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Coelho and Miracles

Updated on February 9, 2019
Amrutha Balachandran profile image

Amrutha is an online writer, an engineering graduate and a lover of books. She is a published writer of poetry.

There are two kinds of books, one with a story and the other that becomes a part of your story.

The Alchemist is a novel by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho that was first published in 1988. It is an international best seller which is was originally written in Portuguese, and later translated to different languages.

It is the story of Santiago, a shepherd, who travels the world for a treasure which was right at his doorstep.The book asks questions, we'd rather avoid.

The book took me on a half hearted journey with Santiago(the protagonist), little did I know that it will change my life forever. In those pages I met a boy who wished to travel the world in search of a treasure and the pessimist in me laughed at his stupidity. From his home in Spain, he journeys to the exotic markets of Tangiers and then to the Egyptian dessert, where a fateful encounter with the Alchemist awaits him...

I couldn't believe how he could defy the practicality his brain put forward and just set out on a whim, just because his heart asked him to. The book told stories about people who never gave up on life, it convinced me to take a chance, try again and I am grateful that I listened


Coelho who?

Paulo Coelho de Souza (born 24 August 1947) is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist.Coelho was raised in Rio de Janeiro.

The Coelho they saw:

He rebelled against the conventions of his Roman Catholic upbringing and, as a result, was temporarily committed to a psychiatric hospital by his parents. Coelho dropped out of law school in 1970 and traveled through South America, Mexico, North Africa, and Europe. In 1972 he returned home and began writing pop and rock music lyrics with Raul Seixas, a well-known Brazilian singer and songwriter.(

The Coelho I saw:

When you read a book or when you read a story, you tend to look through the author's eye, you see what he wants you to see, you feel his wrath, his melancholy, you shape your perspective with respect to his outlook, this is what the right author can make you do, he makes you ask yourself questions, he makes you answer them, more or less realize them. There are n number of self help books available and I think it is high time, we realise that they just ask us to behave a certain way, live a certain way, they don't teach us, they don't inspire us they don't move us.This is what Coelho did, he wrote about people who succeeded, about the people who didn't, about the people who held on, about those who didn't.

People either convince you or they confuse you( because convincing isn't easy) .

So if an entire generation of readers (Rather generations of readers) repeated after him that the universe indeed conspires in helping us to achieve what we really did want,isn't it his success as a writer, as a motivator!?

I find it strange that as kids when Tinker Bell wanted us believe, we did so without a second thought, how come growing up we lost the ability to believe,to believe in miracles, to believe in ourselves, to believe in our fate?


How is the Alchemist relevant even today?

Imagine having spent an entire life searching for a treasure and to have given up minutes before actually finding that treasure.

I believe that we are a generation of restless individuals, we give up too soon, we settle for something way below what we actually deserve.


I guess that's because we don't believe anymore, we don't look out for signs, we are too scared to listen to our heart, it scares me to think that if I myself can't trust my heart, how can I expect some one else to.

To me Santiago was a fool, running away like that leaving behind a could be better life, and chasing treasures from dreams although I knew that the book would end with him finding the treasure, I laughed it off as too mainstream, that's what happens in books anyway right?

But how many of us can deny that we never hoped that a miracle happened, that we never wished to witness magic.. The 8 year old who believed that Santa Claus and Tinker Bell existed, was us we just grew up we didn't turn into a different person right?


As quoted by Madonna ,this book is about magic, dreams and the treasures we seek elsewhere, which ends up at our doorstep. I wonder if, the author starts the novel with the story of narcissus, just to warn us that having confidence is one thing but overconfidence can bring you only harm. He asks us to follow our dreams, to believe in ourselves but at the same time asks us to be grounded and humble.

Coelho says that people are capable at any time in their lives to do what they want to, but are afraid to pursue their dreams because they feel that they don't deserve it or that they will be unable to achieve them.He points out that one of the greatest lies of the world is that we lose control of our lives and fate controls it.

When he points out that ,


It sends chills down my spine and I instantly repent the decision I took, of giving up too soon, I could have grown into a rebel, committed suicide or even wasted the God given life, if I hadn't dared to dream. You saved my life sir, and I guess it is indeed 'maktub' that you write this book and change millions of life including mine.


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    • Amrutha Balachandran profile imageAUTHOR

      Amrutha Balachandran 

      14 months ago from India

      Thank you

    • greenmind profile image

      GreenMind Guides 

      14 months ago from USA

      I like this! I like your passion for literature.


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