NOT a Book Review !

Hi ,
Given the fact , that I am still learning to blog, it's too early for me to write a book review.
But it would break my heart, not to participate today in Write Tribe -Festival of Words: Book Review , so I wrote about a book I love and my attached emotions.

After reading 'THE ALCHEMIST" by Paulo Coelho, it sort of became my bible. I literally started preaching about this book. This book is about a shepherd boy named Santiago. Santiago, believing a recurring dream to be prophetic, decides to travel to a Romani in a nearby town to discover its meaning. A gypsy woman tells him that there is a treasure in the Pyramids in Egypt.

This book changed a part of me forever, that is what happens when I read his books. I was inspired to believe in my dream, no matter how absurd it sounded to others. After all “It's better to die in pursuit of your dreams than to live a life without hope.”

But something that really shook me at my roots was "Eleven minutes".

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Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho


Eleven minutes: The world revolved around something that only took eleven minutes.

 I was  19, when I first read this book. I need not mention that talking about sex was still a taboo, at least where I lived. Even if we did discuss about it, it was like 'one blind guiding another'. The story is of Maria's journey to find what true love is by letting her own life guide her.A young girl from a remote village of Brazil, with innocent brushes with love failures at an early adolescent stage and hatred for love goes to seek her fortune in Switzerland, only to find that reality is a lot harder than she expected. 

After working in a nightclub as a samba dancer for a brief period, she realizes that this is not what she wants. After a heated discussion with her manager one night, she storms out and begins to look for a career in modeling. After a long unsuccessful search for a position in that field, and as she starts running out of money, she engages herself for 1000 francs for "one night" with an Arab man. Delighted with the easy money and after compromising with her soul she lands in a brothel on Rue de Berne, the heart of Geneva's red-light district...

This was something I had never heard of, because all movies, stories I read showcased the myth that poverty, helplessness, being deceived , cheated ,forced into, rape  were the reasons that pushed a girl into the world of prostitution. Here I saw a women, who chose to be one. 

Yes Maria was real, her thoughts : “I am two women: one wants to have all the joy, passion and adventure that life can give me. The other wants to be a slave to routine, to family life, to the things that can be planned and achieved. I'm a housewife and a prostitute, both of us living in the same body and doing battle with each other.” 

She befriends Nyah who gives her advice on her "new profession" and after learning the tricks of the trade from Milan, the brothel owner, she enters the job with her body and mind shutting all doors for love and keeps her heart open only for her diary. Quickly she becomes quite successful and famous and her colleagues begin to envy her. Months pass and Maria grows into a professionally groomed prostitute who not only relaxes her clients' mind, but also calms their soul by talking to them about their problems.

At that age, I thought physical desire is the only reason that lure's a man towards a prostitute but this book proved me so wrong. The complicated dynamics between Maria and her clients in explained in a  way, which questioned everything I knew about lust and desire.

“Profound desire, true desire is the desire to be close to someone.”

Her world turns upside down when she meets Ralf, a young Swiss painter, who sees her "inner light". 
Maria falls in love with him immediately and begins to experience what true love is (according to the author, it is a sense of being for someone without actually possessing him/her). Maria is now torn between her sexual fantasies and true love for Ralf. Eventually she decides that it is time for her to leave Geneva with her memory of Ralf, because she realizes that they are worlds apart.

A beautiful exploration of Maria's true love and her soul involved in sacred sex.

How does the story end??

Is there a 'happily ever after' in a prostitute's life?

Well, go ahead read the book, enjoy your own take on it ;)


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About Ananya Kiran

The Official Website of Ananya Kirann. Seattle Lifestyle blogger and Brand, Event Promoter and Youtuber. Featuring Daily Fashion Styles,Tips and more

34 comments:

  1. I remember reading this around 17 or 18 as well and I enjoyed this more than The Alchemist at the time. I was very cynical about the Alchemist and guess this felt closer to reality. Having said that, I might have to pick up The Alchemist again to see if life has changed me and my views. Especially as I am now learning to put more trust into the universe...

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    1. Yes Alchemist is one such book which brings out new meanings, every read.

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  2. I loved this line - “It's better to die in pursuit of your dreams than to live a life without hope.”
    You said this was not a review -- but it most certainly was -- you shared very well. Thank you

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    1. Oh Carol, Am so glad you liked it :))
      U r Welcome

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    2. I love that line too.. it so captures my philosophy in life... and I loved "Veronica Decides to Die" better than Alchemist.. I guess Alchemist is just the general default option for Paulo Coelho discussion. Others do have their own favs beside that book.

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    3. Yes Roshan true ! I also loved "The Zahir" , tried reading 'BRIDA' but could not relate to it.

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  3. Wow, that itself was such an interesting read. I am sure the book must be great. have'nt read it but I might actually! :) Thanks!

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    1. Thanks Kajal !
      Yes I strongly recommend this book, trust me you wont regret it :))

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  4. The more of your post I read, the bigger my grin grew. Um, I don't know how to tell you other than bluntly, but you absolutely DID just write a book review. A good one too. :)

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    1. Hey Carrie, :d
      Thank u ! Am so glad that u did grin ...

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  5. Ohh..now u got me hooked... 8-) better find this book...:d

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    1. Trust me you wont regret it. It's (o)

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  6. Coelho is an all-time favourite and you have done great justice to the book. Never written a review, you say? Girl, what do you call this? :D Well done!

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    1. Aaaaaa :)) thanks Shailaja !
      DId u notice, I turned off the Captcha, thanks for ur suggestion.

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  7. Ananya I have read the book twice. Like I have read many of Paulo Cohelo. First time when I read it, my mind was too immature to understand it, second time was learning and introspecting. In some part of the book, when he speaks of her inner feeling, I felt it is a feeling most women go through.
    Thank you for reviewing this and reviving the memories of a wonderful read :)

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  8. I have never read this!! I will add it to my to-read wala list right away.

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  9. A fantastic review. This is the next in my reading list.

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  10. "I am two women: one wants to have all the joy, passion and adventure that life can give me. The other wants to be a slave to routine, to family life, to the things that can be planned and achieved. I'm a housewife and a prostitute, both of us living in the same body and doing battle with each other" I will make a confession I read alchemist and I didn't like it so much. But then yes eleven mins people have given some outstanding reviews. The lines I quoted (which you have mentioned) definitely have moved me to change my mind about Coelho :D

    Richa

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    1. Yes this one book can literally change everything you feel you knew :))

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  11. I have read , 'The Alchemist ' but not 'Eleven Minutes'. The story of Maria as a woman and a prostitute and the one who opens only to her diary all form different layers in one body. Hope she finds true love. I will read this book.

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    1. Yes pls do read it :)) and tell me your views...
      Am sure there will be a lot to share !

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  12. Have heard a lot about this, and has been on my mind for a long time now. Shall grab it soon :) Good review, Ananya !

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    1. Thank you !
      Waiting for your reviews on the same book :))

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  13. I have read this book quite some time back..This was one of the early books that I had read after reading Alchemist. I dont remember the storyline much but I remember I had liked this book. And let me see if I can get my hands of this again.

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  14. I have read them both. The Alchemist did touch my heart! You wrote a Nice Review!

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  15. You don't seem like an amateur to me! That was a very comprehensive review! :)

    I like Paulo Coelho's works but I haven't read this one.. will pick it up! :)

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  16. 11 Minutes is a brilliant book where the soul fights the body and mind. Soul curry for the soul and Pixie is a must read:)

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