Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Needless Pursuits

Please read the anandanubhava’s comment to my views on Alchemist here.

My reply being:

That exactly is my point. This book does not deserve the "original" adjective. But for that, it is a very gripping reading. Going some where, wanting something... and finally coming back to where you are was also taught to us by a fable which goes like this.

A mountain rat sees a king riding an elephant. People on both sides are throwing flowers at the king, which are all falling on the elephant. The rat thinks it would be very nice if it were king's elephant.

Immediately God turns it into that elephant, he enjoys the flowers. But soon realizes that the king is actually the boss. The elephant needs to go where the king tells him to go. So, elephant thinks it would be good if he were the king. Soon, the roles are changed and the rat takes form of the king.

As the king happily rides the elephant, there comes a point where the Sun is so strong that the king had to put his head down. Shameful he felt. Now he wanted to be the Sun so that he could look down up on the entire world. No body could look back at him. God obliged and made him the Sun.

Sun was shining brightly; just when a thick cloud was passing by and he could no longer torment the people below. Sun felt helpless and wished if he could be a cloud that could even block the rays of the Sun.

God was in a benevolent mood, and obliged. Immediately, cloud began flying every where under the sun smiling back at him as if to say "Sun, you are no longer the most powerful". As the cloud was following the Sun, there came a huge mountain and the cloud could no longer follow the sun. The cloud was hopelessly shattered and it started to melt down as rain.

Now the rat (which has taken the form of cloud) wished it were a huge mountain that could humiliate a mighty cloud. God turned it into a mountain. Mighty mountain crushed all clouds coming its way and was having the time of its life. Just then, a small rat bore a hole at the base of the mountain and started living there. Mountain could do nothing about it. Today there was one... and months later there were many many rats each one of them capable of boring a hole in the mountain.

Now the mountain wished it was a rat that could bore a hole in the mighty mountain. Suddenly it realized that it was a rat to begin with. It felt ashamed about its own pursuit of power from being a rat to an elephant, then the king, the sun, the cloud, the mountain and back to being a rat. It realized, God had been so good to it by turning it to what ever it wished only to teach this lesson. "Most of us already have what we search for all our life"

Very similar to "The Alchemist". Even in being a fable, it’s not original.

1 comment:

anandanubhava said...

Hey, nice story! Is it from Panchatantra ? I agree, nothing original in Alchemist. But anything written by foreign authors that's given wide publicity & is easy to read makes for a huge best seller with cult following! Paulo Coelho's recent books are quite bad!