Expect the unexpected, follow the lovers lost in this blog.

A blog to cater your mind,body,and soul as you drink Turkish Coffee. We are proud to present our new storyline called Cafe's search for his "Zahir". Everyday is a new day for the "Cafe" (from Istanbul) & his journey for "Zahir" (from Baku). Don't expect extraordinary drama from the narrator, me. Still, this is a drama (maybe real!), and have better impact on you than watching a soap opera. Guaranteed. There is genuine feelings within inspirational periods. Cross your fingers for this story to end with happy marriage :-) All rights are reserved.

EDIT (01 July 2009) - She is engaged with another man, and I finally made my marriage proposal bringing my family to Baku. The result: She stays engaged and will have her wedding, so called "toy", with that another man.

Rest in peace Ms. Zahir.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

4.00 AM - Just finished the book

The silence and a slow interaction of future
Before all, I couple of discussion questions from Paulo Coelho's book publisher, Sant Jordi Asociados.

Questions for discussion
1. Why do you think that the narrator decides to take on Esther’s challenge and travel the road to Santiago? Why is the narrator unable to begin writing his book until Esther arrives in Madrid?
2. What do you think of the narrator’s conclusion in his first book that: “All you have to do is pay attention; lessons always arrive when you are ready, and if you can read the signs you will learn everything you need to know in order to take the next step” (page 26)? What does Esther’s disappearance suggest regarding the narrator’s awareness of the signs around him?
3. Where you at all surprised by the events of the Thursday night meeting? Why does sharing stories about the lack of love prepare the participants for the ritual dance that follows? Why do you think that the narrator feels his Zahir’s presence so strongly during the meeting?
4. For the narrator, the distance between railroad tracks represents the societal rules that dictate how we are supposed to express love. Why do think the narrator was compelled to share this story at the restaurant? Have there been times in your own experience when you’ve encountered similar frustrations due to “the stories behind the stories we are told”?
5. “Because I accepted my destiny and allowed myself to be guided by something greater than myself…the Zahir begin to diminish in intensity” (page 144). What is Coelho saying, through the narrator, in this passage?
6. Coelho interweaves the narrator’s present journey with flashbacks to his conversations with Esther. Is this an effective narrative technique? What are your impressions of the narrator at this point in your reading? Has your opinion of him changed throughout the course of your reading?
7. Discuss Esther’s conversation with the nomad (page 177-180). Do you think she has discovered the answer to Hans’ question? Does she now understand her own need to become a war correspondent? How does telling your story allow you to be freed from it?
8. Esther and Mikhail use a three prong approach to carry out their mission: meetings at the restaurant, meetings with the beggars, and meetings with the Tribe. Why is this necessary? How do these groups work together? What does the narrator take away from his encounters with each of them?
9. On page 235, Mikhail reveals the story behind the soldier’s bloodstained shirt. The soldier asks Esther to tell “those who believe in death and who, for that reason, are capable of living as if today were there last day on earth… not be afraid, but not to grow complacent either. Seek the one truth which is love. Live in accordance with its laws.” What are those laws? Why must one believe in death in order to live and love fully?
10. Is there room for any of society’s “rules”, like monogamy, for example, in the life of one who strives to live according to the laws of love?
11. Why does Dos insist that it is necessary for the narrator to choose a new name and be reborn before he reaches Esther? Why do you think the narrator chooses the name Nobody?
12. What do you believe to be the central ideas behind this novel? If you have read other books by Paulo Coelho, do you see similarities between them? How has reading The Zahir affected your views on love?

Also, from the publisher's website, there is a Q&A with Paulo Coelho, and I want to quote a few messages from this good sound:
*What is a Zahir?
According to the writer Jorge Luis Borges, the idea of the Zahir comes from the Islamic tradition and probably arose in the eighteenth century. In Arabic “zahir” means “visible”, “present”, “incapable of going unnoticed”. It can refer to an object or a person, and that object or person gradually takes over our every thought, until we are unable to think of anything else. This could be considered a state of holiness or a state of madness.

*The popular culture of today is the academic culture of tomorrow.

Other favorite writers to discover (per suggested by Coelho); William Blake, Henry Miller, Jorge Luis Borges, Jorge Amado.