In this almost autobiographical study, Coelho takes on an exploratory voyage from Moscow to Vladivostok and meanwhile embarks on a journey of personal unearthing and spiritual discovery. As is described in the book, “Aleph” is the “place where time and space converge”. The account has been written in first person, where Coelho is a 59 year old writer, is successful but discontented and is looking for the purpose of life.
He travels Africa, Europe and Asia by the Trans Siberian Railway and meets Hilal on the way, who is adamant to travel with the author and wouldn’t budge at any cost. It is then that Paulo realises that he has a past life connection with Hilal. The two see in each other’s eyes how they were connected five hundred years ago. Yao, is another character which is quite prominent in the book. He is the authors’ translator and two hold fascinating conversations at many places.
The story talks about forgiveness and how we evolve with every life. Reading this novel is an enriching, fulfilling experience that helps you to re-connect with your inner self at a very profound level.
A few of our favourite lines from the book are-
- Past and future only exist in our mind. The present moment, though, is outside of time, it’s Eternity.
- It isn’t what you do in the past that will affect the present. It’s what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future.
- Time passed, we got to know each other and with familiarity came habit.
- I’ve got used to the life i lead and i don’t need any more challenges. I need peace.
- In theory, every loss is for our good, in practice, though, that is when we question the existence of God.