Skip to main content

The alchemist, god and a review

I was at the age of 15 when for the first time I laid my hands on this book. I knew at that time that I wouldn't understand it. But what I didn't know was it would take almost a decade for me to finally grasp the meaning behind the book.

Being frivolous and callow at the age of 15 I believed in gods, fairies, deities and destiny which obstructed me from getting into the nerve of this book. I read the book like a fable without understanding the underlying philosophy.

A lyricist turned novelist, Mr. Coelho in his cult novel 'the alchemist' presented an apparently simple story about the journey of a boy from being a shepherd to a crystal merchant to a counselor of a tribe to finally an alchemist.

The author deliberately tried to write this self motivational book in the form of a fable and while doing so it destroyed the literary aspect of the book. The tone of the book was very adolescent almost as if the shepherd had written it.

I wouldn't have had any objection with the book or with its content had it been written for the sole purpose of entertainment. But it is published as a motivational book and hence here goes my vilification.

1. God: okay, this is a controversial and a much debated topic (so much that I finally made a blog out of it) and I really don't mind if someone really believes in god. But I got irked with the author's way of imposing the existence of god as the universal transcendental truth on the readers. Mr. Coelho if you believe in god then please keep it to yourself and don't try to promulgate your faith on us.

2. Principle of favorability: it states that when a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realise his dream.

Okay, so what if I desire to become a serial killer. Will the universe then help me to become one?

To be forthright the author is trying to fool the readers by presenting such bogus, fallacious and fictitious philosophies.

The universe doesn't give a damn (pardon my language) to whether a person exists or not. We human beings can't even equate to an iota when it comes to the overwhelming grandioseness of the universe.

The evolution(yes, Darwin's theory) has made us such that we can grab the opportunities surrounding us to realise our thoughts into actions. If I dream of becoming a serial killer then it won't take me a second to locate the knife and start killing people. The universe is not helping me to do anything Coelho sir!

3.Sexism: according to this book the role of the male in a society is to find out his personal legend and then go to any extent to fulfill his legend while that of the female is to sit at home and wait for her male counterpart to come to her after he gets his success. Who would have thought that a self motivational book would preach how to become a sexist.

4. Ending: after reading the ending the moral of the story in my opinion  should have been- identify you personal legend, go out of your comfort zone to achieve it and then come back to where you have started your journey because that's where your personal legend was all the while.

But there are certain aspects/quotes which I liked in the book:

1.Life of shepherd:  the author was successful in portraying the boy's initial days of being a shepherd when he was content with his sheep  and his books.

He was content because he was able to travel with his sheep to learn about the world and read books in his solitude to learn about the people.

2. Philosophy on friends/people : " when someone sees the same person everyday they wind up becoming a part of that person's life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn't what others want them to be , the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives but none about his or her."

3. Buddhist philosophy: The camel driver at one point tells the boy that whenever he eats , that's all he thinks about. If he is on the march, he just concentrates on the marching. If he has to fight that would be just as good a day to die as any other day.

The camel driver in short was talking about the Buddhist principle of living life in the present moment.

There are several other good quotes in the book but that doesn't change the fact that the book is an overrated overhyped piece of shit(again pardon my language)

If you believe in god, miracles and destiny then here is a book which will motivate you to believe more in god, miracles and destiny.

My rating: 2/5

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Light knows Independence

"Baba" called Asmaan to his father, "When are they giving me the books. I miss my studies already"
His father had a small shop of second hand books. Books don't die, he believed. They don't have a shelf life. People die. They die of poverty - hunger, malnutrition, illiteracy, unemployment, politics and flood. But books don't.
But he was proved wrong when flood stormed, like an unwarranted storm, a storm which gulped down everything like an ugly demon never satisfied of preying. His tiny heart seemed to miss those blotted ink marks of yellowing pages. The roaring water not only drowned his abode but also his heart which kindled a dream to soar high, higher than the cupid's arrow for he had heard his devotion to books attest - "the sky is the limit".
Ironically, the only thing he could look upto through the shabby refuge camp was a gloomy sky which held no promises. But he held on to the promises which comes like the same deluge inundating…

Kafka, the monsters and the nameless.

Your ticket has been confirmed. Seat no. 13W. Have a safe and a happy journey.
A part of the confirmation mail screamed at me. Why do they even attempt at writing the same "safe and happy journey" message to everyone. What is so happy about a journey, I thought.
My bus was meant to depart at 5 a.m from the terminal. I woke up much earlier than that. When you have ghosts of past haunting your dreams, the morning becomes the end of your darkness. The mind fears those monsters with such trepidations that the cobwebs of the nightmares have to be broken by the dawn of new rays, new hopes and new aspirations.
From the corner of my mind I can see those monsters seeking the darkness that I have been trying to thwart. "Thou shall not find light", they seem to say even in the midst of the morning light. Going to a new place would help me find my light, I thought and so did the doctor, with a bag full of anti darkness pills, concur.
It didn't take me time to pack my ba…

Dog of cynicism

Why would anyone live in a clay barrel, when the riches were presented as an option to him? Why would anyone look around for a man, with a candle in a broad daylight when all he got were spineless morons? Why would anyone reject societal norms and beliefs while remaining in the midst of the society? Philosophy suits well to everybody but only when it is limited to theories ornamented with texts. But then the society got a man who practised philosophy but of a different kind. The kind that made the same man a mere dog or a cynic.
The author, Tomichan Matheikel, of the book The Nomad Learns Morality in one of his short stories narrated the life events of that man, Diogenes. 

Now the definition of cynicism that perpetuates today, albeit negatively, is somewhat different than what Diogenes practised. Cynicism, today, is considered synonymous to pessimism and misanthropy. But he never claimed that human beings are unworthy, although his actions did portray the same to the society. The very so…

Miss bookmark and Mr. book: a prologue to a love story

Chapter 1:

Wow! look at me. All pink and glossy. Ah! my wonderful curves, all in proper places. And... And wait a minute. Who is this dork of a book by my side? Look at his ugly leather cover. Yuck. And what the hell is this smell?. Dusky wooden old plagued. I wonder who will ever gonna read it. Huh!

OH NO! Wait. wait. Don't pick me up with this ugly book. Please! NO No no no....

"Here is your book with your favorite pink bookmark, ma'm. Have a good read"

Chapter 2:

"Hello mister! Would you be kind enough to tell me what is inside of you that has led you to get picked with a beauty like me"

"Ma'm. I have been listening to your yowls for the past half an hour. Let me tell you one thing. I am the last book of a famous love story. That smell that you have been complaining about is what makes me attractive. But it's my pages that have all the charms. No one has ever beaten a love story so profound like that of my insides."

"Is it so?  Will the l…

Ma rulzzz !!!

I have a firm belief that communication is an engagement of both the listener and the speaker in a clear, concised and convenient form, where the roles of the speaker and listener should be interchanged in accordance to the context of the conversation and it needs to occur naturally without anyone imposing the other to remain in his/her previous role.
Communication uses tools which forms the basis of language. A language, just like evolution of species, has been evolved through a myriad of civilizations right from the beginning of early man.
Communication undoubtedly has been the only sole means for the survival of homo sapiens on a planet which doesn't treat anyone with niceties. Nature is cruel to everyone and to not communicate with others leads to the natural regression towards extinction.
We have seen communication in the form of cave paintings which shows the human tendency to record events for the present community of human beings and also for the posterity.
But as the civ…

A dead clock

Where did my voice fall? Cobwebs on the wall With a dead clock and  lizards crawl Staring at me, making me so small So small!
The dawns and the dusks The days and nights in this dust Looking for my voice, used to trust Looked at my mind, oh a rust!

Waiting for you here
Amidst my layers, within my fear
Steps away from my door, you there?
You there?

Where did my voice go?
A dead clock or is it slow?
Oh! I feel so low
Feel so low

The sutradhar of motion and happiness

One thing that I can say for certain is that people, wherever you put them, will always find a place favorite to them. A place where they can be themselves without having to wear a mask! Where they become who they are and not who they want themselves to be.

This story or you can say a scene is about that one place.

After a whole lot of soul searching, or to be precise a place to burn their lungs, the two idealistic young boys in their twenties had finally found a perfect place to vent out their frustrations through small, weak, half formed, half invisible, half desperate, half ambitious rings of smokes.

A buffoon can find himself a better place to smoke inside a construction site, but these two gentlemen had a tobacco head - all fidgety, moronic, filmy and inglorious bastards. After a week long search for a place to inconspicuously produce nicotine laced carbon monoxide, they found their safe haven - the back side of their construction office, a makeshift porta cabin.

In the first da…

I take back but fuck off

Yeah You see Not always that I write like this But then people come And then throw their piss And hence, happens this Witness how they broke my bliss Do read this piece, please At least you will not miss Won't dismiss the abyss Will come to know the gist And why I wrote like this
Okay here I go Silence please
It has been just a week New people, new surrounding But I came to know the hidings Where they uncoil their black wings Was suffocating to say the least Gentle meek people hiding their beast Bitching kings and queens Pretended to be priests But creepily they released Guns of mockery and silent beasts Little did I know that they like to feast On the honesty of beings Wrapping their black ugly wings On the pains and sufferings Of the miserable beings Things afflicting me Do surface on the skin with crease Pretententious not at least I said what I say best to those priests Hoping to seek honesty But they released those beasts To fleece my skin with crease All the time kept on pre…

Who is at fault?

How do you win an election? By becoming everybody? I wish! By becoming everything? Ask the dalits! By breaking a fundamental law of physics? By breaking the backbone of Newton? By misusing Einstein's E=mc^2? By inflating length, 1 inch is equal to 56 inch? By equating the time, 2002 is equal to 2014 is equal to 2019?

You can never break a law of physics, can you? An object in motion will continue to be in motion until and unless an external force is applied to it.

You find yourself solving a question on Physics.

1(a). Given that a train is in motion with believers in Orange travelling at a speed of 80 km/hr, how much force would the believers in Green make to stop that train? [10 marks]

1(b). Also show that Newton's third law is valid in such situation. [5 marks]

[Assume realistic mass of the train and unrealistic forces of the system in control]

Answer:

Take the speed of the train and multiply it with the mass of the train- Final momentum. Assume an initial speed of the trai…

A phony catcher in the adulthood

One thing I hate is to do weekly vegetable shopping. I hate going to any place with school of people roaming like vegetable seeking zombies on a big area with makeshift tents of vegetable shops. I hate bargaining as well. Yes, I am full of hatred! But that hatred is a transient affair and when I get isolated from them, I return to my usual calm lackadaisical reticence.

The vegetable market I am talking about was situated on the outskirt of our Institute where I was working as a contractual buffoon. I stayed with a friend of mine in a quarter allotted by that institute. I would be okay most of the time with him, as a roommate. I am always okay with one or two person at a time, not thousands of people! So, I mostly remained okay with him except for the D day! the vegetable shopping day!

What he would do, he would come to my table and would put the stupid shopping bag atop it. That used to be the damn sign for me to move my lazy back off the table and accompany him to the market. He is …