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Saturday, January 10, 2009


Penning down thoughts is a healthy habit….at least I feel so…of course it’s highly personal in which way one might prefer recording his/her thoughts. For some reason, which I am still unable to explore, I like to record my thoughts on books in this blog. One reason might be that when I revisit some earlier post I can link myself with some aspect of my past, which has, in some subtle manner, become a part of me…
It’s not only about reading a book. It’s also about when are you reading a book…and under what circumstances you are reading this particular book. Reading a Paulo Coelho book, while commuting in a morning Mumbai train can be different from reading the same book after a day’s work. It’s not about the lag in connectivity of your internal assimilation of the author’s’s rather about how the day’s process keeps on adding layers of periodic reflexes which by the end of the day influences your views on your earlier interpretation of the book.
Let’s restrict to Paulo Coelho at the moment. His works are a mix of beauty and spirituality….about the discovery of an individual’s desires, fear, courage etc….Many individuals feel that this mix of beauty and spirituality creates an intensely inspirational self search within. They feel that most of Paulo Coelho books (Alchemist, Fifth Mountain, Pilgrimage, Eleven minutes, Zahir, Maktub, Valkyries…) are extremely rich in their content of the level of inspiration.
I enjoy the works of Paulo Coelho…..more so while making my early morning commute to the office….when a day is just about to start… The morning train presents you with the first glow of the morning sun, the thinning fog, the hills, the sea….creating the perfect ambience to delve deeper into what Paulo wants to say. Interestingly in most of books, Paulo uses different elements of nature (the deserts of Egypt, the Steppes of Kazakhstan, the deserts of California, the mountains of the ancient Israel and Lebanon etc.)…and this is a great way of integrating the exterior beauty with interior spirituality.
As long as you are in the morning train, you seem to relish his thoughts, the way he writes, the ambience he builds, and to some extent you can indeed enjoy a refreshing feeling, which can probably be classified as an indigenous version of spirituality.
But then, the day moves ahead….you are in the office….you take a quick look at your diary….you systematically read the mails…you start filling in your plan sheet for the day. You get back to the reality…stepping down from the elevated level you had reached during your morning train journey. Your records remind you that there is a presentation to be made to the senior management, elucidating your plans for the year…your mails bring you the news that one of your clients has gone bankrupt…its painful to realize this and more so especially when there were receivables to be realized from them. You visit the news channels to get the feel of the daily oil prices….your business is so closely linked with the oil prices…and sadly, the oil prices are hovering only in the USD 40 per barrel mark….
Which is the latest tender to be filled? How do we obtain prequalification to work in some new location? The list of questions that demand an answer keeps ever elongating. There are quite a number of new ships to be delivered the course of the year and they have to be committed…with “reliable” clients. By reliability, I mean they should not go bankrupt without paying us our receivables. But then, how to know who is reliable under this market situation.
Finally amidst all the confusion, speculations, and optimism….the day ends. You get back home….you make phone calls to those who matter most to you, you realize that for your dearest ones, the day is not much different…though mapped in a different setting.
Its almost midnight. In another 6 hours, the next day is going to start. You ensure that your laptop and important files are well arranged in the bag. And there you see, the Paulo Coelho classic is lying within. You take it out…read some of its lines….and ask yourself “Is this the same book which I was reading today morning?”
The next day begins….and you start commuting….and open your book where you had put the marker the previous day….and start reading it….just as you did it the previous morning...reaching the elevated levels of indigenous spirituality.

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