So, Howard Roark decided to pay a visit to me. This most talked about character from literature. The name kept coming to me as I struggled to concentrate on my current read. He wouldn’t leave till I had penned about him, I realized.

He is one of those rare characters I love. His persona is captivating. I remember I read The Fountainhead while in college, perhaps I was 17 or 18 then. But the character of Roark is fleshed out in a way that this one has stayed with me even after such a long time. I do visit the book, read between the pages to reacquaint myself with the crisp bits of life. But I only recall the struggle of Roark to keep up with the pretentious society.

Roark is sort of present in me. I look back and I realize how much I have steeled myself against the pretentious people around me. There are times when it gets frustrating. Why be honest with your work when someone puts forth cliché and mundane, over and over, and gets away with it. Even in the corporate world you will find the “quick-fixes,” as I call these people. They will simply find some jugaad and get done with the work. Their aim is to solely SUCCEED. Nothing else and no one else matters. That’s where people like Roark come in and give you strength. Roark is a moral man, true to his word, true to his work, true to his values, his thinking, his conviction. At the end he is true to his self. And I guess, that’s all that matters.

You may garner praises now for say a certain number of followers you may have or for your success or for your book or whatever else. But you will gain immense respect if you are amongst those who don’t ever compromise with their integrity.

There will be a time, if not now later, when you will be fed up of the facade. You may have forgotten the real skin that’s you because you have layered yourself with a false exterior all this while. There will come a time when people will see you as you are and you might want to run away from that reality. Things will slow down, your body will give up. All the layers will be shed or worn out one at a time and what will remain is the naked reality.

Make sure that reality is worth looking in the eye. Make your living worth it. Do whatever you do with utmost sincerity. Decide your role. Align your thoughts with your persona. And then get going. Because we need Roark(s) – true to himself, true to the world.

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