Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Snow Day!
Author: Gnaana

Snow is on everyone’s minds these days.  The Winter Olympics are in full swing and our North American customers seem to be covered in it (even those in the balmy state of Texas)!  Snow is beautiful and magical – a stunning sight to behold.

Perhaps no other word better captures the exquisiteness of snow than the Sanskrit hima (pronounced with a short “i” as in “pit”).  Merely speaking the word hima ushers in winter’s breathtaking serenity. 

In the above graphic, you’ll see the word hima as written in 8 Indic languages (Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi/Devanagri, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Punjabi and Telugu).  If you speak one of these languages at home, see if you can get your kids to identify their native script!

Hima is, of course, also the first part of Himalaya (aalaya means “abode”) – the mountain range that crowns India and holds many secrets of her past.  If you find yourself hibernating with the kids these days, stage a poetry reading with this stunning work:  The Himalayas by Allama Iqbal (scroll past the Urdu for the English translation).  Lyricism as only Iqbal can deliver…

Happy Gandhi Jayanti
Author: Gnaana


I remember when my son saw Gandhi-ji’s picture for the first time several months ago – I had a large copy of the above picture (the portrait, not the cupcake) lying around at home for a future Gnaana product.  When I noticed he was staring at the picture, I told him that it was Gandhi, and that he was “a very good man.”  I guess Gandhi’s photograph was amusing to him because he smiled (his cute, shy smile) and repeated “Gandhi.”  I guess if you think about it, Gandhi does look funny (especially when he’s enlarged) – with the bald head, ears sticking out, bushy mustache and the round spectacles – like a jovial grandfather ready to get silly with the kids.

Images are so powerful.

This Gandhi Jayanti, I propped up that picture on our cookbook stand and announced that it was Gandhi’s birthday.  Later this evening, we’re celebrating with a quiet party at home – with cupcakes and candles (since, in the world according to toddlers, one simply cannot have a birthday without cake), and a simplified oral story (my son’s latest craze) about the man who defeated an empire by being calm and patient.

And here is a great poem, written from a kid’s perspective, from an unknown author:

A Poem On Gandhiji
by: anonymous

It was vacation, and I had nothing to do;
I was at home and mummy daddy too;
My glance caught a sketch, of an old person;
He appeared to be the gentlest under the sun;
Strikingly, different was the expression in his Eyes;
Suddenly I felt guilty of all my lies;
His lips parted in a smile, so pure
He left me spellbound that’s for sure
“Who is he dad?” was my question
“Come on, don’t you know?” was his reaction
He is the one who has set us free;
He is the one who has planted the tree;
He is the one, who was bold enough;
Firm and stubborn but never rough;
Truth and non-violence is what he taught
Same were the principles for which he fought
Preaching and practices for once were the same
His deed were worth name and fame
I have never seen a soul, so tall;
Oh dad; he appears to be the father of all
“You said it, child” said my dad
‘Bapu’ is the name he always had
I saw the sketch again and again,
His returning smile was my greatest gain,
October 2nd was the day my friends
That certainly changed my life’s trends.


The Archer
Author: Gnaana


Sometimes it takes a stranger to make you stop and appreciate the things in your life.  I was out one day and randomly started talking to a fellow South Asian, a Mr. Kareem, who was about my father’s age.  We started talking about children, and he was giving me some advice.  “You know, Kahlil Gibran described the relationship between a parent and a child to a bow and its arrow,” he said.  That analogy was so beautiful – I went home and looked up the exact language.

Here is the poem:

On Children
 Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own 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.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Thank you, Mr. Kareem, for pointing me to these wonderful, inspirational words.  And I just ordered Gibran’s The Prophet from Amazon.