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The Alchemist
Author - Paulo Coelho

-A book that shows you how to follow your Heart.

The Heart-what is it? Just an organ with four chambers which pumps blood? Scientifically- Yes. But from time immemorial people have thought it as something else – something wondrous. It is believed that the heart is the residing place of the body’s soul, a part of your body which guides you, leads you and shows you the way to goodness. Unfortunately this has been scorned by the new world - science’s world. Science has a new definition for the world-a systematic and ordered definition which demands proof of every single thing and has a reason for every phenomenon. Many people have been trying to inspire people to follow their heart and to reach their own wonderful destinies. The most popular way of doing this has always been writing books and spreading the message to the people. One of these authors, is the world-popular author- Paulo Coelho. Through his famous book-‘The Alchemist’, his message spread across the world like wildfire.
This book is about how a Spaniard shepherd boy, Santiago has a dream about hidden treasure at the Egyptian Pyramids. He tends to ignore it at first, but after meeting an ancient king and listening to him, he decides to follow his heart after all. The old king, Melchizedek tells him about his heart, about peoples’ destinies and most importantly to recognize the omens set by The Almighty. He tells Santiago about the Purpose of Life-and how many people have failed in achieving it by ignoring the omens around them. Thus inspired, Santiago decides to sell his sheep and travel to Africa. Before leaving the old king gives him two stones-Urim and Thummim which would help him to decide what to do while he is confused and guide him. But he advises Santiago to mostly make his own decisions. However the path set for Santiago by God, was unfortunately a hard one. In his first day at Africa he is robbed by a person he considered as his friend and all his money is stolen. Heart-broken and dejected he walks up the main street of the town, when he sees an empty crystal shop. He seeks a job in the crystal shop and gets into the good-books of the owner by proposing many innovative ideas which make the shop flourish again into good-business. After working in the shop for a month, he decides that he has enough money to go back to Spain and buy some new sheep. However, on the last day in the crystal shop, he realizes that he should follow his dream and destiny to the Egyptian Pyramids. Therefore he prepares to travel to the Pyramids through a caravan. While traveling Santiago meets an Englishman who struggles to learn alchemy and accomplish the Master Work. When he reaches Al Faiyum Oasis he hears that dangerous tribal wars were going on. It was there that he meets a beautiful girl named Fatima and he instantly falls in love with her. He spends the rest of the days in the Oasis in bliss and happiness thinking about Fatima. However, while sitting outside his tent one afternoon he witnesses an omen. He saw the flight of two hawks and how one of them attacks the other. Just an instant later, he had a vision where he saw thousands of horse riders ride into oasis and attack it. He warns the oasis’s council about the attack which, on being true results him in becoming the Councilor of the oasis. He then meets the Alchemist in the oasis, who had mastered the Science of Alchemy and had created the Philosopher’s Stone.
Santiago travels with the Alchemist to the Pyramids in search of the treasure of his dreams. On their way they are captured by a tribal group who take all their money. The Alchemist makes a bargain with the chieftain that if Santiago was able to turn himself into the wind, the chieftain should let them go. The disbelieving chieftain agrees. Using his knowledge about the Language of the World, Santiago is able to converse with the different elements of the world and is able to summon a huge gale. This convinces the chieftain about the boy’s powers and he lets both of them go free. After traveling together for some time, the alchemist leaves, and Santiago has to travel by himself to the Pyramids. There he encounters two robbers, who wanted to steal his money. When he explains to them that he is looking for treasure at the Pyramids and he had a dream about it, the men laugh at him and one of them says that he also saw a similar dream in which the treasure was buried in a church sarcophagus .They beat him up and leave. However, Santiago realizes that church was in fact, where he used to live. He is elated and goes back to the church. There he finds a grand treasure.
This book is a really inspiring book. After reading the book, I hope you are impressed by the story and follow your Heart’s Path. This book sure is a Must-Read!!!

Book Details:
Author: Paulo Coelho
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco (May 10, 1995)
Language: English

Review - Sushobhan Parida Class IX-C, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s Public School, Hyderabad

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