HT Exclusive: Writer Paulo Coelho on Tagore, Bollywood and the Bhagvad Gita - Hindustan Times
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HT Exclusive: Writer Paulo Coelho on Tagore, Bollywood and the Bhagvad Gita

Hindustan Times | ByPriya Bala
Sep 23, 2018 09:36 AM IST

“Outside India, Bollywood movies are inadequately understood, just as the Gita is!” he says

In the introduction to Hippie, his latest work, Paulo Coelho writes that everything that follows truly happened to him. The protagonist is called Paulo and he embarks on a journey from Amsterdam to Nepal on the ramshackle Magic Bus that traversed the route in the era of hippies, flower power and free love. He does not make it to the subcontinent, deciding to stay back in Istanbul and explore the mystic traditions of the place. Paulo Coelho may not have been to India yet, but he finds constant inspiration in Indian literature and legends.

Besides Tagore, whom he counts among the major influences on his writing and life, alongside Kabir, Rumi and Hafez, Paulo Coelho also places high value on the Bhagvad Gita and its teachings(Illustration: Saurabh Turakhia)
Besides Tagore, whom he counts among the major influences on his writing and life, alongside Kabir, Rumi and Hafez, Paulo Coelho also places high value on the Bhagvad Gita and its teachings(Illustration: Saurabh Turakhia)
The ardent Bollywood fan Coelho doesn’t see any of his books becoming movies (Getty Images)
The ardent Bollywood fan Coelho doesn’t see any of his books becoming movies (Getty Images)
“The moment I read the Bhagvad Gita, I fell in love with it. it’s my book for all times... it teaches you to accept your destiny”
A photograph of Paulo Coelho from one of his many travels in the 1970s (Courtesy: Penguin Random House)
A photograph of Paulo Coelho from one of his many travels in the 1970s (Courtesy: Penguin Random House)
“I made a mistake and sold the rights to The Alchemist. If it’s made into a film, I’ll have no involvement”
Coelho who writes at great speed – The Alchemist was written in two weeks and Hippie in a month – says that writing is about putting out what is within you (Getty Images )
Coelho who writes at great speed – The Alchemist was written in two weeks and Hippie in a month – says that writing is about putting out what is within you (Getty Images )
“There are two types of writers: Marcel Proust looked inward. Hemingway wrote about the world as he experienced it. I am the latter type!”
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