'Atlas Shrugged led me to understand the purpose of my existence': Ashwin Philip

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Atlas Shrugged led me to understand  the purpose of my existence: Ashwin Philip

Published: Thu 8 Feb 2018, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 9 Feb 2018, 1:00 AM

What book(s) are you reading right now?
The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Set in the period of World War I, the story revolves around a crumbling relationship against the background of the decadence that characterised the Jazz Age. While most consider the story to be based on the author's own relationship with his wife, Zelda, personally, I found it an interesting insight into the minds of the idle rich. Similar to The Great Gatsby, the richness of his language is only matched by the opulence of the lives of his protagonists, though ultimately you are left wondering about the futility of it all and whether wealth is the elixir of life that we consider it to be.
Books that changed your life?
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand is, undoubtedly, the one book that led me to question and, in the process, better understand the purpose of one's existence. While one may or may not agree with her philosophy, this book forces you to think about the bigger questions and decide a few things for yourself, which is what all great books do. Written in 1957, this book is even more relevant today amidst the uncertainty of our current global environment, and her dystopian world is certainly closer to our society today than those created by Aldous Huxley or Ray Bradbury.

Books that you never tire of re-reading?
In the hustle of life, one book I can always turn to for a moment's peace is Yondering by Louis L'Amour, which is a collection of short stories based on the author's own travels and adventures. The honesty of his tales can only be compared to a Pink Floyd concert heard under the 'right circumstances'.
Your favourite book quote?
"Every loneliness is a pinnacle" ­- The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.
This is basically the essence of the book, a mantra stressing the importance of thinking and acting independently and to the best of one's ability while eschewing the herd mentality that has always been prevalent amongst us.

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