Monday, August 3, 2020

Coelho In Alchemist, And Tagore In His Poetry: On Where The Treasure Is

Time and again, through books and poems, and old tales that people narrate to others, there is one constant theme- finding your treasure of happiness. People seek things, and where do they end up finding what they seek for? Many philosophers, authors, poets, thinkers have shared profound tales of their experiences spun in a creative lesson for us all, hidden in their stories and poems. 

Alchemist by Paulo Coelho follows Santiago, a sixteen year old boy, looking for his treasure. The novel takes you through his highs and lows, and his desperate search as he travels far and wide, only leading him to the truth that the treasure he sought had always been with him- back at home, with himself. It captures a journey of self-realization, and drops the truth that what you seek is always with you, in your home. And, that is where true happiness lies. 

When Satyajit Ray, the Oscar winning Bengali filmmaker and one of the greatest we have seen, was a young boy, he approached Rabindranath Tagore with a piece of paper to get the legendary poet's autograph. What Ray got along with the autograph was a small, yet significant poem with a hidden message for life itself. Here is a translated version of that poem:
I have travelled miles, for many a year,
I have spent a lot in lands afar,
I've gone to see the mountains,
and the oceans I've been to view.
But, I haven't seen with these eyes,
just two steps from my home lies,
on a sheaf of paddy grain,
a glistening drop of dew. 
Every inspiration, every treasure, and all the happiness we seek is always with us- as these timeless books and poems tell us. But, it seems like we have to go around to other places before we realize that and find it, justifying the well-quoted phrase: "experience is the only source of knowledge"!

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