‘The Alchemist’ speaks of dreams and following them. It took me long to understand the book and yet, a few things remain unveiled. Originally written by Paulo Coelho in Portuguese in 1987 and translated into 67 languages since, ‘The Alchemist’ has made to The Guinness book of World Records for being the most translated book by a living author.
In the book, Coelho has excellently comprehended his thoughts to tailor an interesting fable of an Andalusian shepherd boy, Santiago. The boy wants to be a shepherd because he wants to travel and his father tells him that, in their country a shepherd is the only one who travels. Later, he also has dreams of a distant treasure in The Pyramids, and for it, he wants to travel there.
On way to his destiny, Santiago receives many spiritual messages through the people he meets – the king, learned Englishman, camel driver, and more. He also meets his life partner, Fatima, following which he wants to give-up on pursuing his treasure. But Fatima herself tells him to continue because, as a woman of the deserts she would feel pleasure to wait for someone is quest of his destiny.
The best book I’ve ever read, particularly about following dreams and achieving what you really crave for. It also speaks of the sufferings on the path to one’s destiny and of the fact that we give up on our dreams for the fear of suffering. “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream”. Another prominent message that echoes throughout the book is that everything is possible as long as you really want it to happen. In the words of Coelho, “when you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true”.
The only thing I’m still pondering over and that kept me perplexed is what Coelho wants to tell us through the fact that the shepherd, ultimately, finds his treasure back in his own city. Was it useless that he gave away all he had only for finding his treasure? Was it wrong that he left everything and just walked with his heart?
However, on the whole, The Alchemist, through its simple and poetic style, is a brilliant work that kept me tied to it. Reading the novel will very well help you understand the universal language of God and your heart. Especially those who are in pursuit of their dreams would love the book.