Author – Paulo Coelho
My Rating – 4.2 / 5
Months before I started reading this book, on a certain occasion I thought over a question: Who is God? , the instant answer was the same routine one that he is the power who created us and the universe, but then struck the question: Who created God? …….then I remembered the Higgs-Boson particle being researched by some of the scientists and physicists. But, even what they conclude is that something came from something, but how did this something ever come into existence? , I felt that something came from nothing and this something can become nothing when the nature wishes to and I concluded the question with an answer that this power which makes something to nothing and vice-versa is the SOUL, which is present in every element in the universe including humans.
Now coming back to the novel, an alchemist is a person who is believed to have the skill of converting lead or any other metal into gold. The story starts with a boy named Santiago whose parent’s wishes him to become a priest but he has a different passion and follows it. He encounters with the same dream twice within a span of a few days and goes in search of it which happens in every novel, but whenever he pauses he finds a driving force in some or the other form. In some part of the book, a saying goes “If you put your full heart into something, then the whole nature conspires you in achieving it.” I also want to mention the highlights of this book:
1. Following our dreams:
“Do what your heart tells you to do.”, a famous quotation which we come across many times in our life and some people refer it as passion. Before reading the book I only thought of fulfilling my passions but after reading the book, it was something more. I never felt like the boy Santiago who dreamt of something twice and gets curious about it and wills to find a way to reach his treasure near the Egypt pyramids. Maybe I don’t remember my dreams or even I do, I don’t have gypsies around me to hold my palm and say what it is about !!!……..well but I had to admire the courage of the boy Santiago who risks his earnings and sells his sheep in order to travel a different place which he didn’t even know in search of his treasure, I had to admire him because most probably I would never keep my earnings at stake in pursuit of reaching my dream in my entire life. But courage is the key to balanced life and with that element he decides to become a shepherd instead of a priest at first and then decides to follow his dream later on. Maybe the story is far away from my original surroundings and daily life and maybe that is why I couldn’t help admiring the character. Then I felt that even if there were gypsies around me, I need to break the parental power and stop caring for money to follow my dream and that might never happen, maybe that was what I felt missing the instant I closed the book.
2. The Alchemy:
The further I read the book, the more connected I felt with it because it has the same question which I mentioned in the introduction part that occurred to me much earlier. This further proved me that every being has the same soul and perhaps people get similar questions and ideas because of this philosophy. We try to change for better and modify ourselves. More or less, alchemy is something like this philosophy. The author tells that: Lead tries to change its properties and becomes gold as a process of evolution, but it will only happen when lead has fulfilled its purpose and destiny. This is a perfect beauty from the author who refers that if we are supposed to turn into gold or evolve then we have to first follow our dreams and fulfill our destinies. As we do this, we not only evolve ourselves but also evolve the surroundings. Forget the alchemy, I was just wondering about the girl Fatima, a desert girl with whom Santiago falls in love in the midst of his treasure-seeking journey. She tells him to go ahead and find what he has been looking for though she knew that there was a possibility that he would never come back. Yet, once again I felt that the story is far away from my daily life and surroundings. But this time I couldn’t admire the character but instead felt jealous of it because finding a girl who understands your heart doesn’t come from an inner quality something like courage, it is of pure luck or maktub, an Arabic word which means “it is written” as mentioned by the author in the novel.
My goodness, I felt as if this word appeared on almost every page of the book that I had to look at the dictionary to find its exact meaning. Damn, these 161 pages consists of so many philosophical statements that you would probably forget half of them the minute you close the book. The boy Santiago followed omens throughout his journey and what mattered me was the way he followed them. The author calls it as the universal language or the language between the souls. The boy Santiago could sense a language between him and the sheep, the desert, the tribesman, the wind and every elemental particle he found around him, the ultimate essential wisdom of listening to our hearts. There was one scene in the novel which was very hard to imagine, the conversion of a man into wind. Perhaps, the alchemist wanted to prove the boy that he could convert himself into any elemental form he desired to be. I thought over the possibility of this scene when I was first encountered with the question that I mentioned in the intro, it made sense when I thought over it deeply but it was like an exaggeration when I read it in the book. The climax was good proving the novel with the statement “All is well that ends well.”
Who can buy this book ?
Well, as the book stands as an inspiration with its rich philosophical values, anybody can buy this one. Unlike other books you need a lot of patience and leisure to complete this one, the narration has got its meaning rooted in-depth and so take your time in reading it.
I want to tell you about two characters, one: The boy Santiago or the hero of the novel who commits to his passion, follows his dream, listens to his heart and follows the omens, finds his girl, discovers the universal language between the souls and two: An average man who commits to do what most of the people do as he feels that it is a secured path, follows wealth and money, never discovers the universal language as he is never out in the nature and never tries to evolve himself into something like gold.
Just observe the difference between these two characters, if you feel like buying the book, go ahead…….!!!!!!!