Am I really free? I wondered out loud.
The run up to the Independence day left me with a few lessons and a lot of thoughts. The last weekend, I managed to catch a glimpse of what it meant to fight for one’s freedom. The words of this blog have been haunting me for a while and finally I decided to give them their due wings.
Bored by the radio, I plugged my phone to the car and opted to give the playlist in my phone a fair chance. Most songs residing in my phone were at some point in time my absolute favorites. The only time I’d transfer a song to my phone was when I liked it plenty and wanted to keep them handy at all times.
A familiar tune picked speed. I’d usually skip the song. Last Friday, I decided not to.
There is this beautiful song called Kun Faya Kun from the movie Rock star. It’s a sufi based song and hidden away in the magical mellifluous lines is a moment of catharsis for the protagonist. That image will always remain fresh and vivid in my memory. The lines ‘Maula’ would go screamed of sorts. The protagonist would look up to the heavens in an untold moment of extreme sadness. The simple line would symbolize an acceptance, a denial, a helplessness , a frustration and an acknowledgement of a broken dream.
Needless to say, I do have quite a few memories stacked up against that moment. Memories do have a way of keeping us, strike that, I’d rather speak for myself here. Memories do have a way of keeping me hooked on to a point in time. The stronger the memories, the deeper the connection with things attached to it. And that would go on to explain why I’d usually skip the song. I guess this is a classic example of being an emotional fool.
I’m no longer conscious or insecure about being an emotional fool. There was a time when I thought being this way was rather foolish and childish too. The more I connected with a wider audience, the more I spoke with people, I came to both realize and accept that I wasn’t the only one like this who was tormented by this foolishness. A lot of folks out there would not bother revisiting things which hold a deeper meaning to them because of the memories they’ve associated with them.
That being said, Friday, there was a struggle in my head. I liked the song. I couldn’t sit through it either. The past long gone, the memories were now only a fragment of a figment of my imagination which I could breathe life into. My mind was trying to defy emotions and let logic seize control. My fingers kept twitching by the steering wheel. The song was only a key press away from being changed.
At that point, it was no longer about just a mere song. The song represented my past. The song represented the list of things that I still kept alive in my mind and the proverbial heart. The song represented the imprisonment of my mind by my mind.
‘THIS IS MY SONG’, I roared vociferously. The intensity to the moment was dense. I sat restless for a few moments which felt like an eternity of struggle. I’d be happy if the tale ended with me singing the lines and resuming control over my present and enjoying the song. Sadly none of that happened. I endured the song. I survived the song. No longer I felt compelled or obligated to change the track instantaneously. No longer such songs exercised the power to render me worthless and cast into a pit of doubts and misery. I could sit through it and I consider it a battle won.
The Saturday, I made it to the movie suicide squad. Hitting the movies is not a new experience to almost all of us. Here is the catch. I’ve never really hit the theaters all by myself before. There was this one time when I was in Bangalore and I decided to watch Star wars. It was a different affair. I had plans to meet up the guys later on and since I stayed far away, I needed something to kill time.
The Saturday was a conscious choice to hit the movie because I wanted to. It was ikky at first. I felt uninvited and unwelcome. I was extremely judgmental about me watching it all alone. As the movie took its course, I managed to reconcile the situation. In time , I put aside the insecurities and a million other self deprecating thoughts and started to enjoy the movie. Three hours , a cold coffee and a tub of pop corn later, I walked out of the movie hall a different man.
I’m a child of the 80’s. I’ve not really suffered oppression. I’ve never been suppressed. While the words of the history book helps me connect with an India which was not free, I was never there to experience it first hand. This day of Independence, I finally had a glimpse of a struggle for freedom.
‘There can be no freedom without a struggle’ – Katz. We all fight our battles for freedom. We are not really free. Restrained in shackles of thoughts and memories and fears, our battle is a daily struggle for that air of free freshness. Most days we succumb to our captors and refuse to dare to lead an independent life. There are days when we rise to be a hero and exhibit a raw courage to be free.
I do feel a little more free today. Freedom indeed.