There are some books that just delight on reading. They come into my life at a time when they’re much needed, and they feel right; like a breath of fresh air. It leaves a mark on me and it is remembered always. It feels strange at first that a book like that doesn’t make a difference to everyone, but it is such a book that also makes me realize that a book is different for every person. I may love it, and others may hate it. It’s all about perspective.
The Alchemist is a work by Paulo Coelho. It’s a simple tale, of a shepherd boy named Santiago and a dream he has. That what happens in the dream, if it came true, it would change his life. So he is determined to pursue it. He has to overcome obstacles that aren’t easy for one in his position. But it is the words of the King Melchizedek that ring in young Santiago’s ears and push him toward his goals. But is there an obstacle that stumps him completely?
The Alchemist is not a complicated story. It’s not unpredictable, or having deep characters or anything such. But what it does, for me, is to motivate. It brings a belief that if I’m determined and focused, my dream too will be within reach. It won’t be easy, and it won’t happen overnight, but it’s that belief which is necessary and important. The story also puts an importance on the journey. It shows that the journey is as important, it brings with it some things that the goal might not provide; like the realization of love. It shows how sometimes it is necessary to plan ahead, and when we don’t do it, someone else might do it for us, someone who helps us in the realization of that dream. Sometimes, a good book comes along that is underrated. This is one such. The main protagonist’s simple character and story is what makes the tale all the more endearing. My favorite part is one where he is told about the desire originating in the soul of the universe. It’s these things which make the book helpful and magical to me. And as a book, it holds my attention from start to finish.
This book is one of my favorites, and I’m sure it will always be too. It’s wonderful to have such a book to read when I feel my dreams are further away than I think they are. And it’s a book that is enjoyed for that. In a word, it’s “brilliant”.
Title: The Alchemist
Author: Paulo Coelho
Publisher: Harper Collins
Price: INR. 399
(31st December 2014)