Friday, April 8, 2016

G is for Gibran

It's my second day in Budapest. After yesterday's harshness, hope today's post will soothe you.

How I came about Khalil (or Kahlil) Gibran's poetry, I cannot recall. That his words bring me solace when I need it, is true.

'The Prophet' is the kind of book you can dip into, open a page, read it and realize that it's what you needed to read that day, that moment -- to make sense of what's going on around you or just to reconfirm what the little voice inside you was saying all along but you were too busy with the business of living to stop and listen to it.

Today, I'm sharing some of my favourite lines from this book. These words have been my guardian angels, I hope they'll bring you the answers you seek today. All the quotes that follow come from this book.

About marriage, he says...

"Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.


And stand together yet not too near together.

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow."

"Speak to us of Children. 
And he said:

...And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you."

The librarian of this Universe knows what I need to read and when because books like The Prophet appear on my horizon, as if by magic, just when I'm seeking the answers. Thank you Librarian.

While flipping through the pages of this book to find quotes for this post, I come across words that seem new, or maybe I'm reading them after a very long time. I've been 'preaching' my family and friends (a lot lately) about healthy eating, exercise, yoga and all those things that I find helpful. The message is clear. I need to calm down:)

"Speak to us of Good and Evil.

You are good when you walk to your goal firmly and with bold steps.

You are not evil when you go thither limping.

Even those who limp go not backwards.


Pity that the stags cannot teach swiftness to the turtles.

In your longing for your giant self lies your

goodness: and that longing is in all of you.


But let not him who longs much say to him who

longs little, 'Wherefore are you slow and halting?"

For the truly good ask not the naked, 'Where is your garment?' nor the houseless, 'What has befallen your house?'

These lines are such a timely reminder. I've been riding on my high horse of yoga and fresh fruit for a tediously long while now.

I stop myself short of gossiping about other people but scratch my surface and you will find a long snaking train of opinions running on tracks of judgment I laid down years ago. The train may have got upgraded and doesn't rattle that loudly these days, so you don't hear the gossiping that goes on inside.

Ivy League, really? Why only Ivy League? That's a bit tight on her, right? Are designer bags all they can talk about? She can do without that second helping of chips. How can they spend so much on a wedding and so little for charity? Oh! You don't want to be standing on this platform--I can tell you that.

Being mindful of my actions and reactions is my new goal but I'm a work in progress. Books like The Prophet and wise men and women like Gibran are my crutches and coaches while I hobble along.

Doha Film Institute is responsible for a stunning animated film based on this book and Salma Hayek is responsible for bringing the film to fruition. If you love art and animation, you will LOVE this film. It got mixed reviews from the critics. Who cares. I was mesmerized.
Here's the official trailer:


  1. Wow this post is quite deep. I really liked the part about kids. I love Salma Hayek and will have to check out that film. Hopefully it's on netflix.

    Shelly @

    1. Yes Shelly, I read his thoughts about children often these last couple of years. Especially, when it was college application time. It's humbling to realize how much we need to look inwards to find the peace we all seek. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  2. Gibran's words about children have always been my favorite. Ram bhaia recently went to Sri Lanka and from there, he sent us all postcards with words from The Prophet:

    "You give little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
    There are those who give with joy and that joy is their reward;
    And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism;
    And there are those that give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with the mindfulness of virtue.
    They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space.
    Through the hands of such as these, God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the Earth."

    His postcard with words for me are on my fridge door and they are inspiring to me everyday. I give for the reward of joy and sometimes (especially when it comes to money), I give and pain becomes my baptism because I worry that I do not have enough for bills and expenses. But I read this often and hope that one day I can do things not for the reward, nor feel pain because I am controlling. I hope to be able to grow to that at least a little bit. xx

    1. Thank you Shweta for quoting Gibran here. You are doing at your age what I'm only beginning to get ready to do at mine. You are my soul sister and I love you.

  3. Thank you Arti for introducing me to Gibran's poetry. What is said about marriage and children are truly touching and so powerful that and I want to soak in those thoughts....

    1. Yes Prasanna, his words are powerful, indeed. Thank you for stopping by.

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  5. Gibran"s poetry is simply awesome in this day and age of religious fantacism
    A very thoughtful and insightful blog which touches your heart
    Arti keep up your good work and keep spreading your ordinary moments which are no ordinary

  6. I am a big fan of 'The Prophet'. Very deep, yet simple. Thank you for sharing it

  7. oh wow! thanks for introducing Gibran to us..... just loved the quotes on marriage and children....need one now on dealing with elderly parents too!... The bit about good and evil actually blew my mind....For the truly good, ask not the naked, where is your garment?.......

    1. This little book is a gold-mine Ketaki. I bought my copy in Delhi. Every new phase of our lives has its own set of challenges, right? hugs and love my friend. xx


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