The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Irony knows no bound, neither does destiny. Having left my copy of Thurston House in Haldwani, I was left with no books to read this Monday, until I decided to borrow my sister’s copy of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.


She had suggested this book to me on numerous occasions and each time I had declined. I guess I was waiting for destiny to make me read this book, which in a way is devoted to destiny.

First thing that struck me about The Alchemist was the simplicity of it, no big words or complex philosophical thoughts. A simple way with words and magic of storytelling. This is the sort of book I love, for the author concentrates more on telling the story in the simplest way possible than looking for complex synonyms to say something which can be said in oh so simple words!

The Alchemist is the story of a shepherd, who after dreaming about treasure one day, goes in search of it and also in search of his “destiny”. He crosses sea, deserts, learns new trade and language, falls in love and does everything that his destiny command.

However more than that, The Alchemist is the story of connecting with one’s own heart. To listen to what our heart has been trying to tell us, for so long and destiny which awaits us, if only we were to listen.

Most of the time we don’t. Even creative people who claim to live life on their own terms, have to at times shut off their heart and try and reason everything, in hopes that creativity can be done in the confines of logic and emotionless state, which it cannot.

For creativity, following your dreams and falling in love, all have one thing in common.

An unquestionable surrender to the ways of our heart, to follow where it leads us, be it to the sheer ecstasy or to utter despair. Because the moment we stop listening to our heart, we stop being, who we are meant to be, and lose more than we could have ever lost.

Even though I managed to finish The Alchemist in matter of few hours, truth is, this book probably gave me more to think about, than some of the larger books I have read and I love that fact.

Overall it is an interesting book, which inspires you to follow your dreams, no matter what. And anything which can manage to do that, is worth its weight in gold, and then some!


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