The Fountainhead – Gail Wynand

Since long I have been meaning to write about excerpts from The Fountainhead, but haven’t gotten a chance to open the book, read a couple of pages and then pen down my thoughts. Finally I have a small post about someone from the Fountainhead. This is about one of the character’s in the book, Gail Wynand. If you have read the book already, please continue reading, if you haven’t read the book, SPOILERS ALERT!

Gail Wynand a name known far and wide as a magnate of the media. He was a man who had made a life of his own with his own blood and sweat. Much like every great character in a movie or a book, he had a bad childhood and then worked like shit to attain the impossible. He did attain it very soon by the age of 35, which to me seems quite a lot. By 40 he was rich beyond the wildest dreams of a common man. Running papers, magazines and newsletters across the country, offices in every part of the country; owing buildings, hotels, estates, even mini-cities. He, obviously, ventured in the areas where everyone suggested otherwise. Investing in barren lands only to turn them into a magnificent 5 star hotel, buying battered buildings and remodeling them to sell at 10 times the price, buying paper mills just to supply the perfect quality of paper to his publishing houses; he did it all. Sure he spent his early life’s earnings on his business, as one might expect, with no regard for his life’s condition. I remember there was a sentence somewhere, “he lived in a cramped studio apartment when the journalists of his papers were staying in grand suites”. So he did it all.

The reason why I wanted to write something down for him is this:

He owned a yatch, it was named ‘I Do’. A lot of women who he took to the yatch asked what was the meaning of this name, or its significance, to be more precise. And owing to his money, and obviously again, he was arrogant in nature; so his reply would be, it’s not for you to know. Or maybe something similar, I don’t remember the exact words. But then in a later part in the book, he tells Dominique Keating (after, they get married) its real meaning. She asks him the same question, “What does it mean?” he says, “it’s an answer to all the people who told me in my early life ‘You don’t run things around here’”.

Well this really appealed to me. Whatever the type of a person he was, this was a very beautiful answer in a very beautiful way to the world.

Head Aega




Small Readings: DUTY

Here is something I read recently; it reminds us about our ‘duty’. Before I blabber on what I understood from it, how I interpreted it, let me share the same, so that you can make your own interpretations and opinions:

Your duty is to keep calm, to pray for the happiness and prosperity of all. Do not pray for your own exclusive happiness, and say, ‘Let the rest of the world go to pieces’. You cannot be happy when the rest of the mankind is unhappy. You are an organic part of the human community. Share your prosperity with others; strive to alleviate the suffering of other. That is your duty!

Now here’s what I think:

This small excerpt states something which we need to realize, something which all of us would agree to on the first read, but something which most of us do not feel or implement in our lives. Take for instance the prayer sessions that we have; me staying in India, I often visit temples, churches and gurudwaras (when my parents drag me along), we bow to the idol, pictures, or books (gurudrawas) and pray.

If I ponder on what that ‘pray’-er constitutes of, I for one, know only one thing, close your eyes and from the bottom of your heart, ask Lord for stuff. I mean when I was a kid, I used to ask for good marks, being slimmer, a new pen on the market and what not. When I grew up a little further maybe middle-school, the marks and slim figure remained with the pen being replaced by getting with ‘that’ girl. (I know it’s stupid and juvenile- but I was stupid and juvenile :)). A few years later, when I was in college, it was good health, clearing a specific subject exam, good health of my family and my sister clearing her exams, etc. The temples and places changed, prayers changed, but the underlying current remained the same, prayers were a list of things, I wanted.

I don’t know how ‘you’ pray, or what ‘your’ prayers consist of, but one thing which I find common around me is that ‘this’ is how people pray. The list of ‘our wants and needs’ are limited to us and our nearest family. This paragraph made me re-think prayer, and we may never end up not asking the Lord for ‘stuff’, but while we are at it, let’s ask for ‘stuff’ for everyone. It reminded me that humanity is on a scale (very big scale indeed) like a single organism. Think of this like how we can imagine a country to be an organism, one sector suffers, one state suffers and the whole nation is affected. Similarly, all of humanity can be considered as an organism, if you look at it from very-very high above; when someone is in pain somewhere, the people around cannot be happy. Imagine, living in a bungalow on a street which is filled with the homeless. Even though you would have every comfort you desire, would it make you happy? Or rather, would you be comfortable?

This small excerpt also made me realize, once the world is happy as a whole, all the individual humans would be happy too. It’s like a big system, one cancerous cell here has the potential to kill the whole of it. So, pray, ask God for stuff, but pray for mankind, pray for humanity and not just yourself. 🙂

Jaa Nee

Small Readings – Silence

While reading a book, I came across this paragraph which very simply describes the need of meditation and prayer in our life. I liked it and wanted to share the same as a short read, so here it is:

The people who always go about in cars and planes and people of sedentary habits are advised by doctors to take a long walk every morning. The walk is called a ‘constitutional’, because it helps to build up the constitution. Similarly, to get over the mental ills consequent on too long brooding over worldly affairs, the Guru (or spiritual leader) will advise a spell of meditation and remembering the name of the Lord. Do not move so fast with the world; the cure for moving fast is to sit quiet. Do not get entangled in the vain hubbub of the world; the treatment for those who suffer from the after-effects of that is silence and meditation.

This also elaborates on the importance of once in while ‘just sitting silently’, which I encourage. It helps you to think about life, your life, how you are, what you are doing, is it what you want to do? and such similar questions. Makes you re-consider the life you are living and ponder on whether you are heading in the right direction (the direction you intended to head to).

As I always say ‘Silence is essential for thought. You can either speak or think, never both’ –Raman 🙂