My commentary of The Alchemist

My commentary of The Alchemist

Why does one go to a book?

To seek answers? To get enthralled in mystery? To feel bound in love? Well, I don’t know which one of those reasons exactly but no one will deny that magic of books. One such magical book I read in my early days was The Alchemist and I must say, it changed my life. 

If you haven’t read the book, I would put on a ‘Spoiler alert’ warning right up here so that you can go, read it, feel the magic and come back here. So let’s start with the first thing that swept me away – the establishment of the working relationship between dreams and the universe

The Universe, in all its beauty and might, is not just something we are part of but also a part of us. This is very beautiful if you think about it and this is probably of extreme relevance for someone who wants to establish a closer connection with themselves through the universe. 

Although there are countless books advocating the same philosophy, the story of our Shepard boy makes it worth a read. Our protagonist, Santiago is a very simple man, let me tell you. All he cares about is his sheep and the wine. He needs books that make good pillows and because he likes to learn. He knew he wanted to travel and was told by his father that the only way he could make that happen is by being a Shephard and no other fancy route, signifies the minimalistic approach towards life. 

The story cascades and we meet interesting characters like the gipsy woman, the King of Salem, the English man, Fathima, the Alchemist and few more. Deep observation reveals that every character has a story to tell and a life lesson to give you. For example, when the Englishman meets the Alchemist after a long search, he asks him how much time he actually spent trying to convert metal into gold while he spent so much time actually trying to find the alchemist. 

Interesting anecdote, isn’t it? If only we start looking more inward for answers than be in quest of an external solution, a lot would drift inwards for us. I can not even stop obsessing the wisdom of our woman in the desert, Fathima. She understands the language of dreams and feels the spirits of the dessert. Even if Santiago were to not return, she would understand that he’s attained oneness with the breeze and the dessert. She makes the bold statement that true love can never stop you from the pursuit of your dreams.

The revelation, the movement. This definitely happened to me when Santiago is all beaten up, hurt and standing there in front of the pyramids that he’d been seeing all along in his dreams. Standing there and realising that the real treasure is not what we find but who we become during the journey, that just hits you real hard

It is that simple, isn’t it? Dreams are important, the universe will get your dreams closer to you if you learn to speak to it and in the process of it, you earn your worth by transforming into someone who actually deserves it. 

I can still feel the breeze of the warm desert air, can you?

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  1. Well it’s not so easy to say – why someone reads a book, but for sure results would be changing his thought process in lot of different ways. About alchemist – u have made a good summary – it’s enough for one to decide to go & grab – start reading

    Good one Appu

  2. Jai

    Well written Arpitha…I had sat through your presentation about this book. I am yet to read it.

    When I read a book I’m always looking for magic moments in every book I read, that either challenges my direction, thoughts, perspectives or wisdom.

    • Thank you very much. I hope you get moments like those. After all, that’s what we read books for, the moments like those.

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