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Isn’t it uncanny how a certain author or filmmaker can tap into the exact thoughts and sensations that we go through and breathe life into them?

The Will Smith starrer, The pursuit of happyness, and Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece The Zahir, managed to touch that special chord deep inside my soul.

At a time when I feel content with my existence with no specific burdens to trouble me and no major decisions to warrant my attention, it becomes easy for me to turn inwards and introspect on the true nature of happiness.

The movie focuses on the trials that a young father goes through to keep his son away from the harsh realities of poverty, the touching story of how he works night and day to make sure the next day’s meal is taken care of and the heart-warming sincerity with which he does his duties with no show of pain. Here, the protagonist is looking for happiness. A way to ensure that his son will stay happy, come what may.

The book has a far more spiritualist approach to the idea of happiness and how we must first be content with ourselves before we can make those around us happy. And how we must appreciate the happiness of the other in order for us to enjoy our own joy. The power that the book wields is undeniable. But, it is probably not the best book for first-time Coelho readers. His first book, The Alchemist, is the best introduction to the author.

Coelho in The Zahir, weaves a story around his basic premise, that of a man who goes looking for his wife, who disappears without a trace. In searching for his love, he finds himself. In many ways, the book is reminiscent of the early love ballads of a romantic era, where the hero looks for his beloved. But the feature that gives strength to this novel is the wonderful way that storytelling and philosophy are woven together.

The conclusion that I reached is that Happiness is neither a journey nor the destination- it is both. In order to reach happiness, you must first be happy. Set out with joy in your heart, contentment in your soul and you will find happiness waiting to receive you.

It’s Day 28

This post is my contribution to

   NaBloPoMo November 2013
Categories: Uncategorized

Shailaja V

Hi there! I'm Shailaja Vishwanath, a blogger with 12 years of blogging experience and a parent to a teen. I work as a digital marketing and social media consultant. From positive parenting tips to useful productivity hacks, social media advice to blogging advice, you'll find them all right here. Welcome to my blog.


Scattered Mama · November 29, 2013 at 3:42 am

Oh! So beautifully written! Thoroughly enjoyed reading the post. Profound thoughts put down with such simplicity making the whole exercise of approaching life with happiness, seeming so doable!

Swethaprajwala · November 29, 2013 at 4:38 am

Very well compiled Shailaja.

Shailaja V · November 29, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Thank you! Thank you! What a lovely compliment:)

Shailaja V · November 29, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Thanks for reading, Swetha 🙂 Glad you liked it!

Aparna · November 29, 2013 at 5:37 pm

I loved the line “In order to reach happiness, you must first be happy”. So simple, yet so profound!

Shailaja V · November 29, 2013 at 5:48 pm

I must admit I felt a tiny puff of happiness that you picked that line, since it was my own 😀 Thanks for reading and commenting!

Zoe Byrd · November 30, 2013 at 1:10 pm

I love Coelho's books… the Alchemist was so simple and wise!

Priya Prakash · November 30, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Very nicely written! I loved the movie although I have not yet read the book.

Anonymous · December 1, 2013 at 12:29 am

good one Shaila…have seen the movie and it moved me to tears…yet to read the book not a great reader though but will attempt…keep writing…

Shailaja V · December 2, 2013 at 7:35 am

Have to agree with you there 🙂

Shailaja V · December 2, 2013 at 7:35 am

You'll enjoy it, I promise 🙂

Shailaja V · December 2, 2013 at 7:36 am

All the best for that 🙂

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