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I spent my entire childhood in Gwalior, a historical city in central part of India. Like many others, I too grew up with Tintin, Michael Jackson, Street Hawk, He-Man & masters of the universe, captain Kirk, Mr Spock, Spiderman and Superman( for some strange reason, I never liked Batman). When I was 14, I was gifted a book by my Dad, Dale Carnegie’s- “How to win friends and influence people”. I read it, read it again and was mesmerized!

The philosophy which it conveyed was pretty simple- “The essence of all art is to take pleasure in giving pleasure.” Well, no pun intended, but it worked! I realized that everybody liked a good listener, everybody liked being appreciated and everybody liked their opinion endorsed. Trying to make people around you happy all the time, by going out of your comfort zone- Is this the right way to live? Well, at least I was convinced at that age!

One cold winter night, few years later, I tried to convince the same to my best friend, who currently lives in NY. He refuted this theory quite vehemently and through strong arguments put forth the “philosophy of objectivism” made popular by famous Russian American novelist Ayn Rand in her famous work “Fountainhead”. Rand called her philosophy “Objectivism”, describing its essence as “the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute. She was criticized by literary fraternity and academia of those times. I, too, did not agree with my friend and the argument died happily in view of a sudden plan of cricket match. Years passed.

While going for a rafting trip to Rishikesh recently, I laid my hands on Fountainhead and finished it in a couple of days. I was mesmerized once again. (As I am growing older, I am realizing that my views and perspective are constantly changing. I am liking the things which I have hated for all the years and vice versa)

I really want to achieve that state of mind where I shall not be affected by others reactions towards me, giving my work the highest priority.

Difficult! Nonetheless, achievable!

BTW, I am planning to write something about my experiences about taking various medical examinations over the years, facing countless viva voce and interviews, competing with friends and about failures in life! Keep reading…..!