08 October, 2011

Paulo Coelho - Eleven Minutes

Bijith :|: ബിജിത് has already written a review on 'Eleven Minutes'. This is a closer view of ‘Eleven Minutes’, what i felt and what I learnt form the book. I wasn't merely reading the book, I was learning the book, a book about love,  love which includes desire, sex, passion, hopes, dreams, adventure, sadism, masochism, pain and suffering. I feel like the book like a journey, a journey towards the scared nature of sex.

Once upon a time…..there lived a beautiful woman called Maria.

Maria had a habit of writing diary since her childhood, in which she describes herself, “I am two women: one waits to have all the joy, passion and adventure that life can give me. The other wants to be a slave to routine, to family life, to the things that can be planned and achieved. I am a house wife and a prostitute, both of us living in the same body and doing battle with each other”

Maria was born as an ordinary girl, dreamt of ‘prince charming’ since her childhood, fallen in love few times but something always went wrong, and the relationship would end precisely at the moment when she was sure that this was the person with whom she wanted to spend the rest of her life.  After a long time, she came to the conclusion that ‘men brought only pain, frustration, suffering and a sense of time dragging.’

She accepts an offer to go to Switzerland, for she had dreamt of earning lots of money, learning about life and who she was, buying a farm for her parents and finding the love of her life. But she ends up in a night club and she chooses prostitution as her profession.

Maria finds the amount of time spent actually having sex is about eleven minutes.

She thinks.. “It's really only forty-five minutes and if you allow time for taking off clothes, making some phoney gesture of affection, having a bit of banal conversation and getting dressed again, the amount of time spent actually having sex is about eleven minutes.'

Eleven minutes. The world revolved around something that took eleven minutes.

She decides to write a book about her adventures, and to title it as eleven minutes.

The great majority of her clientele are married, or hold important positions in some company or power. She discovers, to her surprise, that one in every five clients didn't want her in order to have sex, but simply to talk a little. They pay for the bar tab and the hotel room, and when the moment comes for them both to take off their clothes, the man would say, no, that won't be necessary. They want to talk about the pressures of work, about their unfaithful wife, about how lonely they felt and how they have no one to talk to.

When she realises that releasing tension in the soul could be as lucrative as releasing tension in the body, if not more lucrative, she started going to the library, where she makes a friendship with the librarian (who is her only friend, not best though). Maria became a regular reader of newspapers, especially, where possible, the financial pages, because the majority of her clients were business executives. She sought out self-help books, because her clients nearly all asked for her advice. She read studies of the human emotions, because all her clients were in some kind of emotional pain.

Maria becomes a respectable, rather unusual prostitute, and after six months, she had acquired a large, faithful, very select clientele, thus arousing the envy and jealousy, but also the admiration, of her colleagues.

As for sex, it had nothing to do with her life: it was just a matter of opening her legs, asking them to use a condom, moaning a bit in the hope of getting a better tip and taking a shower afterwards, hoping that the water would wash her soul clean.

The story gets its twist when she meets a renowned young painter, Ralf Hart, at an expensive coffee shop. He approaches her and tells her she got a special light around her (aura). She gets startled and doubts his intentions, but he simply wants to paint her. She poses for him. Later he recognizes her, a prostitute; same time amazed by the light around her. He meets her again at the night club. The acquaintance leads to a special relation, in which she finds herself and her true love.

She breaks the basic rule of her profession, “never fall in love”.

She finds hopelessly fallen in love. She believes freedom only exists when love is present. The person, who gives him or herself wholly, the person who feels freest, is the person who loves most wholeheartedly. And the person who loves wholeheartedly feels free.

She herself feels like a caged bird.

What is next, you have to read and find it out yourself.

Paulo Coelho might have done a lot of homework to write the book. He had interviewed many prostitutes on which the story is based on. The book flashes some light on history of prostitution, discovery of ‘clitoris’ etc. It also describes the G-spot and various methods to bring a woman to ecstasy.

I wish to quote what he quoted as the preface of the book.

For I am the first and the last
I am the venerated and the despised
I am the prostitute and the saint
I am the wife and the virgin I am the mother and the daughter
I am the arms of my mother
I am barren and my children are many
I am the married woman and the spinster
I am the woman who gives birth and she
who never procreated I am the consolation for the pain of birth
I am the wife and the husband
And it was my man who created me
I am the mother of my father
I am the sister of my husband
And he is my rejected son
Always respect me For I am the shameful and the magnificent one

Hymn to Isis, third or fourth century BC, discovered in Nag Hammadi

1 comment:

  1. its not a review...a perfect miniature form of the soul of the creation bottled in your own small container of appreciation..with a mischievous lead to go and look more in the original..and feel it yourself..am sure gonna read..you know why!


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