I read this book first time at least 7-8 years ago and thought it was much too overrated.
To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only real obligation.
My reaction – ‘Hm, my becoming a software engineer is my destiny, so I guess I have found it.’
And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
And, my reaction was – ‘A shepherd, a treasure and some really fateful things happening in the book. Much like a scripted movie. Bullshit.’
Never thought again about it and hated how the quote was used in Bollywood movies. Fast forward life. Just before going to sleep, something hits me about my life tonight. There was no way I was going to be in Indore at this point in life and meeting and talking to certain people. I made a willful choice at a tricky time in life and if my being here is not destiny, I don’t know what is. I searched for the book, found it (its really wonderful how I can find any book I want to read), read the parts I wanted and I’m just amazed. It might still be a stupid book but I can’t help smiling when I read those lines again-
The old man pointed to a baker standing in his shop window at one corner of the plaza. “When he was a child, that man wanted to travel, too. But he decided first to buy his bakery and put some money aside. When he’s an old man, he’s going to spend a month in Africa. He never realized that people are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”
“He should have decided to become a shepherd,” the boy said.
“Well, he thought about that,” the old man said. “But bakers are more important people than shepherds. Bakers have homes, while shepherds sleep out in the open. Parents would rather see their children marry bakers than shepherds.”
Well, I suppose software engineers could be bakers and shepherds could be creatives. But then, shepherd would get to travel as he dreamed. So, yes Mr. Paulo Coelho, you have got me. Who am I? Time will tell.
I wish, learning one’s destiny was as easy as seeing a recurring dream. And may be I could have dreams too but for that I need to sleep first.