Shifting perspectives and setting priorities

P Ajitha

the-alchemist The statement, “A chance encounter with a book can change one’s life” is very true in the case of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

The book is a must-read for students of senior school and adults alike. In the words of Bacon, this book has to be chewed and digested in order to internalize the simple yet profound truths of life which escape our sphere of consciousness as other seemingly important things vie for our attention in the daily grind called life.

The book is indeed an eye opener in the sense that it puts things in the right perspective and helps readers get their priorities right and most importantly awakens the desire to know the purpose of their existence – the specific reason for which one is born and relentlessly work towards realizing it.

The book should top the reading list of those who are at the threshold of entering the “real world” after their schooling phase when the dilemma of making the right choice and the compulsion to head in the desired direction could weaken intuitive powers leading people to make wrong choices for seemingly the right reasons. The book beautifully captures the vagaries of life and beguilingly simple approach to living it to the fullest.

The reason this book was such a huge sensation and continues to be in demand years after it was first published is the universality of its theme and the manner of its treatment. The book, as claimed by the publisher is truly “a magical fable about following your dream”. The predicament of the protagonist strikes a chord with the readers by its honest portrayal and by relating to him, the story has the potential to transform our lives for good provided we let the book speak to us.

Reading the book one may have an epiphany when the entire spectrum of life passes before the mind’s eye and one is able to divine the purpose of one’s existence and implored to fulfill one’s destiny. To some it may seem like just another fable full of impossible things which can be safely relegated to the realm of fantasy. But, given the fact that this book is believed to have transformed lives speaks volumes about its inherent value. So give it a try and decide for yourself.

The author teaches at Delhi Public School, Coimbatore. Although a teacher, the author prefers to call herself a co-learner in the journey of self-discovery she embarks on with her students. She can be reached at

Leave a Reply