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A Tear and a Smile

This book is bound to leave the reader with a touch of beauty in the tear that drops, followed by many more tears and then comes a smile in despair. And the book takes over the reader, literally.

india Updated: Apr 29, 2006 12:18 IST

A Tear and a Smile
Kahlil Gibran
Price — Rs 60
Publication — Srishti Publications

A tear to unite me with those of broken hearts, a smile to be a sign of my joy in existence. This forms the crux of Kahlil Gibran’s A tear and a Smile, one of his most poignant works.

Gibran starts his book by narrating how sorrow of the heart and tears of sadness makes life flow into laughter. A tear will purify the heart and give us an in-depth understanding of life and a smile draws us into those of our own kind.

The beauty in Gibran’s works lie in the words he chooses with precision and care. To the readers, they seem abstract, which makes the book interesting for few and disengaging for others.

Gibran, in all his books, writes a lot about reason and wisdom. He expresses one to know your true worth, as reason is the source of life so you know your true weakness and strength.

So, reading these words requires one basic mandatory condition — flow with the thoughts. As the eye finishes a sentence and the mind registers them, the reader will literally see a picture. What it speaks — reason out and use your wisdom.

The publisher writes on the jacket — contains 56 parables, stories, and poems in Gibran’s wholly inimitable manner — apt description! Much of the writings in this book are from his earliest writings. Several of them are in story form and relate eternity away from the world he lived in.

He wrote in parable and allegory as his usual method. Keeping the technicalities aside, the book features his thoughts on friendships, sex and nudity, and childhood.

In a beautiful way picturing reality of humans, Gibran says, “He who understands you is greater kin to you than your own brother. For even your own kindred may neither understand you nor know your true words.”

Brilliant and innocent! The book is bound to leave the reader with a touch of beauty in the tear that drops, followed by many more tears and then comes a smile in despair. And the book takes over the reader, literally.