The Alchemist was, indeed, the epitome of Paulo Coelho’s witty and crafty genius. One particular reason why this book is hailed as a modern classic, “The face of contemporary literature” according to Vir Sanghvi, is that it is based on the aspirations of the human soul. Santiago’s arduous journey in search of treasure is portrayed as the journey of one’s life, which can be a very arousing and touching sentiment, spiritually as well as physically.
All lovers of the Indian cinema, or let’s say SRK in particular, must be aware of the famous dialogue from the silver screen catastrophe Om Shanti Om – “इतनी शिद्दत से मैंने तुम्हे पाने की कोशिश की है, की हर ज़र्रे ने मुझे तुमसे मिलाने की साज़िश की है”. To my greatest surprise (actually, not really), this dialogue has been ‘inspired’ by the converging idea of The Alchemist – “When you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true”. But I often wonder if that were the case, why doesn’t everyone gets what they want? Does the son not cry loud enough for his dying mother to be saved? Does the heartbroken romantic not wail hard enough to be reunited with his love? Or does the derelict not pray urgently enough for a couple of meals for his family to get through just one more day? They do. We all do, to fulfill our basic needs and desires. Although, I don’t really differentiate between the two terms unlike some who associate needs with sustenance and desires with indulgence. Nonetheless enters the villain to the party – destiny. I often feel that the universe does conspire when you really want something. But until you get that thing, you always feel that the conspiracy is versus you. Desire against destiny is one battle that has been going on since biblical times. Both are hailed and both are cursed. What we derive is finally the net result of an intricate balance between the former two. What is denied is often discarded as something that was not meant to be. However, we don’t understand the need for denial until we’ve derived our benefits. Well… how can else we differentiate a man from a saint!
There’s this wonderful movie I saw again recently – 500 Days of Summer. One of its soundtracks just touched my heart for its sheer simplicity and honesty. Yes, an honest song. Hard to find… huh! I dug a little deeper and found that the song was composed by The Smiths… a very popular English rock band of the yesteryear. The lyrics are so piercing that they just grab your jugular vein and stir you from within…. which in the context of this post I find very relevant! Here they go….
Good times for a change,
Can make a good man turn bad
See, the luck I’ve had,
So please please please,
Let me, let me, let me,
Let me get what I want…. This time!
Haven’t had a dream in a long time,
See, the life I’ve had,
Can make a good man bad.
So for once in my life,
Let me get what I want,
Lord knows, it would be the first time!