[I posted this review in May 2006 on an old blog after reading the Zahir. I finished reading it again in Nov 2011, and there is a new review up here.]
And the feeling that is still lingering on my head is that there is a Zahir in everyone's life. Zahir is this void in your life which doesn't let you do anything in peace, which haunts you, which forces you to do things you don't like, which makes you feel obsessed about the void... All in one, Zahir is what you can say - your calling... Its something which you are meant to do. Its something that you want to do, something which you sent on this earth to do...
Never thought that the author of Alchemist can write a book of this measure which touches a totally different dimension of love. The tenacity of the narrator on the book to find where his is wife though for different reasons at different points in the story, the mysticism revolving around the character,Mikhail; the love Marie has towards the narrator; the explanation which makes you realise that love can be changed throughout the life of your marriage; - The manner in which each of the smallest emotions are described by the author is commendable. (On second thoughts, Alchemist is also a love-story with a different measure!) At some points during the book, I felt that the author must surely have experienced all those emotions, coz the portrayal cant be so real unless you go through them.
And I am damn sure that at the end of the book, the reader will know quite a few things in general also. May it be the reason behind the 143inches between the two rail tracks, the flirtatious game in the Tengri tradition, the name changing ritual of the steppes, the rule of the steppes, or the energy of love.
Knew that Paulo Coelho is a good author, but the feeling that I got after finishing this book is something which I cannot express in my words.
All in all - this is a very good book. My recommendation for any reader...
Lessons I learnt after reading this book:
1. Love is not always constant. Never follow rules set by someone if you don't know the reason behind the rules.
2. Now don’t jump off the reign and start devouring all Paulo Coelho's books lest you end up getting bored of him like what happened with Dan Brown.
3. Try to tell a few people about this book. Who knows, they are also suffering from the Zahir? And might want to read it... You would've introduced another person to the beautiful world of books...:)