I’m not an avid reader, but still of all the books I’ve read in my lifetime so far, there are very few which have really been able to create an impact on me. Not that when I read books, I’m not moved by the characters, their happiness or sadness. They do stir my mind as long as I’m reading the book, but as soon as I close it, they just disappear into the thin air failing to create a lasting impression. Still, there is one book which, I think, have totally changed the way I used to look at life and introspect. It has been able to etch its words on my heart forever.
It was some three years ago I laid my hands on Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. The book was bought by my sister. After she got married and shifted to Kolkata, I was rearranging the bookshelf one day while searching for a particular book on management. I bumped into Coelho’s book and remembered how my sister was overwhelmed while talking about it. I decided to go with it.
When I started reading the book, I didn’t even think that I should have finished the 163 pages in one go. But, it happened. As the book says,”When you really want something, the universe always conspires in your favour”- and I wanted to get more and more of it with every page turned.
The plot of the book, perhaps all of you know, is simple. A Spanish shepherd boy, Santiago, keeps on seeing dreams about some treasure hidden underneath the pyramids. He subsequently starts his journey, to achieve the Personal Legend, something equivalent to our own individual goals in life. Amidst the sand, tribe wars and many other incidents, Santiago learns the lessons of life, that one should listen to the heart, should love and strive to accomplish the mission he has been sent for on the earth. The hope and possibility of making our dreams come true make life an interesting journey.
The book is not only about the story of a shepherd boy and his journey. It is, rather, an introspection of life seen with deep philosophy, it is about the urge we find inside us to move ahead overcoming all the difficulties, it is about rising above one’s failures and pondering over the voice of one’s heart, the inner call. The description and the choice of words are impeccable, simply amazing.
The quote that has touched me most and, which, I think is applicable to all of us,“We are told from childhood onward that everything we want to do is impossible. We grow up with this idea, and as the years accumulate, so too do the layers of prejudice, fear and guilt. There comes a time when our personal calling is so deeply buried in our soul as to be invisible. But it’s still there.”
I find is so true! We often forget to listen to our heart, we forget to nurture the passion. It gets buried, but it remains there. This book can give the reader the much-needed inspiration to chase that passion, to rise from the ashes like a phoenix. It’s the book I treasure, with the words encouraging me always.