Paulo Coelho tweets a thanks for this ‘Alchemist’

An avid fan of the Brazilian author in Kochi has named his autorickshaw after the bestseller

‘Alchemist,’ an autorickshaw in the coastal town of Cherai, near Kochi, named after The Alchemist, a popular novel by Paulo Coelho, is garnering great attention. The Brazilian author tweeted a thanks to the autorickshaw driver, an ardent admirer of his works, for the favour.

The novelist’s tweet has been retweeted widely and K.A. Pradeep, the owner of the autorickshaw, is delighted by the turn of events. The vehicle he drives now is the third in the series of ‘Alchemists’ he has owned. He recalls that when named an earlier vehicle ‘Alchemist’ in 2011, it drew some attention from the media.

The Alchemist, published in 1988, became hugely popular and was widely translated. Pradeep has read the novel twice, the first time around 10 years ago. He says Kolkata, where he worked for three years in a private company, fanned his love for books. He returned to Kerala 22 years ago and has been driving an autorickshaw since.

Admirer of VKN

Pradeep is an avid reader even during the difficult times imposed by COVID-19. His favourite Malayalam writer is VKN (Vadakkke Koottala Narayanankutty Nair), whose Pithamahan and Payyan Kathakal are always fresh in his mind.

He likes to discuss books with those who hire his vehicle even for short trips. Among the topics of conversation with his patrons, many of whom are avid readers, are the novels of Tolstoy, D.H. Lawrence, Emile Zola, and Kafka.

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