Weekend Read - The Spy

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 Heba Moeen 5 Comments

Picture snapped using Samsung Note 5
Weekends are always fun when you have a good book to read complimented by your much need fuel, COFFEE! And if you have a stock of bakery biscuits too then all you need to do is read and devour biscuits along with that frothy cup of coffee.

So today I'm going to discuss what I recently read, The Spy by Paulo Coelho that I bought from Liberty Books' Black Friday sale. Yes, I do not jump on the bandwagon of ridiculously buying clothes but instead hoarding on books was a good option. Well I hope I read them all soon, I'm a hoarder after all if not of clothes but books, yes. How can anyone forget the crazy traffic Karachi witnessed on the Black Friday and the chaos on roads, we as a nation need to equip ourselves more in terms of intellect and what we sound like once we start speaking rather than what we should look like. Looking presentable is everybody's right but you sounding intellectual is your country's right over you. 

So enough of the lecture, let's discuss what this book is about; be warned as it will make you feel sad but nonetheless it's a good read. 

Coelho, through his characters and their dialogues has a unique way of explaining the same thing from different perspectives as can be experienced via this book. It is based on a Dutch exotic dancer named Margaretha Geertruida Zelle who later adapted to a shorter name, Mata Hari; as Coelho expressed, 'Her only crime was to be an independent woman,' which she no doubt was and it's something that led to her execution eventually. Hers is a tale of melancholy and rapid paced stardom that had an even quicker downfall before she could even think beyond what struck her. She was used by someone to pull his hatred against
an entity and Mata Hari got accused for working as a German spy, whereas she was deceived into assuming that she was working for France.
This book has a good lesson regarding staying true to your roots and embracing who you actually are rather than what you want to become, as Margareth's mother expressed herself while handing her the Tulip seeds that she kept for years after that moment, "They're Tulip seeds, the symbol of our country. But, more than that, they represent a truth you must learn. These seeds will always be Tulips, even if at the moment you cannot tell them apart from other flowers. They will never turn into roses or sunflowers, no matter how much they might desire to. And if they try to deny their own existence, they will live life bitter and die."

And The Spy had varying opinions of characters about love, some I agreed with while some I disagreed with but here's the thing about the difference of opinions; you've got to listen to all and respect them for why and where they are coming from.

The Spy about 'Love':

1. "Never fall in love. Love is a poison. Once you fall in love, you lose control over your life - your heart and mind belong to someone else. Your existence is threatened. You start to do everything to hold on to your loved on and lose all sense of danger. Love, that inexplicable and dangerous thing, sweeps everything you are from the face of the Earth and, in its place, leaves only what your beloved wants you to be." - Madame Kireyevsky's advice to Mata Hari.

2. "Love is an act of faith and it's face should always be covered in mystery. Every moment should be lived with feeling and emotion because if we try to decipher it and understand it, the magic disappears." - Mata Hari's lawyer's letter to her before her execution (I think this also speaks volumes for people who like to post about their love life and their significant other very frequently on social media :) )    

3. "Love does not obey anyone and will betray those who try to decipher its mystery ... The body tires easily, but the spirit is always free and will help us get out, one day, from this infernal cycle of repeating the same mistake every generation. Although thoughts always remain the same, there is something stronger, and this is called love." - Mata Hari's lawyer's letter.

4.  Ecclesiastes saying:

I really liked Mata Hari's view as at one point in the book she is found saying, "Sin was not created by God; it was created by us when we tried to transform what was inevitable into something subjective. We ceased to see the whole and came to see just one part; and that part is loaded with guilt, rules, good versus evil, and each side thinking it's right." The sentence being so profound seems to relate with us as well as a nation, we are often seen busy accusing each other of being sinful and perceiving our own selves to be one of the most pious beings to have ever existed on the face of the Earth. And of course, accusing anyone of blasphemy is just a piece of cake isn't it. Therefore, if you actually ponder over some of the dialogues of this book, there is a lot to learn and ponder over a own thought processes.

Happy reading! :)

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  1. Paulo Coelho is an interesting book.It eplains about love and life. Its advantages and disadvantages. I hope to get it translated in urdu

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