The After Thought
December 19, 2011 § 1 Comment
“…and the figure of Howard Roark. The End”
I close the book and roll onto my back. Staring up at the bare ceiling there’s a foolish smile on my face, a strange sense of peace.
A few days ago, midway through ‘The Fountainhead’ a friend asked what the book was about. For a moment I was blank: I had never asked myself that question. I had bought and begun reading it for the simple reason that it was a classic. And while reading, the book captured me enough to forgo any other thoughts, even about deciphering the depth of the book itself.
So when she asked the question I had to pause and think. And then I didn’t think. I repeated another reader’s view: It is about reaching that ‘ideal’ form of living. But, given today’s world and our own lifestyles, it is impossible for us to actually achieve it. (or something else with this gist)
*sigh* Had I not understood Ayn at all. I look at the closed paperback still in my hand. Haha. I close my eyes again.
“‘Ideal’ form of living”. Hadn’t she been disappointed when I said we couldn’t reach it? And without even knowing what the “it” was. But the bigger fool was I. I knew neither what idealism is, nor whether we could attain it.
Now thinking of it, what was she expecting the “it” to be? And was her “it” the same as mine? Same as Ayn’s?
Oh wait. I open my eyes in unexpected realization.
Before this one, the book I had read was the “Mahabharata”, the English edition by Ramesh Menon. The book presents very definitive views about idealism and how to reach it, especially in a world as corrupt as ours. Exactly how I would synopsize the fountainhead too.
And yet the two are so different. Not in their method to approach the “it”..but in the “it” itself. Idealism, according to Ved Vyas and Ayn Rand were unique, individually.
Vyas’ “Idealism”, he was very sure was right. This was his ideology, and it made complete sense. He preached what he believed ought to be.
And so was Ayn. Her own idealism. Her own “it”.
The shock of this sudden comprehension washes off my face as soon as it had appeared. A smile takes its place. I am feeling so silly. It had always been there. Everywhere. For everyone to see. And yet.
Everyone is different. Unique. Individual. And so is their “it”, what they want ideal to mean, what they believe is the best form of living. Where their happiness truly lies.
And its very much within our reach. The hardest part is to interpret our own distinctive “it”.
I sit up. Did I just redefine “religion”?