I am an ardent animal lover. More so if they are in some sort of difficulty, and by difficulty I mean all sort of earthly difficulties! I admire nature, the way it is. I like the fancy fishes and their varieties in the sea, their natural habitat, not those captured lives in a tank. Why only fishes? Every human and every living being need to be “free”. How can a life which is “born-free” be chained? India is still considered a land of snake-charmers, which is still true to a certain extent! I was going through this news report; it said that the officials (let me not call them care takers) of a certain zoo were having a hard time searching for a potential mate for their female king cobra, supposedly a celebrity! She has been with them for quite some time. People flock up to the zoo to offer prayers to her. The zoo is certain of increasing its income next year as they are expecting a bigger crowd (who will be charged to see and worship her!). The big plan is to imprison a life and make her worshipped? Breed her to yield more king cobras and increase the income further more? I would not offer her milk and pray for my upliftment, rather pray for her to be able to run “free”, in the wild, as is the law of nature! We need to “free” all those lives, including ours, which we have chained in our own selfish ways to beget “freedom”, of the physical body and of the soul. And why only humans, even humanity itself needs to be “free”.
To be free is to know that you are breathing the right air needed to sustain life, while keeping all of dignity and fundamentals intact. To be free is not about doing what the mind tells. It is rather to follow your heart (and let my heart be the one I trust to be my sole guide). It would be unfair on our part to define “freedom” the way it is comfortable for each one of us. If the Goa government feels a young girl was unnecessarily practicing her “freedom” at a foreign country at the wee hours of that eventful night, maybe they are true. That Scarlett was a minor and was on a vacation to India is sad. But the picture perfect and posh image of Goa is sure under threat. What people do for a vacation and how "Tourism" in Goa cater to everyone is horrifying! The mother of the deceased, Fiona McKeon was “free” enough to leave her child in a place where there were an evident number of risks, while she herself continued with her vacation! But also those accused men! They were enough “free”, at their own will, to have done the blunder to the young girl. This was certainly a case where individual boundaries of “freedom” clashed, loud enough to send alarms to the whole world!
I would be fraudulent if I say I never saw a day when I defined my own “freedom” for myself, as we all had at some point of our lives, over certain issues. But thankfully that did not lead to any major controversy in my life or to those of others! I do feel the urge to shout out sometimes, over so many issues, both personal and otherwise. I do feel the compulsive need to just break “free” at my own will! If only I could demarcate the margin of my “freedom” in such a way so as not to collide with that of my parents, or my friends or the world or anything. Alas! That is not possible! I don’t want to hurt any of them! That I care enough for them gives me peace, relief and a sense of freedom, freedom from insanity and guilt. I don’t put into practice my liberty just to be free, rather I feel free to enjoy my freedom.
Freedom wouldn’t be still something out of the world. The Tibetans have been staging one of the most peaceful protests ever in the world, for over decades, against the cultural atrocity brought upon it by China. The Dalai Lama and his supporters had to flee from their own country just to preserve an ancient and rich culture. Maybe they were not heard enough till now. I don’t go on to tell why this is a major concern for the world at this instant. Despite all such circumstances, this immense persona called the Dalai Lama still manages to maintain his composure and a tranquil smile on his face. Is that because he is in constant touch with his “freedom”? He can still think in his pristine directions as he is “free” from the many worries that bug us all, thus not allowing the mind and the heart to think in communion.
If I may mention here, the Dalai Lama says and I quote- “… I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. ... The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease”. This should be a benchmark for us all seeking our own “freedom”!
When I lost my grandmother to cancer, I couldn’t think of a period of time when I would be fine with the notion that she is no longer with me. That grief and pain still continue to haunt me, although time, the healer it is, has done his share in consoling me. Priyanka Vadra Gandhi must have been quite proud of his father, even then, when she was only six and more so now when she is fully aware of the nuances of politics. The late Rajiv Gandhi was not only a father but also a person respected by millions for his credibility and the sense of love for his countrymen and the world. Then came the assassination- 700 grams of RDX blew up a whole eventful saga. How the Gandhi family coped up with this is beyond my knowledge. Recent reports told Priyanka met Nalini, an accused in the assassination plot. She was innocent but nonetheless involved, directly or indirectly. Priyanka has set a new paradigm of setting oneself “free” from hatred and one’s own elapsed memory. I cannot but marvel at her guts and integrity.
Freedom is to come at terms with one self. Freedom is in not fighting with oneself over why I don’t accept and admire myself the way that I am. Rather it is in accepting the concept that life is too beautiful to be spent without love, care and understanding! Rather it is in accepting that to follow the heart is way better off then to follow the brain! Then is only one “free”, to that very core of freedom!
It is futile to count the number of idols that we worship in the name of religion. While I am not an atheist myself, I hardly pay for the flowers and all the offerings made to any of the pristine “idols”! We are then back to square one, where India was still a land of snake charmers and idol worshippers. I was reading a news report (once again) that stated that the number of temples in the state is much more than the number of schools and hospitals taken together! While God is omnipresent, I would rather say that the Almighty might not need such number of temples just to be the guarding and guiding aura of all the living beings on this earth. If I had to remember my parents, do I offer them gifts in front of their portraits or just close my eyes and pray (to God, the owner of my heart and soul,) for their safety and happiness? This is the case maybe where we need to “free” our mind of all worries and just pray! A prayer to erase all pain and hatred, a prayer to uplift ourselves a prayer to love and adore ourselves and a prayer to be free. Chaining ourselves wouldn’t be the next best thing. Remember? We were all born-free?