Thursday, October 20, 2011

Reflections: The Broken Wings

The book is Gibran’s novella on a sad and tragic story of unrealized love. Selma is a wealthy, kind, wise, and beautiful woman in Lebanon. Her dad is as benevolent and humble despite his wealth. Selma and the protagonist fall in love but are forced to go different ways due to the archaic rules that society and religion impose.

I originally assumed this book was autobiographical, but it isn’t so. The story has been translated from Arabic, so the prose betrays a few hints of that. The writing is as lyrical and poetic as any of Gibran’s works. In a few short pages, he plunges into the characters’ psyche and describes their soul. The story is a bitter reminder of the stifling rules that women had to, and continue to suffer from. It also speaks of the prejudices man adopts in the name of religion and laws. As rules and rituals build over time, the underneath symbolism, principles, and meaning get buried, only to be replaced by skewed, irrelevant, irrational models that restrict progress of the spirit and the mind. 

Overall, I was as usual impressed by Gibran’s writing, but the story itself has been heard enough number of times.

How could I end this without a quote. Of the several I marked, here is one:

"Limited love asks for possession of the beloved, but the unlimited asks only for itself. Love that comes between the naivetĂ© and awakening of youth satisfies itself with possessing, and grows with embraces. But Love which is born in the firmament’s lap and has descended with the night’s secrets is not contended with anything but Eternity and immortality; it does not stand reverently before anything except deity. " 


Anne John said...

I always assumed that Gibran's works were of the highly literary type...I thought they might be intimidating but your review doesn't make it seem so. Okay so now one more new author to check out :-)

Neeraja said...

Yeah Gibran is surely not intimidating :). You would love his poems.