Mar 11, 2009

Be an Alchemist

I had heard loads and loads about Paulo Coelho's 'The Alchemist'. One of the most common reason this book was recommended for reading was its extremely positive remarks about how it pays to remain in pursuit of your dreams - no matter how long it takes.

I happened to chance upon a copy of 'The Alchemist' at my aunt's place - picked it up for reading instantly.

I believe in omens and I am always on the lookout for them - in my own small way. Some of the dialogues between the shepherd boy and the people he encounters are so striking. I am not sure whether this book would have the same impact on everyone. I loved the book! Never felt so positive and charged up about my own dreams ever before. I am not sure if I am over-reacting; but somehow I can relate to almost everything that the shepherd boy goes through whilst pursuing the treasure of his life. I don't know... maybe this is an omen by itself!!! And I chose to believe that it is a good omen!

Coming back to the book; I think Paulo Coelho has drawn a brilliant parallel between human dreams and alchemy. Relentlessly trying till you're smiling about what you've achieved is common to both. The metaphor is striking and leaves an impression.

I've compiled some of my favourite lines from the book and what I feel about them. Here goes...

When you really want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.
This one's the best... has inspired many included our very own SRK in Om Shanti Om :P. I blindly trust my conspirators... whoever they are, wherever they are!

The world’s greatest lie: At a certain point in our lives we lose control of what’s happening to us and our lives become controlled by fate.
This one's for those who have stopped having faith in the earlier line :( We cannot let fate control our lives... it's just not right!

Most people see the world as a threatening place, and because they do, the world turns out indeed to be a threatening place.
Lesson for me... and maybe a couple of you too.

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.
Another gyaan byte for us :)

Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.
Especially true of all nosey uncles and aunts who somehow have an opinion about everything we do or want :P

If what one finds is made of pure matter, it will never spoil. If what you had found was only a moment of light, like the explosion of a star, you would find nothing on your return.
Beautiful simile!

It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.
I agree totally... your dreams are your only true companion for life!

Never stop dreaming.
Believe me... it serves as enough motivation to keep on trying till you get there someday! Don't forget to keep the fingers crossed too :)

Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested.
I don't mind... all's well that ends well.

Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him.
Makes me feel special! I'm waiting for mine.........

Wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.
Wow... Paulo Coelho even gave us a hint :)

If I really am a part of your dream, you will come back one day.
Some call it emossional atyachaar... some call it pyaar :)

“Even though I complain sometimes,” it (heart) said, “it’s because I’m the heart of a person, and people’s hearts are that way. People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them. We, their hearts, become fearful just thinking of loved ones who go away forever, or of moments that could have been good but weren’t, or of treasures that might have been found but were forever hidden in the sands. Because, when these things happen, we suffer terribly.”
How true... we subject our poor li'l hearts through a whole lot of what not. I actually found this dialogue between the shepherd and his heart really really sweet - almost like an innocent kid giving an alibi! Let's stop being mean... let's be good to our hearts!

Life really is generous to those who pursue their destiny.
One more reason to keep going.


Vikram,  March 12, 2009 at 11:15 AM  

Alchemist revisited..
Nice one Priya!! I would love to read the book once again now..

Prasita March 16, 2009 at 9:24 AM  

must say its an Amazing book i have read it 3 times already and have felt great each time...

nsiyer March 17, 2009 at 1:15 AM  

Hi Priya. Damn good one. Nice you are back.

Indian Home Maker March 20, 2009 at 2:33 PM  

Priya I live by the best quote I have ever read...
'When you really want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.'

rvivekshanmugam March 21, 2009 at 8:00 PM  

Wonderful Post. Especially the first Quote. I Believe in that!

Keep Blogging... Keep Rocking!

priya March 22, 2009 at 6:48 PM  


Am so glad my post made you feel like reading the book again. I'm getting myself a personal copy soon.


You're right about the book. Can be read anytime you're feeling low and find yourself giving up on your dreams.

priya March 22, 2009 at 6:50 PM  

@Iyer Sir

Thanks so much for the comment.


So nice to have you drop by once again. Thanks for the comment. I've made a recent move to Bangalore... and very sparse access to Blogger. I'll try and catch up with your blogs soon.

priya March 22, 2009 at 6:51 PM  

@Vivek Shanmugam

Thanks for visiting my blog space and for the lovely comment too. Will check your blogs soon.

dori March 24, 2009 at 1:05 PM  

hi priya,
do these self truth, truth in universe books affect only some people? many people have told me that some life changing books like the alchemist, the monk who sold.., fountain head to name a few. have read all these books and more and have been dissappointed that i had no feelings on finishing the books. looks like i am missing some ingredient here...anyways nice blog.

Vikram March 31, 2009 at 9:38 PM  

When I entered B School, this was one of the first books referred to me by some alumni who had come in to give us a pep talk. I never got around to reading the book anyways...but I do beleive that all of us are special in our own ways and by pusuing our dreams we honour the one who created us.

priya April 12, 2009 at 12:32 AM  


Glad you liked the post. I think its perfectly normal if books of a certain type dont impact you... i've come across several self help books that i need loads of help with to even flip the pages... :P

i believe that books like these... especially the alchemist and another one called secret by rhonda bryne that i'm currently reading are your best companions when you feel things are tough and not going your way...


good to see you chipping in to add to what dori felt... you're correct about how its in a sense obligatory for us to pursue our dreams as a return favor to the one who even thought of creating us in the first place... you must read the book sometime... nice quick reading it is...

Bala April 27, 2009 at 6:04 PM  

Hey Priya,

Its really a "The Alchemist Revisited" for me..

I read this around 3 years back... U brought me the nostalgic thoughts about this book... Thanks a lot yaar..

Very inspiring book... Strike the chord with a clear note of "Never ever give up...!"

U made me to think of opening this book again...

Last but not the least, great compilation by you about the book... Ur choice of the best quotes are motivating ones...

Keep inking ur thoughts Priya..!

priya April 27, 2009 at 9:20 PM  


thanks for coming along and leaving a comment too!

i'm glad you liked the post about the alchemist. i think its a must read... the quotes i picked out for this post just form a cross-section of a wonderful book by paulo coelho!

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