Friday, May 17, 2013

The Magus

Image Courtesy: Paulo Coelho
The Fifth Mountain was the first book that came to me from a local library, written by Paulo Coelho. I do believe that we do not choose books, but they choose us. The Fifth Mountain came to me with a purpose—it told me that it is not a shameful thing to be afraid of something. Fear is just a part of life, like courage and laughter.

The preface of the book had a quote from Paulo Coelho’s legendary work, The Alchemist. It said, “If you want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve your desire.” I was awestruck by the possibility of this statement and it was so authentic that believing in it came naturally. It was a new world, I invented through Paulo Coelho. I did not know until then, that writing could be so simple and direct. Magic was another world that opened its doors in front of me, through Paulo’s works.

His books opened me to the possibility of how a human being can communicate with the entire universe and learn from it. Athena in The Witch of Portobello dances and through this dance realizes her connection with the mysterious and the sacred. Brida came to me at a time when I was pondering connections beyond the physical realm. Later, in my life, I found a person above whose shoulder I found the light of the soul mate.  

The Zahir was about the obsession that one should overcome. I learnt that the mountains could speak to you in a language that you must learn through your journeys. The Devil and Miss Prym was a story that taught me even if I have a good story that looks like a traditional folktale, I can tell it well and successfully, if I believe in it. The atmosphere of this story is remarkable and brings out Coelho’s craftsmanship in full potential. Eleven Minutes and By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, brought forth two different faces of love. Eleven Minutes took me to ecstasy and By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept brought tears of the sacred soul bound with love.    

I must confess that I could not read The Pilgrimage and Veronika Decides to Die, yet. These books must yet find me. Perhaps the time has not come. All these days, while I was reading all these books, The Alchemist, kept its distance. I knew I should be reading this one. However, the time came through one of my friends. A friend of mine loaned me a pirated copy of the paperback. It was during my student days and I could not support buying an original copy of the book.

When I got a job and that was months later, I bought an original paperback copy of The Alchemist and kept it in my home library. I still remember thinking; I could pass on this book to my next generation. Later, I bought a copy of The Aleph too and found that the spring of words has deeper wisdom that one has ever thought.  

This post is a thanksgiving to Paulo Coelho, who I consider my guru, for writing these wonderful books and for following his dream. I just found a wonderful post in his blog—fifty books that changed the world. Along with many stalwarts like The republic, and The Bible, you can also see The Alchemist.  

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