Monday, November 17, 2008

The Zahir by Paulo Coelho

Love is a disease no wants to get rid of. Those who catch it never try to get better and those who suffer do not wish to be cured.
I have realized one thing after reading this book that Paulo Coelho's books need to be re-read to really understand the depth hidden in those words. He is simply brilliant. I had read this book I guess a year or two before but this time the experience was enriching.
The Zahir is the story of a renowned author, who one day discovers that his wife, a war correspondent, has disappeared leaving no trace. Though time brings more success and new love, he remains mystified and increasingly fascinated by her absence. Was she kidnapped, blackmailed or simply bored with their marriage? The unrest she causes is as strong as the attraction she exerts. He wants to know why she left him and this thought becomes an obsession and then begins a journey where his search for her takes him from South America to Spain, France, Croatia and eventually, the bleakly beautiful landscape of Central Asia. More than that, it leads him into a new understanding of the nature of love, the power of destiny and what it really means to follow your heart.
In his search, he realizes that his past would always move along with him like a shadow but the more he freed himself from facts and concentrated on emotions, there will always be space in the present to be filled up with more love and with more of life's joy. Suffering occurs when we want other people to love us in the way we imagine we want to be loved and not in the way that love should manifest: itself - free and untrammeled, guiding us with its force and driving us on.
The journey makes him realize what mistakes he made in the past; in his life and with his relations. He understands what led him to that situation and by the end of the journey, he ends up discovering the truth of his own life and learns to love himself.

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