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Happy Birthday Roald Dahl: The author's journey through the years

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 13-09-2020 | Edited by Jahnavi Gupta
© Provided by Hindustan Times

Roald Dahl is credited with being the spark that has ignited the fire of imagination in many a child, and rightfully so. His delightful stories have the capability of drawing in the reader, no matter what age, into a world of fantasy and leave them with a warm feeling in their hearts as they go along with the twists and turns of the narrative.

Roald Dahl’s name has certainly been immortalised as one the greatest writers of the 20th Century, as you are unlikely to find someone who is not familiar with at least one of his iconic stories. From Matilda, BFG, The Twits, to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, children and adults alike have delighted in his genius writing for generations. It is only apt that we celebrate September 13, Roald Dahl’s birthday, as ‘Roald Dahl Day’.

Roald Dahl was born in 1916, in Llandaff, South Wales to Norwegian parents. He spent his childhood as a disgruntled student, rebelling against the strict boarding school atmosphere and soon after graduation, he opted to work for a company that would send him to travel across the globe. He joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) at the start of WWII and became a fighter pilot. After crash-landing in a desert and being severely injured, he was recruited by the British Intelligence as an Officer, alongside Ian Fleming, who later went on to write the James Bond series.

He published his first story in 1961, and has written a total of 20 children’s books, 17 fiction books and three books on poetry. Roald Dahl had a small hut in his garden where he preferred to write in solitude, without any distractions. To celebrate the great author and all of his contributions to literature, on the occasion of his 103 birth anniversary, here are a few of his most memorable quotes.


“A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men.”

“It’s impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren’t feeling twinkly yourself.”

“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.”

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

“Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog.”

“All you have to do is to look at a page in this book because that’s where we always will be. No book even ends when it’s full of your friends.”

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

“There are a whole lot of things in this world of ours you haven’t started wondering about yet.”

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