The night of 7 January, 2016. It is almost midnight as I pick up the most coveted book from under my pillow. He has been smothered underneath for more than ten days and today, he sees the light. Rather I see the light. The Alchemist. Invariably I'm pulled into the world of Paulo Coelho. As he urges me to follow my dreams, I sit up. I read and reread the shepherd's journey through the desert, his quest to fulfil his dreams and his meeting with the alchemist. Mysticism, magic and dreams bind me with the pages.
It strikes two as I read- "when you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true". A strike of lightning hits me. What do I wish? To keep issuing tickets at a godforsaken place? Or to dream bigger? To wish for the moon and the stars? Every time I read the alchemist, I infer something different. Every time it is a different set of words that touch my heart and captures it.
The clock keeps ticking. "The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times", Coelho chimes on. How many times have I fallen? I've lost count. How many times I've risen from the depths? Always. I have been the maker of my own destiny. Is this going to be my destiny? Can I rise above my fears and do the unthinkable? The unimaginable? I needed answers. More.
"Remember that wherever your heart is, you'll find the treasure"...Where is my heart? It is at home. It has always been. However far away I've flown out of my nest, I've been longing to get back. But then, where else do I have it? In books. In words. In my writing. Sentence by sentence my heart pulls up. Picks up pace. Thunders. By 5 am, I am ready. To take the plunge. To fall into the depths and rise again. I start typing and retyping. Daddy comes in with a cup of tea and asks why I'm up so early. I smile. He need not know that I was awake the whole night.
By 8 am, I'm ready with my resignation letter. A tough decision. But a happy one, nevertheless. My life has always been built on compromises and sacrifices. But whose isn't? This is one more sacrifice- but for myself. To save my rotting soul. To kindle the real me. "It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting"- his quote. My life has never been boring. Every day is an adventure. Every night an awakening. But that night with The Alchemist, I overcame my fears. My inner demons lay slain, ripped apart. I've set my soul free. Not chained to the rails anymore.
When someone asked me- "what are you planning to do next? Work in a big company?", I felt like laughing. No darling, I'd love to dream and live. Look for the alchemist. Hunt for the treasure. The soul knows...he knows. Coelho sleeps somewhere in the book box, unaware that he has kindled a fire. Set a soul free. I owe you one, the alchemist. Some day, we will together comb the desert sands for the treasure❤️