Top 129 Quotes & Sayings by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Explore popular quotes and sayings by an Indian author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an Indian-American author, poet, and the Betty and Gene McDavid Professor of Writing at the University of Houston Creative Writing Program.

Indian - Author | Born: 1956

Explore Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Quotes About

Accents Accepting Accessible Accompany Accompany Us Achieve Actors Adults Afraid Aftermath Hide All Afternoon Aged All Things Altar Amazing Amazing Thing Amazing Things America American Analysing Ancient Ancient World And Love Appeals Appreciated Arthur Asia Asian Asked Assumed Attention Audience Aware Awkward Back Bakery Balance Battle Be Careful Bean Beauty Becoming Stronger Begin Behaviour Beings Belief Beliefs Believer Bengali Beyond Control Big Part Binding Birth Blame Block Body Book Books Break Breakdown Breaking Bright Bring British Brother Brought Budget Buoyant Butter By The Time Calcutta Calm Careful Carry Case Caught Caused Cellphone Center Central Certain Things Challenging Change Changing Character Characters Cherries Chicago Childhood Children Children's Books Chili Chisel Choice Christmas Christmas Morning City Classics Clear Close Closer Cluster Cohesive Cold College Color Colored Commenting Common Common Humanity Communities Community Compassion Complex Complex Character Complex Characters Complicated Computer Concepts Confidence Conflict Connect Connected Conscious Contemporary Contrast Control Cookies Cool Countries Country Courage Create Creating Creative Crisis Cultural Culture Culture Shock Cultures Cursed Customers Dangerous Darkness Dayton Death Dedicate Demand Depends Depths Designs Desire Detours Devastated Developed Device Devotion Dictate Died Differences Different Countries Different People Different Things Difficult Digging Dining Dining Room Disagreement Disappears Discount Dissolving Distinguishes Distress Diverse Domestic Domestic Violence Draw Dream Dream World Dreamed Dreams Drug Each Generation East East And West Eastern Easy Effective Effort Embedded Enables Encountered Endure Energy Englishman Enigmatic Enter Entire Entity Epics Equally European Evening Events Everyone Has A Story Everytime Exchange Exciting Existence Expansive Expectations Expected Expensive Experience Experiences Experiencing Experiment Explain Exploring Express Extent Facing Fact Familiar Families Family Family Member Family Members Fascinated Fascinating Father Favorite Favorite Part Feel Feel Good Feeling Festering Fiction Fields Fill Filled Film Find Fire Fist Flawed Flaws Float Floor Focused Follow Food Foods Fool Force Forced Forces Forget Forgive Forgot Formed Forming Forms Fortunate Framework Free Freedom Freeway Friends Fruitcake Gabriel Gain Gave Gaze Generation Gift Girl Give Giving Global Glowing Gold Good Good Literature Grace Grace Under Pressure Grandfather Grasp Gratitude Great Great Literature Greater Green Grew Grew Up Grief Grow Growing Growing Up Grown Guess Habits Happened Happiness Happy Happy Again Hard Harder Hate Head Heard Heart Hearts Helped Helpful Hero Heroes Heroic Heroines Hidden Highest Hindu History Hold Holidays Hollywood Hollywood Movies Home Home Country Homesick Honest Hope Hoped Hopes Hour Hours House Household Houston Huge Human Human Being Human Beings Human Existence Humanity Humans Hunger Hungry Hurricane Hurricane Katrina Hurt Husband I Hate I Realized I've Learned Idea Ideas Identity Iliad Illiterate Illiterate Person Illusions Illustrated Imagination Imagine Imagined Immersed Immigrant Immigrants Immigration Imperative Importance Important Important Part Important Thing Important Things Impress Impressed In Fact Include Incorporate India Indian Indian Culture Inevitable Inhabit Inside Inspired Inspiring Inspiring Stories Instrument Intelligent Interested Interpret Interpretation Invited Invites Iron Issues Jewel Jewellery Katrina Kind Kindness Kinds Knew Krishna Laid Land Language Large Late Late Night Launch Leading Learn Learned Learning Leaves Left Left Behind Lesson Level Lies Life Life Is Lifestyle Light Lightning Limited Listen Listening Literally Literary Literary Works Literature Little Girl Live Lived Lives Living Loneliness Long Long Time Looking Back Looking Good Lose Losers Loss Lost Love Loves Luck Lucky Made Magical Mahabharata Main Major Make Makes Male Mansion Mansions Match Matter Meaningful Means Meant Mediums Meet Members Memories Memory Middle Middle-Aged Miller Mind Mingle Mistress Misunderstanding Models Modern Moment Monday Money Moon More People Mornings Mortified Mother Motive Move Moved Movies Moving Moving Away Multiple Mundane Murder My Family My Favorite My Friends My Grandfather My Life My Thoughts Mysterious Mythology Myths Nature Necessarily Needed Negatives Negotiations Never Forget New Orleans Night No Matter What No Winners Not Ready Notebook Notes Notice Novels Nuances Nurture Observed Occur Ocean Odyssey Offer Ohio Old House Older One Hour One Of The Things One You Love One-Dimensional Opportunities Opportunity Organically Oriented Orleans Other Cultures Our Lives Outlook Page Painted Palace Paper Parents Part Participate Pass Passionate Passionate Desire Path People Perfectly Perhaps Love Person Personal Personality Phenomenon Physical Physical World Pick Pictures Pieces Place Places Plain Planets Planning Pleasure Plenty Plunge Poems Point Poor Portray Position Positive Positive Energy Positively Possess Possibilities Power Powerful Practice Pray Prayer Preserve Presses Pressure Pride Priests Problem Proper Psychotherapy Pure Purpose Putting Quickly Races Rain Rainy Range Rapid Rapid Change Reach Reached Read Reader Readers Readership Ready Ready To Give Up Real Realise Realized Reckoning Recognise Recognize Red And Green Refreshing Refugees Religions Remember Remember When Reminds Respect Respected Returned Returning Revelation Rich Right Side Rise Risks Rocks Role Role Model Role Models Roles Room Rope Ropes Ruled Sack Sacred Sacrifice Sake Same Time Scribbling Self-Confidence Self-Conscious Send Sense Senses Sensing Sensitive Separate September September 11 Setback Shake Shape Shapes Share Shared Show Showing Shut Side Silence Situations Skin Slim Slips Small Small Things Smell Snakes Society Some People Something Good Song Sons Sooner Sooner Or Later Soul South South Asia Space Speak Special Special Time Spend Spice Spices Spirit Spirits Spiritual Spiritual Life Stars Started Starts Static Stolen Stone Stopped Stories Story Storytellers Strength Strikes Strive Strong Strong Person Strong Personality Strong Women Stronger Struck Stubbornness Student Studied Study Studying Stumble Successful Suddenly Suicide Summer Summer Evening Sunday Support Surrounded Survive Suspicious Sweetest Takes Tale Talent Tales Talking Targeted Tasted Telegram Teller Telling Tells Temple Tennessee Terms Terrible Terrible Events Theme Thing Things Thinking Thought Thoughts Threatened Throw Thursday Time Times To The Moon Tomorrow Tomorrow Is Another Day Tradition Traditional Traditional Family Traditions Tragedy Transition Travel Tricky Trip Trunk Truth Truths Tuesday Turn Turned Turns Type Ultimately Unbelievable Uncomfortable Under Pressure Underneath Understand Understanding Unexpected Unique Uniquely Universal Universe Unlike Unreal Unusual Usual Variety Velvet Version Very Strong Villain Violence Visit Visual Visual Art Vocabulary Voice Voices Waits Walk Walls Wanted Warriors Wasted Watching Wave Ways Weakness Wear Weight West Western What's Important White Wholly Wife Williams Winners Winter Wise Wise Person Wishes Wisps Witness Woman Women Women Are Women's Roles Wonderful Wonderful People Word Words Work Worked Works World Worlds Worries Worry Worth Worth It Wrinkles Write Writer Writer's Block Writers Writing Written Wrote Yearning Years Years Ago Younger Less More Hide All See All
I find that it's really important for me to imagine characters and situations. That allows me a lot of freedom.
I write in my study, where I also have my prayer altar. I believe that keeps me focused and gives me positive energy and reminds me that I'm merely the instrument of greater creative forces.
I came from a traditional family, and it was an exciting but challenging transition to move to America and live on my own. The world around me was suddenly so different.
When I was volunteering with Hurricane Katrina refugees in Houston in 2005, I first started thinking about the whole phenomenon of grace under pressure. — © Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
When I was volunteering with Hurricane Katrina refugees in Houston in 2005, I first started thinking about the whole phenomenon of grace under pressure.
Dissolving differences has always been an important motive for my writing, right from 'The Mistress of Spices.'
A kshatriya woman's highest purpose in life is to support the warriors in her life: her father, brother, husband and sons.
I was very fortunate that all my holidays I'd spend with my grandfather, experiencing a much more traditional way of life and listening to these wonderful stories, which I now feel are such an important part of Indian thinking.
'The Mahabharata,' which inspired my novel 'Palace of Illusions,' also has many stories embedded within the main tale.
To some extent, I draw on what I see around me; in other places, I imagine what I write.
India lends itself well to fictionalization, but ultimately, it all depends on the writer's imagination.
I'm a very senses-oriented person, and I want to bring readers in on the level of the senses, so they can experience another culture and another place.
To achieve important things, we have to sacrifice what's important to us. That's an idea that's very central to Indian thinking.
As I lived on in America, I got to truly know the people of this country - so many kind and wonderful people, people of so many races - who helped me in so many ways. Who became my friends. I realized that underneath our different accents, habits, foods, religions, ways of thinking, we shared a common humanity.
I came to the plain fields of Ohio with pictures painted by Hollywood movies and the works of Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller. None of them had much to say, if at all, about Dayton, Ohio.
I write best late at night, when everyone in the house has gone to bed. There's something magical about that late night silence that appeals to me. — © Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
I write best late at night, when everyone in the house has gone to bed. There's something magical about that late night silence that appeals to me.
One of the things that I am learning is that each generation will have its own negotiations with identity. And one generation can not necessarily help the other generation with it.
Two great and terrible truths of war are these: War is easy to enter into, but difficult to end. And ultimately, in war there are no winners.
I hate it when people throw away food - I've seen too many hungry people.
The Mahabharata might have been a great and heroic battle, but there are no winners. The losers, of course, lose.
As a writer, I have to show complexities. Through my writings, I hope to bring out people in different situations and not just one-dimensional beings.
I feel I can express the nuances of the Bengali lifestyle and ways of thinking better than other cultures.
I wrote 'Mistress of Spices' at an unusual time when I had a near-death experience after the birth of my second son.
It's different for different people, and for a woman it's important to look as good she wants to look. But you don't need to do it for someone else or to impress some male out there. You do it for your own sake. You wear what makes you feel good, you put make-up and jewellery - whatever gives you self-confidence.
My grandfather was a very strong personality. He certainly ruled his household with an iron fist, even though it was often gloved in velvet!
I've long been interested in the tale-within-a-tale phenomenon. I'm familiar with many tales which use this framework or the device of many people in one place, telling their stories, or multiple storytellers commenting on each others' stories with their own.
I like being myself. Maybe just slimmer, with a few less wrinkles.
Perhaps what distinguishes my characters is their courage and spirit and a certain stubbornness which enables them to keep going even when facing a setback. I think this developed organically as I wrote, but also it came out of a desire to portray women as powerful and intelligent forces in the world.
I started writing after the death of my grandfather - memories, poems, etc. It was very personal; for years I did not share my writing with anyone.
Immigration was a huge force in changing my outlook. I moved to America 30 years ago. I had to reassess my beliefs, especially about women's roles.
After 9/11, there was so much distress in America that it led to an inter-cultural breakdown. Some of our communities were targeted. Many of our adults shut themselves off from other cultures. I tried to bring children of Indian and other cultures together in my literature.
'The Moonstone' was all I could have hoped for. A mysterious, cursed jewel, wrested from India, only to be stolen later from a great British mansion. Enigmatic, dangerous priests who follow it across the ocean in hopes of wresting it back.
I think, we all learned that when we are afraid it's easy to want to blame, and the people we want to blame are the people who don't look like us.
To make money for college, I worked in our college dining room.
If you look back at the great classics and the epics and myths, they were for everyone. Different people got different things from them, but everyone was invited to participate.
I realise that a novel and a film are different mediums. As artistes, we need to respect other artistes. It also needs a lot of courage to take risks to experiment and interpret known literary works.
If it is good literature, the reader and the writer will connect. It's inevitable.
I love visual art. I painted for many years when I was younger. I have studied modern/contemporary Indian art a bit and am very impressed with the talent in India.
By the time we're adults, our ideas have solidified. So I wanted to write for a younger audience, who would perhaps love heroes from other cultures.
Often, writer's block will occur when I don't understand a character or his/her motivations. So I will make notes analysing characters. — © Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Often, writer's block will occur when I don't understand a character or his/her motivations. So I will make notes analysing characters.
I think writers from both East and West have long been fascinated by the ancient tales and the opportunity to reinterpret them.
I have been watching how Indian women are forced to do certain things, as the stories of sacrifice and devotion in mythology demand from them. And then there are inspiring stories about women like the Rani of Jhansi that offer women refreshing role models.
I have a variety of readers from across the diasporic community, not just from South Asia. I like to write large stories that include all of us - about common and cohesive experiences which bring together many immigrants, their culture shocks, transformations, concepts of home and self in a new land.
I have no particular reader in mind, but a passionate desire to tell an honest, moving story.
I took a little break after 'The Palace of Illusions' to clear my head.
I was caught on the freeway for hours when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. The entire city had to be evacuated. I observed lives threatened by catastrophes and a whole range of behaviour. What could people do during a crisis?
It's very important to balance things; it's imperative to do something for the society, and women in particular, and help women who aren't in position to help themselves.
It's never really easy to be successful as a writer when you're trying to write literary fiction. You've already limited your readership limited by that choice.
I'm too careful with money - comes out of being poor for several years while growing up.
I grew up in Kolkata in a traditional family. We had friends who lived in mansions just like the one in 'Oleander Girl.' Growing up, I was fascinated by the old house and the old Bengal lifestyle.
As I remember my grandfather and those Christmas mornings he gave for a little girl's pleasure, I know that often a big life starts with doing small things. — © Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
As I remember my grandfather and those Christmas mornings he gave for a little girl's pleasure, I know that often a big life starts with doing small things.
To me, characters are at the heart of great literature.
I came into Chicago in winter - I'd never been so cold in my life! I was very homesick, and a poor student at that time. America seemed so different and so filled with amazing things - and almost all of them were out of my reach.
After September 11, 2001, I was feeling like I really wanted more understanding between cultures. It seemed to me that so much of what happened on September 11 was because people didn't understand each other and were suspicious of each other.
America is a country formed by diverse communities from different countries. Overall, the country is very hospitable and gives opportunities to grow. Saying that, I'd also say I'm not a 'white' immigrant; a South Asian's experience is different than, say, a European immigrant's.
I work very hard at creating complex characters, a mix of positives and negatives. They are all flawed. I believe flaws are almost universal, and they help us understand, sympathise and, paradoxically, feel closer to such characters.
Strong women, when respected, make the whole society stronger. One must be careful with such rapid changes, though, and make an effort to preserve, at the same time, the positive traditions of Indian culture.
Sometimes what is 'real' because it takes place in the physical world, like 9/11, is so unreal on the level of the soul. Then other things, which in terms of the physical world seem so magical and unbelievable, on the level of the soul seem very real.
I had friends who died in the 9/11 tragedy; some of my friends lost family members in the aftermath of Godhra.
I started putting down my thoughts on paper out of loneliness while I was studying in America. I was very close to my grandfather, and when he died, I couldn't visit home. I started scribbling those thoughts.
I type everything on my computer. I carry a writer's notebook everywhere, in case I am struck by an idea. I forget things unless I write them down. I'm planning to learn how to dictate into my cellphone; I think that will be very helpful, too.
This site uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. More info...
Got it!