Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Fountainhead

The Fountainhead is the first novel that I have ever revisited. I read it for the first time about a decade back (around 2000-01) and read it again this month. It is one of those rare books which makes you appreciate the fact that humans can read, write and above all think.

This book was a stepping stone to a whole new philosophy of objectivism and idea of how an ideal person should live. The book's author, Ayn Rand, has done a great job putting forward a timeless piece of concept which still rings bells with readers 65+ years after its release. Her other novel 'Atlas shrugged' explains the philosophy even better and is considered as her biggest accomplishment as a writer and a philosopher. I like 'The Fountainhead' better than 'Atlas Shrugged' though because of its concise storyline and precise explanation of 'objectivism'.

I feel everyone should read this book at least once in a lifetime to understand our current world of 'collectivism' and why society encourages it. I don't mind revisiting this book again in next decade or two :-).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Harishchandrachi Factory

HF is a marathi movie at its best. It is based on the real life events of DadaSaheb Phalke - the first Indian to make a motion picture in India. His first movie was Raja Harishchandra and it was released in 1913. Marathi movies usually use comedy as a medium to tell their stories and this movie is no different. HF makes you smile and appreciate even the saddest events of Phalke's life. Along its way HF also teaches the audience about all the struggles that Phalke went through to make a first motion picture. Few take-home tidbits for me were:

1) When Phalke has a hard time finding a female to play the role of an actress in his movie. His friends try to convince him to hire a male for a female role.

2) When prostitutes consider acting as a demotion to their social status

3) When an actor finds it difficult to find a wife for himself. Phalke advises him and other actors to tell their friends that they work at a "factory", that way people will respect them more.

As you can see, this is a must movie for everyone, and its possible with sub-titles.

Rating: 4 / 5

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mrithunjaya - The Death Conquerer

Its in the human nature to lookout for unsung heroes in any field of life and root for them. Unsung heroes exist everywhere - sports, politics and even in mythology. So what makes us sympathize with them? Its the concept of karma - the belief that a person receives his dues in this same life (good or bad) based on his actions. And when you see a person who doesn't get his dues (especially the good karma) in his lifetime, your mind remembers him. I admire 2 such unsung heroes - Sardar Vallabhai Patel (Indian Politics) and Karna (Indian Mythology).

Mrithunjaya narrates the story of Karna, starting from his low-key birth to his heroic death in the battle of Kurukshetra. The book is pretty impressive and informative for ordering all of Karna's life events. And the best part is that the story is narrated in Karna's first-person view, giving the book an impression of an autobiography. It details his childhood which he spent with his foster parents in Champanagiri, his relation with the beloved brother Shon, his love for his wife Vrushali and of course all the battles that he fought. The book highlights few moral stories of how warriors were willing to give up their lives then to break their promises. Overall the book is a very good read.

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Extraordinary Stories

A great place to read about what human spirit can achieve (despite all the hurdles that life throws at you): Extraordinary Indians

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Narayan Murthy's inspirational speech

Here is an inspirational speech from Narayan Murthy: Life Lessons

This speech reminds me a lot of Steve Job's speech at Standford. Both are must-read.