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The broken wings

By: Balach Shabeer

The book “Broken wings” is written by a popular best-selling writer, Khalil Gibran. This is a short novel which was first published in 1912 in Arabic language, and later it has been translated in English. It is a short and a simple book which is easy to be read, especially when you are a new reader, the plot of this book attracts you towards it. As in this novel, Khalil Gibran shares his own story – the story of Khalil and his spelling love with Selma.

While narrating his story, Gibran says when he was 18, he saw Selma, daughter of his father’s close friend Karamy on whose home he paid a visit to look after his health. And then from there on, he was not the same Khalil as he was. Gibran portrays a very beautiful sketch of Selma’s beauty which grabs the attention of the readers toward the novel. Selma was the only girl who sang the poetry of love by taking him in the garden where days were like dreams and nights weddings.

Khalil stresses that in life, everyone gets into love with a person for the first time. His first love, he admits, was Selma Karamy whose arrival in his life was like the eve of his life. But life was not very favoring for the two. Although Karamy had no issues with Selma and Khalil, but when Selma’s hand was asked by the Bishop’s nephew, Karamy had no other option than to pleasing the Bishop. As a religious status, Bishop was highly regarded and everything he demanded, was deemed to be the demand of the nature which was almost never rejected. Selma had to burn in the fire of agony and leave Khalil.

Despite their separation and Selma’s marriage with Bishop’s nephew, it was never an easy life for Selma. She gave birth to a child and it was all the child for whom Selma was living. But after few years, when brutalities increased on her, she eventually died. No matter if Khalil had not married Selma, but her remembrance was enough to heal his pains. But her death enhanced the pains Khalil was going through. Selma, who was a beautiful woman, usually speaking with her beautiful lips, was silent forever and buried. Khalil was then more alone a person and a prisoner of love beyond the seas.

In rest of his life, Khalil remembered the memories of love and the nature which were had changed him because of the loss of love and lack of friends. He was very hopeless when he lost the meaning of his life which he learnt when he was only 18. It was the time when he saw the angles of heaven in the eyes of a beautiful woman who was watching him and saw the devils of hell in a man’s eyes staring at him. In that year, his life became a blank sheet. And then it was Khalil and the grave of Selma where his life cycled for the end.

To wind up, I recommend the readers to read this short novel which gives an insight of pain after losing someone in one’s life. Khalil’s use of words and expressions in the novel will not let you leave the book once you hand it on.

Published in The Balochistan Point on February 5, 2023

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