It has been a while since I just finished reading a Paulo Coelho.
Some books are searched out and bought. Some books are given to you, recommended. Some books come to you, unbidden messages which solidifies all the anxiety and love that people who care for you have.
Paulo Coelho's books have that quality for me. They came to me, unbidden, when I was grappling with my love demons. They came, they talked, and gave me the strength to either face a situation or walk away from one.
Alchemist told me that it is okay to fall in love, lose yourself in it. But don't expect to end your journey then and there, for often the seemingly end is the unlocking of a journey within yourself.
Eleven minutes taught me that it is okay to live the way you like with your soul and body. My friends loved the book more for its sexual descriptions, but it helped in undoing my prudishness.
Devil & Miss Prym told me that it is okay to be tempted, but in the end, you always have the choice to take a stand.
Fifth mountain helped me to get in terms with my loss, dust it off my mind and walk ahead.
Zahir told me to hold on to my obsession ( my ideal of what I want from love) - I did not listen, and my life was a parallel - of course a much milder version - of the book in the months to come.
Now, Like a Flowing River told me that I am making the right decisions, that I need to love and lose - at times deliberately, so that when love comes calling again in whichever form it choose, I can welcome her into my heart with all happiness, without prejudices.
Warrior of the Light and Pilgrimage are like anchors - they are rooted deep within me; both coming at a time of doubts and depression - both speaking into me and helping me to help myself.
Dear friend, you asked me what do I feel when I am in love. I feel alive, happy, giggly, blushing when they come over and talk to me, and indulgent.
I also realise and accept that I may not like everything about them, I stop any attempt on my part to criticize them or change their ways, I don't try to force fit them into my life - as I don't allow them to do that to me too.
I understand that being in love with one person doesn't mean switching off my brain, and that I - and them - may feel attracted to other people. Whether we act on it is more of a question of being true to ourselves that to the relationship.
I know love so well that when it is drooping, I try my best to revive it, but when it is drawing its last breath, I realise that I should not live in the past and should move on.
Babul is undoubtedly one of the most corniest movies I have seen. However, from that movie I badly translate a line spoken by Amithabh Bacchan. When talking to Rani Mukherjee, his daughter in law who is grieving her husband's death and living in his memories, he say thus:
"Look at the ocean in front of you. It is full of water which flows, acts like water, is like water to touch and store. However, you cannot quench your thirst with it as it is salty. Living in the memories of a relationship is like that. You may feel you are living a life, but such a life is not life, but mere existence."
I have learned, to drink from the flowing river of love, identifying my love every day, hoping for it in the future, watching it contributing to the ocean of memory, but never content in being stagnantly attached to the past.
I say this with no ego, no sense of "wow! look at me." I have learned, and I feel and think that I am at least worthy of drinking from the flowing river.
And I thank my guardian angels, Paulo Coelho and my good friends who asked me "are you sure?" and " i just want to tell you this" when I was trying to quench my thirst with memories.
May your rivers overflow and aid the banks bloom, may they never dry, may you look at the ocean in wonder and amazement, but never ever try to drink from it.