the_alchemistI got this book as a gift on my birthday last month. This book is written by Paulo Coelho. It’s a magical story of a shepherd boy who dreams of travelling the world to seek the most wonderful treasures know to man. From his home in Spain he travels a long way to Pyramids where a fateful encounter with the alchemist awaits him.

This book describes the journey of a shepherd Santiago and how he strived hard to achieve his treasure of life. Being a shepherd he is happy and well contended from what he has in his life. His parents wanted him to be a priest someday. They educated him so that he takes this holy job and preach the world with the holy teachings of the Bible. But, Santiago had something else in his mind, or probably life had something else for him. One fine day he expressed his desire of wandering places and seeing new things to his father. Upon hearing this, father suggested him to become a shepherd, as this was the only way he can achieve what he wants. For the first time I learnt how a person can be happy in his life by just being a shepherd.

The story takes a twist when one night the boy had a dream while sleeping in an old church. He dreamt of a treasure near the Pyramids. It was just a dream and the boy didn’t pay heed to it. But this dream came once again the following night. He went to a gypsy in the nearby village to understand his dream. His attempt went in vain. He sat thinking hard about his dream near a complex square in the city, just where he bumped into an old man. The old man introduced himself as an old king and suggested the boy to follow his dream to find the treasure at Pyramids. He not only guided the boy how to cross the dessert but also filled him with positive spirit saying “If you want to achieve something then the world conspires to make it done”. When leaving, the king gifted the boy with Urim and Thummim, two precious stones.

The boy then sells his sheep, makes some money for his journey and sets off. He soon finds himself cheated by a thief. Left with no money to continue his travel he is forced to work in a crystal shop. Over there he does a good business and the sales of crystals increased and so did his income. There came a time when the boy could have returned to his homeland Spain and live a lavish life with the money he had saved. But he decides to continue his journey to the Pyramids. On his way he meets many people the Englishman, Alchemist, or…well, it’s a long list. But the path was written in the omens, and there was no way he could go wrong.

When a reader reads the book he takes it easy that when the boy reaches the Pyramids he will find the treasure. Well it’s not the physical treasure the author is talking about. It’s the language of the world he tries to explain. For example when the boy grazes his sheep in the fields, the sheep doesn’t understand his language. But they never question the direction where their master is taking them. This means they have a belief in their master. However Santiago does find his physical treasure as well.

Coelho has a fascinating storytelling, with the mixture of spirituality, magical realism and folklore. These ingredients make The Alchemist a compelling read. It delights and surprises the reader as the journey transverses from fields of Spain to the dessert of Sahara.

Coelho’s books have life-enhancing impact on millions of people, so true!!

Feeling inspired? Discover more about the world of Paulo Coelho. Visit his official international website http://www.paulocoelho.com