“Time, like a skilful tailor, had seamlessly stitched together the two fabrics that sheathed Peri’s life: what people thought of her and what she thought of herself. The impression she left on others and her self-perception had been sewn into a whole so consummate that she could no longer tell how much of each day was defined by what was wished upon her and how much of it was what she really wanted. She often felt the urge to grab a bucketful of soapy water and scrub the streets, the public squares, the government, the parliament, the bureaucracy, and, while she was at it, wash out a few mouths too. There was so much filth to clean up; so many broken pieces to fix; so many errors to correct. Every morning when she left her house she let out a quiet sigh, as if in one breath she could will away the detritus of the previous day. While Peri questioned the world without fail, and was not one to keep silent in the face of injustice, she had resolved some years ago to be content with what she had. It would therefore come as a surprise when, on a middling kind of day, at the age of thirty-five, established and respected, she found herself staring at the void in her soul.”

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“On the Sufi path, first you discover the art of being alone amid the crowd. Next you discover the crowd within your solitude – the voices inside you.”