These are lines of a poem called "Once Upon a Time", by Nigerian poet Gabriel Okara. I taught this poem as an English teacher at school. With modernity, we have donned many masks which were absent in old cultures. This poem brings out all the masks we wear in modern world. Is it possible to live in the modern world without masks? It entails living alone. In this article I share, along with the poem, my tryst with Ayn Rand in college, and how she tutored me to stand alone: live life without selling one's soul and be ready to pay the costs of living in this freedom.