This post is about a book I had heard a lot about – positive as well as negative. Some people I knew just adored it, while some others hated it to the core. I read up the storyline on the net, and was not sure whether I would like it or not. It is the story of a sex worker called Maria. To be precise, it is the story of an innocent girl Maria, who gets into the profession of prostitution and how she goes on to discover herself. I am talking about Paulo Coelho’s ‘Eleven Minutes’.
Note: Plot partly revealed
Often, I buy a book, but don’t read it immediately, because I feel I am not ready for it yet. ( I don’t know if this happens to everyone. Does it? ) Well, I somehow felt I should take up this book now, that this would be the right time to read it. It had anyways been a rather long time since I read Coelho. My inner voice had been right. It indeed had been the right kind of book to read for the moment. Coelho didn’t let me down, once again, and I liked what I read.
Maria is a simple, pretty and innocent young girl, who goes to Geneva and ends up entering the world of prostitution, attracted by the sense of adventure that it offers. She is fond of reading, is quite sharp, and learns the tricks of the trade pretty soon. She discovers that on an average, the time taken to serve a client is eleven minutes, which forms the title of the book.
Maria has a lot of ugly experiences as a part of her profession, but her life changes when she meets Ralf Hart, an artist, and they fall in love. She learns how love can change everything about someone’s world. In a typical Bollywoodish ending, they meet at the airport as Maria is leaving Ralf, and re-unite. I was touched to note from the acknowledgements that the story is based on the real-life story of a sex worker. If the real-life Ralf Hart was anything like the one described in the book, he deserves a salute.
I would say it is different from what I have read so far, a great read if ‘felt’ with an open mind, rather than reading it.
PS: With that, the count for the Orbis Terrarum Challenge comes to 5 down, 4 more to go.