly affair; it will never be that a person won’t be able to unearth the mystery of his suffering in his lifetime.
  • It is not mandatory, I thought, that a society must have people who are vile and who rear filthiness instead of grit and ambition.
  • There is no good or evil in the world. Only images.
  • ‘So this is what famine does to a person,’ I thought as I walked back home. ‘It does not bring one to his knees only; it eats one alive. It is hungrier than a hungry man.’
  • The taller the building, the better the view.
  • Imagine a day when this yard will be crowded with hundreds of leaders of the country. They will compete with each other, argue with each other, insult each other, throw shoes, leather bags, teacups, microphones and chairs at each other, break each other’s neck and determination, and then, at the end of the day, shamelessly compromise with each other for the sake of the party, and on the order of the leader.
  • People want to see you own something as precious so that they are assured that you are not going to steal from them. The richer the leader, the more respected he is.
  • Walking is always for tomorrow; yesterday’s walk, today’s walk, tomorrow’s walk – all for tomorrow. That is what this world is.
  • This day says nothing different to me than to you.
  • ‘Tell me something about your life, ‘he said. ‘My life?’ the rickshaw-wallah asked. ‘I do not have one.’
  • ‘Every man has a vision,’ Nur Hussain said. ‘Whether he understands it or not.
  • It is ego that makes a man.
  • ‘Do not burden yourself with problems that you do not understand,’ he said. ‘If you do, then only the problems win. Human life becomes a tragedy.’
  • No man is more of a stranger to you than you are to him. Receive him with trust.
  • Look beyond your self-importance and pain. You will know yourself better.
  • Our hearts have to cry to end our tears.
  • Everyone has to do something for survival, but that something does not have to define the real character of a person. I am what my head tells me I am. I am what my feelings say I am. I do not depend on anyone’s approval.
  • Becoming a nationalist is not a matter of decision; it means one has locked one’s mind forever. No reason or practical advice or evidence is strong enough to unlock it.

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