For those of you who didn’t read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, go read it. It’s a riveting tale, one of a journey of a man for a treasure he dreamt of.
If you really wish to read the book, I’ll be spoiling the ending for you (though, as I’ve told my friend, the journey is the point of the book, not the ending).
So the basic story goes something like this.
Man has a vision of a treasure in a land far away. He goes and searches for it, and finds nothing. When another man asks why he’s searching for treasure here, he tells him about his vision.
The other man laughs and claims that he too had a vision of treasure in a place, and that he never paid heed to such foolish visions. Realizing that the man was describing his own house, the man goes home and finds treasure under his house (An underwhelming summary, I admit).
For a long time, I’ve been searching for something. For what, is a question that I generally avoid (though I do know the answer myself). I don’t tell people about (even after I’m hammered out of existence), if only because it is something that I know someone might mock me for (Yes, I too occasionally think about what others think about me).
All my decisions in my life I’ve made w.r.t to it. From school, to college, to now. I’ve been to different corners of this country and have tried unsuccessfully in finding it in a variety of locations. I thought I found it once, but I slipped through my fingers before I could realise. Life is like that sometimes, it dangles what you think you want in front of you, only for it to pull the rug from underneath you.
It’s occasionally funny to look back on what I thought was the final evolution of who I was, only for life to keep pulling the rug from under me as an ongoing gag (As I occasionally remarked to my friend, the moment I die and reach ye pearly gates in the clouds, there are a lot of words I could tell that Bearded Old Fuck, but my middle finger could perfectly summarise what I wish to say).
After everything, after the sleepless nights, happy reunions, weird parties, depressing calls, tears shed and occasional defiance, after roaming a whole lot of places for a whole lot of disappointment, I’m back home.
Looking back, it seems inevitable that I’d end up where I began. From an outside perspective, it may seem obvious, yet living in it was a journey that was insanely turbulent, with each new low driving it further and further into a what I thought would be an early funeral pyre. And yet, when you’ve hit rock bottom, you’ve nowhere to go but up.
I went looking for a treasure I dreamt of and couldn’t find it, neither in the vast open plains of my own mind, nor in the concrete jungles of afar. And all I had to do was dig under my own home.