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Have you ever had to reassess your entire existence after reading a book? Like, you’re so deeply impacted by it that you’re questioning everything about your life and making it your life’s mission to fix yourself. Now, I don’t know, to what extent one could ‘fix’ themselves when so much of our life would be boring if not for our flaws, but that instant urge to solve every problem, achieve every dream after watching an inspirational movie or reading an inspirational book is SO REAL.
I might be stuck in a loop of existential crises because of my reading spree in 2022. But one very specific book that is etched into every single brain cell of mine is Paulo Coelho’s, “The Alchemist”. For the emotional wreck that I am, every single thing said in this book has run chills down my spine. Please bear with my theatrics as I discuss my takeaways from these books and how I’d love to take them forward in 2023.
The Bollywood in me woke up when I first came across this line, “And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” In ‘The Alchemist’. Shahrukh Khan’s gut-wrenching speech in ‘Om Shanti Om’ aside, this specific line holds so much weight. We do not understand our role enough as a part of this galactic universe. We do not understand the power the universe holds and we do not understand how far our faith in the universe goes in order to make our dreams come true. But most of all, we do not understand how far we can go to get what our hearts are looking for. If we don’t have that, we don’t know what we’re living for, really. All this burning passion to have something, to love something, this drive to go get it, the strength to fight for it, etc. keeps us alive. I’m most definitely delineating from the premise of the book, but you’ve been warned of my theatrics in advance.
Another upside of this book is how I have managed to relate a lot of what I read to different fictional characters on tv and in films. If you’re a ‘How I Met Your Mother’ lunatic like me, you know, the essence of the ‘universe’. When Santiago in ‘The Alchemist’ says, “So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.” To Fathima, I instantly went, this is definitely something Ted Moseby would say. I love when two different media I consume have some kind of connection between them. It’s almost like two different worlds are colliding and my brain chemistry is entirely altered for life.
For someone who struggles with self-esteem and validation, this book has helped me deal with a lot of my inner demons constantly bringing me down. Here are some lines from the book that restored my faith in life and how It’s okay to fail sometimes.
“tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.” Just *chef-kiss* you don’t understand, when I say, this line caught me off guard. It was equivalent to two gallons of coffee and an adrenaline rush because a wave of energy just passed through my body. I wanted to get off my seat and go do everything I wanted to.
“When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.” We’re constantly comparing our lives to that of others, so much so that we forget to be grateful for what we have. To acknowledge what we have. We feel like we failed even after putting our best foot forward because we forget to be grateful.
“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.” Not to be all dramatic but this might have changed my perspective on a large scale. We don’t realize how interconnected we are, with everything around us. Our surrounding conditions our brain, but to a large extent, we humans control it. We decide the kind of people we want to be around; we decide the kind of things we want to keep around us.
This book is full of heart-warming, soul-stirring lines that will keep you up at night wondering how to make everything right. But it is hauntingly beautiful to feel this connected to a book and I 100% recommend it and other books from the author, like that “The Archer”. I might do another emotionally charged non-review review on this beautiful book too, stay tuned.
Author: Pavitra M – A bit quirky and a lot inquisitive with the strangest humour ever. Basically, she laughs at anything and everything. Pavitra is currently pursuing her Masters’s in Media and Communication Studies and has an incoherent but deep passion for self-care and ultimately on a quest to understand the best ways to do it.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author.
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