People are like clouds. Sometimes they stay welled up, greyed, and full of pain. Sometimes they let it all out, sometimes they rain.
But whether the drizzle is a happy one or just a premonition of an upcoming storm is quite hard to figure out. There is one thing, however, that we can be sure of and that is the reason behind all they do –
L O V E.
Sometimes it’s the lack of it that drives them mad, sometimes its abundance. But whatever the case, it’s always the extremes that lead to every outburst. Something similar is at the heart of T H E Z A H I R by Paulo Coelho.
I have never really been that keen on Coelho, to be honest. Yes, I have read The Alchemist, and yes, it was a brilliantly written novel but that was years ago and since that one book by him, I never quite got myself to pick up any other of his books. I don’t know but there is something about the way he writes. It’s mysteriously unsettling. It’s like something inside of me wants to escape whenever his words enter my thoughts. I feel…well..I can’t quite put it into words but whatever it was, it stopped me from reading whatever Coelho wrote. That’s why I put off reading The Zahir. It was given to me by my boyfriend who made me promise that I would read it. And I did, thinking that he will soon forget about it and I won’t have to go through that unknown and tremendously disturbing feeling again.
But he would NOT let it happen! DAMN, he would pester me EVERY DAY about it! xD SO MUCH THAT I HAD TO READ IT AND GET IT OVER WITH. He claimed that once I read The Zahir, I will change my opinion of Coelho. I doubted it but I decided to give it a shot anyway.
AND HE WAS RIGHT!
I admit that the first few pages, I didn’t know what was going on and was uninterested. But just as I was about to quit (I was, after all, looking for reasons to just close the book), I was hooked in.
It was like the words were clawing me in and the more I resisted and wanted to leave, the more I kept getting drawn into it. It was like quicksand and I could not break myself free.
I was now a captive of this treacherous little book.
And I never realised when my hate for my captor turned into Stockholm syndrome*!
*ONE DIRECTION, ANYONE??? oh, come on!!!!!
That was the moment I knew I was falling in love with Coelho and what’s weird is that I ENJOYED IT!
The Zahir was becoming my obsession. The sheer volume of the narrator’s thoughts! THEY WERE VERY LOUD! I could hear my mind screaming them back to me, just to ensure that I never forget it.
I was enjoying this kidnapping! I was enjoying how completely detached from the world I was becoming. And somewhere in this process, I found the one answer I too had been searching for soo long, without even realising it –
Am I happy?
There is someone for everyone which sets their souls on fire, who ignites such a passion in their hearts that it becomes impossible to not think about them in every thought, to not see them in every face, to not dream of them every passing night.
But the tragedy is that some people realise this a little too late – that once broken, the fragile thread is never smooth again, the heart is never again. That’s something that happens with our story’s protagonist. He is rich. He is famous. He has the passport to be with any woman he likes and still lead a happily married life. But he isn’t happy. He loves his wife. He loves his career. But he isn’t satisfied. His wife loves him. She loves her life. And yet, she isn’t satisfied either. Neither of them is happy. They need to find that SOMETHING. THAT FEELING OF BEING ALIVE. And in search of their respective obsessions…what will they eventually get?
Passion or despair?
I am T H E Z A H I R.