Thursday, March 20, 2008

I recommend

The Alchemist by Pablo Coelho. This book was presented to me early on in my journey and it helped in opening my eyes to a new awareness. Then, when I was in India in December of '06, the most interesting event happened. My friend Kevin and I were out on a tour of Mumbai with our local guide, Mala. (By the way, "mala" means 'bad female' in Spanish and, of course, we were tickled by the idea of being shown around one of the world's largest cities by a 'bad female.' Perfect!) We stopped at a red light and several kids rushed over to the vehicle with books in their arms. My window was half open and one of the kids pushed another Pablo Coelho book right in front of me: Like the Flowing River. I knew this was no coincidence, so I started haggling with the street salesman on the price of the book (instinctively doing what one is "supposed to do" when buying something on the street in a Third World country). As I haggled with Mala's help, the light changed to green and the driver started pulling away. In the next three or four seconds, the kid grudgingly agreed to my price, I gave him the money, and I kept the book. After we were moving away from the intersection, I felt something was wrong. I asked Mala, "Do you think I paid the kid enough for the book?" She was looking back at him and said, "You know, usually they are happy after they make a sale. I'm looking at him now and he doesn't seem happy. Perhaps it was not enough money. But it's okay, he'll make it back from another sale soon." I immediately felt like total crap, of course. I felt like I had just ripped off a poor Indian street kid. Were a few bucks worth that? Jeez.

I'm just now getting around to reading this book. I guess the time is right.

One of my favorite photos from my India experience. Note the intensity in his eyes. The kid who sold me the Coelho book was not unlike this one.

Mala. Our 'bad female' was actually a good soul, who taught me a lot about Hinduism.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I'm a big fan of Paulo Coelho! You will love this! He's the first best-selling
author to be distributing for free his works on his blog:

Have a nice day!