Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Manuscript Found In Accra - Paulo Coelho

One of the first things about the "Manuscript Found in Accra" is the striking similarity to "The Prophet' by Kahlil Gibran. In this book also there is a Prophet kind of a character, Copt the Greek, and there is some story about him and the manuscript which did not interest me. I was more interested in knowing if Copt had anything interesting to say to the frightened multitudes seeking wisdom and solace. As in the Prophet, the people ask questions about various aspects of life that have been puzzling them and the Greek answers. I tried to get down the gist of the answers that I liked.

I liked the part about what to seek and what to avoid. Seek those he says, who believe in what they are doing, who decide on the spur of the moment, who respect your freedom, who are with you in happy times, those who are unafraid to be vulnerable, who accept mistakes, who grow you, who are happy, who sing, who tell stories, who enjoy life, whose eyes sparkle with happiness.

What about defeat? The Greek replies - Only he who gives up is defeated.

And as for the Defeated Ones, he says - Those are the ones who never fail! (Much to learn for the perfectionists from this.)

On Solitude, he says - Without it, love will not stay by your side.

On feelings of being useless, he says - One is never useless, and one must live the life one wants to live.

On Change, he says - It must be done NOW.

On Beauty, he says - The brightest light comes from within.

On Direction, he says - Look to your childhood, go to what filled you with enthusiasm, God's plan.

On Love, he says - Allow it to approach.

On going back in time, he says - Go forward, live with innocence.

On Sex, he says - It's about give and take, about harmony.

On Surviving, he says - Be clear about what to seek and what to avoid.

On elegance he says - The elegant make no effort to look elegant and simple.

On Work he says - It's an offering for money, for love. Through your offering you are allowing others to love you.

On Luck he says - It is the fruit of the seed you have lovingly planted.

On Miracles he says - Look at each day as one.

And on Anxiety (keep it), on the Future, on Loyalty, on Weapons and on Enemies, the Greek speaks wisely.

The part of what to seek was brilliant and much of what else he says too. But it does appear stale since it has this strong resemblance to the Prophet. But even taking that comparison out of the context, the presentation is not as sharp as it could have been. Each idea is conveyed rather convolutedly and stuff that could have been left out or refined comes up and blocks the sharp and arrow like message that marks each word written in the Prophet. It's not bad, but the promise and the endeavor of the idea did not reach the potential it could have. One read is not a bad idea certainly, but that's about it.


Rajendra said...

masala achcha hai, lekin tadka jamaa nahin?

Harimohan said...

Yup. Fits and starts. Some really good ones and some ordinary.