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Mohsin Hamid Quotes
Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.
Love places someone else in the centre of your being and your own self is blurred.
Migration isn't a one-directional process; it's a colossal process that has been happening in all directions for thousands of years.
Like many kids, I used to pretend all sorts of things. I would climb into a tree and imagine that I was on an island, that the grass below we was an ocean, that the leaves were the fins of sharks. Perhaps unlike many people, I never really stopped. I still have a childlike predisposition to fantasise and share my fantasies.
Given enough time, polar bears might migrate off the Arctic ice, evolve darker coats, find a different diet, and thrive in a new, warmer climate. But if the ice on which they depend disappears in a few decades, they are likely to die.
The world seems concerned with Pakistan primarily as an actor in global attempts to combat terrorism.
There is a huge sense of loneliness as people leave villages and move to cities. It's hard to find that human connection as you move away from where you started.
Part of the reason people abroad resent the United States is something Americans can do very little about: envy. The richest, most powerful country in the world attracts the jealousy of others in much the same way that the richest, most powerful man in a small town attracts the jealousy of others.
We are each of us composed of atoms, but equally, we are composed by time.
Childbirth changed my perception of my wife. She was now the bloodied special forces soldier who had fought and risked everything for our family.
I think that when we take the long view, the notion that some people are deemed less worthy of being able to move - to not have the right to cross borders - over time, that's going to seem as outmoded and as unfair, really, as racial discrimination or other kinds of discrimination.
Over time, our inescapable, systemic, fundamentally human impurity gives us the capacity to do what has not been done before: to make creative leaps in our biology, in the diseases we can resist and the foods we can digest. And in our thinking and culture and politics, too.
We recognise that, with time, every human being will cease being, will only have been. And so we seek to resist time. We rebel against it. We are drawn like lovers to the unreachable past, to imagined memories, to nostalgia.
I've realized that it's important to stop trying to think I'm any one thing. People are confused as to their identity and try to cling to one aspect of that identity to describe what they are: American, Republican, Muslim. These are really incomplete.
We need a self because the complexity of the chemical processes that make up our individual humanities exceeds the processing power of our brains.
I personally tend to believe that there is a right to migration, the same way there's a right to love whom you like and to believe what you believe and to say what you want to say.
It's very contrary to the notion of what America is to imagine that we can stop migration.
I studied about the internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War and about how the Constitution was written by men, many of whom were slave owners. So I suppose the travel ban strikes me as coming from an era I thought we'd left behind, but I guess we haven't entirely left it behind.
I am sometimes asked to name my favourite books. The list changes, depending on my mood, the year, tricks played by memory. I might mention novels by Nabokov and Calvino and Tolkien on one occasion, by Fitzgerald and Baldwin and E.B. White on another. Camus often features, as do Tolstoy, Borges, Morrison and Manto.
When I travel, I feel more like a nomad than a tourist.
In Sufi terms, there are two very interesting notions of transcendence. One is to gaze out at the universe and to comprehend that what you see out there reflects what you are. The other one is to look inside yourself and recognise that the universe is present there.
Nothing good gets written without the writer suffering along the way, in my opinion. Writing should be a pleasure, but unless you feel almost broken many, many times in the journey to a novel, you haven't pushed yourself hard enough.
Capitalism is like the law of the jungle with a few rules. There isn't another system that works for our society but left unchecked, capitalism can have a dehumanising effect.
It is not surprising that most Pakistanis do not support America's bombardment of Afghanistan. The Afghans are neighbours on the brink of starvation and devastated by war. America has shown itself to be untrustworthy, a superpower that uses its values as a scabbard for its sword.
Being outside the candy store looking in is the state of people today. Whether you're in a Pakistani village watching somebody in a car drive by, or you're in the city of Lahore going to a restaurant and seeing somebody with a security entourage coming in... you're exposed to people with more.
Maybe we are all prospective migrants. The lines of national borders on maps are artificial constructs, as unnatural to us as they are to birds flying overhead. Our first impulse is to ignore them.
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