Wednesday, 3 August 2016

The Alchemist: Golden

Clear thoughts translated into many languages. The translator has done a great job. The shepherd's destiny takes us through a path of desire, dreams,  hard work, epiphany, realization, relentless approach and love.

This was the much awaited book that I always wanted to read and I finally had some time to invest in this book. I was rather disappointed by the length of the story as I expected the book to be very big. The story travels along with the boy in search of a treasure that he has recurring dreams about. His journey albeit a little adventurous, is more of a philosophical dogma that we may or may not agree upon.

"Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should live their lives, but none about his or her own"

The boy's thoughts seems purposefully mature to entrap the readers into turning the page. His perception on how the sheep might think or his consideration of the sheep's perception itself is astounding. He is a simple boy with simple desires.

"If you start out by promising what you don't have yet, you'll lose your desire to to work toward getting it"

The king's appearance and role in the story is an enigma. The boy's patience and perseverance is maintained throughout the story to paint a picture of the suspense that was in store. He is robbed, he has to work hard in a crystal shop for bread and butter, his confidence is shaken to the ground and yet, he continues to believe in himself. The omens and the Language of the World guide him throughout and till his destiny. The readers may miss out on tracing the king's identity but is made up for in the alchemist's character.

"It is not what enters men's mouth that's evil, it's what comes out of their mouth that is"

The boy meets an Englishman who is also in search of his destiny. The boy gets to know of the alchemist from the Englishman. It is almost towards the end of the book that the alchemist is introduced in the story but his part is what I enjoyed the most. He is not a person who just spits proverbs. He is not a person who simply transforms lead into gold. He is a guide. He is a well-wisher. He is a superstitious Arab. He is an irritated desert wanderer. He is a gentle breeze that everyone wishes for in the desert. He is the light in the darkness. He is the teacher. He is a healer. He is the Soul of the World. He is the one who makes the boy realize that he is also the Soul of the World. He is the alchemist because he is an alchemist (I know this is confusing but read the book and you will understand).

The boy faces a lot of obstacles throughout the story but he believes in the omens. The alchemist teaches him to believe his heart and to speak to his heart. Now, this part where the boy and his heart speak to each other can be interpreted in many ways. Leaving this to your speculation, the boy's heart sure seems like his conscience telling him to never give up.

"Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time", saying this the alchemist bids goodbye to the boy. It doesn't make sense. This is what is disturbing me. The first sentence contradicts the second. If something happens once and can never happen again, then how can something happen twice? The premise is contradicted by the latter sentence. Coming out the alchemist's mouth, this was a little disappointing.

The world ends where it starts. The story ends where it begins. I laughed along with the boy at the pyramids. It was satisfying to see the boy dig out the actual treasure as I expected a wild goose chase with an opportunity to enlighten the readers. The story beautifully ends with a content kiss that is carried along by the wind, which leaves the boy as well the readers with a broad smile.