My Secret Life: Paulo Coelho, 64, author

14 01 2012

My parents were… so desperate that I wanted to be a writer that they locked me in a mental institution three times. Thirty-five years later I wrote a book based on this experience [Veronika Decides to Die].

The household I grew up in… doesn’t exist anymore, but my childhood will never disappear.

When I was a child I wanted to be… a cameraman.

You wouldn’t know it but I am very good at… archery. The gigantic tension before the shooting of an arrow, and the total relaxation seconds later is my way of connecting to the universe.

You may not know it but I’m no good at… singing. However, every time there is a guitar around I will sing, and my real friends will tolerate it.

At night I dream of… what I’m going to post on my blog, Twitter and Facebook.

I wish I had never worn… an old hippie jacket, covered in patches and metal stars.

What I see when I look in the mirror… That I need to change the light bulb, as there is not enough luminosity (this has been going on for the past two years).

My favourite item of clothing… Japanese yukatas [kimonos].

It’s not fashionable but I like… to sleep naked.

My favourite work of art… The Arnolfini Portrait by Van Eyck, the most important painting in the world. With all due respect, the Mona Lisa is overrated.

My favourite building… Chartres Cathedral, in France. Original stained-glass windows and a labyrinth that reminds me of the journey we take from life to death.

A book that changed me… Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller. It was while reading this that I discovered you need to use blood to write every single page.

Movie heaven… Once Upon a Time in the West, followed by Lawrence of Arabia.

The last album I bought… Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. I did not have it on my iPod.

My greatest regret… I don’t have one. I’ve done everything I wanted to do, even if I have had to pay a very high price – which has been the case most of the time.

My secret crush… Audrey Hepburn.

My real-life villain… Fundamentalists – and you can find them in every single religion on this planet.

The last time I cried… I cry very easily. It can be a movie, a phone conversation, a sunset – tears are words waiting to be written.

My five-year plan… To continue to breathe.

My life in six words… Blessed, pilgrim, archer, writer, internet junkie.


Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947. After enrolling in law school, he dropped out to go travelling. He worked as a songwriter, and in 1974 was arrested for penning ‘subversive’ lyrics. In 1982 he published his first book, Hell Archives. The Alchemist, his bestselling novel, was published in 1987. In 2009, his book Veronika Decides to Die was made into a film starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, and his latest novel, Aleph, is out now. He and his wife, artist Christina Oiticica, live between Europe and Brazil.


14 01 2012

Today in the dark grove
creepers with their crimson shots
are a fiery mass.
Anklets tinkle, bees hum,
cuckoos sweetly sing.

On Her head is a peacock’s crown,
at Her ears, vihangi bird ornaments.
Her navel is a while lotus
and She has restless khanjana bird eyes.
Bees sip nectar
from her flowery face.

With tamala trees for legs, ankleted
with snakes
She stands on Siva
the silver mountain.

look at this great wonder:
Sankari on the chest
of Sankara.

~ Kamalakanta Bhattacarya

Show me the poor.

10 01 2012

Too good to not share..

One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how much poverty exists in the world. They spent several days and nights on the farm of a very poor family.

Upon their return from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?” The son’s answer? “It was great, Dad!”… “Did you see how poor people can be?” the father asked. “Oh yeah,” said the son.

“So, what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father. The son continued, “I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden, and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden, and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard, and they have the whole horizon.”

His son added, “We have a small piece of land to live on, and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who work for us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, and they have friends to protect them.”

With this the boy’s father was speechless. Then his son finally said, “Thanks Dad, for showing me how poor we are.”

Too many times we forget what we have and concentrate on what we don’t have. What is one person’s worthless object is another’s prize possession. It is all based on one’s perspective. It makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for the bounty we have, instead of worrying about wanting more. Take joy in all you have, especially your friends.

You got this!

4 01 2012

Life & Happiness

12 12 2011


23 11 2011

I am heading to visit my brother, his wife and meet my first newborn nephew today so obviously I am so excited! I thought this quote fit perfectly… Even though we live in different cities, any time we get together it is HOME 🙂

Dr Suess

24 09 2011
  • “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells”,
  • Stated Theodore Geisel one time,
  • Yet further than just nonsense he wrote,
  • Who became famous from his unique type of rhyme.
  • His story begins,
  • March 2, 1904,
  • Son of a brewer,
  • Who ran a zoo for cuisine and much more.
  • Theodore graduated from Dartmouth College,
  • While drawing cartoons,
  • One of the places,
  • Where he thought up many of his loons.
  • Geisel began to write stories,
  • For children to read,
  • Though he had none of his own,
  • He never did breed.
  • His writings were quirky,
  • Each book had an outlandish nation,
  • Some words were even made up,
  • By people in his population!
  • But his issues dug deeper,
  • Though most could not plainly see,
  • Since his pages of pictures,
  • Were as strange as can be!
  • Discrimination and Religion,
  • And Richard M. Nixon,
  • Were all included,
  • In stories he was fixin.
  • Saving his real name,
  • For his more serious work,
  • He chose something more suitable,
  • Dr. Suess then served as his fork.
  • This Pulitzer Prize winning chap,
  • Wrote and illustrated 47 stories,
  • He was married twice,
  • And had a lifetime of glories.
  • Age 87 did he live,
  • Writing mainly for folks of young age,
  • Or so most firstly thought,
  • Because of characters like Sneetches and Mrs. McCave.
  • But his books can be loved,
  • Even by adults,
  • Because even a child’s story,
  • Can talk about other faults.


21 09 2011
  • Love as a priority
  • Has become a minority.
  • Gratification makes promises unreal
  • In love and life learning to deal.
  • Mentality of a flower child
  • Freedom is key,
  • Butchered by Bin Laden,
  • And even politics before he.
  • Sixties and Seventies past,
  • Is the philosophy forgotten?
  • Is it possible to fit in?
  • This new age may be rotten.
  • Peace, love and harmony,
  • Preach it to all;
  • Move souls into the sublime,
  • Let your ignorance fall.
  • With inhibitions and hate,
  • Greed, anger and fear;
  • We are all Gods creations,
  • Give children less reason for a tear.
  • Hostility is created,
  • Not born into babies;
  • Purity is the beginnings of life,
  • Ill-will infects us like rabies.
  • The realization of reality,
  • Love as a dream yet to come;
  • Proving with acts and not words
  • Is something not done.
  • Life’s paths hoped to be fairy tales,
  • Opportunity floats in the air;
  • Built up dreams let down,
  • Missing my breath and catching one rare.
  • Spread this education,
  • Enlighten new minds.
  • Search for yourself,
  • It’s good what you find.