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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.