Belief and books: Zarine Khan

Actor and model Zarine Khan is a huge admirer of Paulo Coelho, the Brazilian novelist.

Zarine Khan began reading as a child. She says, “I started reading at an early age in school. But over my formative years the habit was just growing, it became really strong when I started attending college.”

She smiles as she recalls, “I always enjoyed reading since school but those books were just children’s books. After my college days, there was this very dear friend of mine who introduced me to books and novels which really awoke my finer sensibilities.”

Though she had read a lot of books in school, the book that left a lasting impression on her as a teenager was The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. She shares, “It really got me thinking.”

The last book she read was The Alchemist. She acknowledges that it was rather late in the day. “It’s really funny that I got my hands on this book so late especially when Paulo Coelho is one of my favourite

authors because this was his first book and I’ve read almost all the other books written by him. She says Coelho’s books elaborate on the power of not giving up no matter what the circumstances even if one is all by oneself. “Believing in yourself is of utmost importance,” is her takeaway from The Alchemist. She is currently reading Hippie by Paulo Coelho, supposedly an autobiographical account of the author’s early life. 

Zarine is not embarrassed about any book she enjoyed reading as a teenager. She adds, “I have enjoyed every bit of whatever I have read so far.” She claims to be a reading addict and says. “If I start a book I have to finish it in one sitting because I get so involved in it and just can’t keep it away.”

If she were to own a book case she says the must-have books would be The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Many Lives Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss, Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, Biocentrism by Robert Lanza and The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

On long flights, Zarine doesn’t read because she would rather watch films. If she is not watching a film, she reads scripts that are lying around unread and answers email.

She feels that The Notebook was one film that was better than the book by Nicholas Sparks from which it was adapted. Zarine laments that children nowadays have no time to read books since technology has taken over. But the optimist that she is, she says she would recommend Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie to children.

What if she were given a choice between watching films and reading books? After a pregnant pause she says, “It really depends on my mood at that time.”

Though she enjoys reading, it hasn’t made her consider writing as a profession. The inconspicuous benefit is it sets her thinking and contemplating.