What’s Freedom To You?

I N D E P E N D E N C E

Liberty & Freedom were the words that came up when I looked for synonyms of ‘Independence’. I think it’s safe to say that an Independent country is also a ‘Free’ one. But considering a country as diverse as India, where people worship Rajnikanth in temples, cricket is a religion in itself and over a thousand dialects of hundreds of languages are spoken: ‘Freedom’ can be subjective.

To my mom, women being able to choose their own husbands nowadays is Freedom. To my grandfather, easy access to education and free information is Freedom. On the other hand, it’s us. The millenials. We were born into an Independent India. We didn’t have to struggle for our basic rights like our elders did, and somewhere along the line we began taking these rights for granted. Nowadays, the trend is to rant about how restricted India is, ON Independence day. As a friend of mine put it, “It’s like complaining to your parents on your birthday!”

The spirit of Independence day is to remember the sacrifices made by our ancestors for our generation to live in a free India. We need to show gratitude for the fights, revolutions and bloodshed that went behind the liberties that we inherited by birth. The Freedom, we think we are entitled to.

Well, are we grateful? I don’t know about you, I sure am. But…. Yes, there’s a but.

…But does that mean, we shouldn’t strive for more? 70 years post Independence, we should have definitely crossed some mile-stones. We should have had a constitution that progressed with time and accommodated the changing needs of its people. But sadly, we are stuck somewhere in the past, with laws that still don’t consider marital rape a crime and consider same-sex marriages one!

Instead of progressing we have regressed on many fronts, putting our forefathers’ fight for freedom to shame. Today, we censor public opinion according to the ruling leaders (sacking pahlaj nihalani), we ban things as and when we please (Beef, ripped jeans or sleeveless clothes in colleges), we lynch people who might follow a certain way of life or belong to certain minorities (Gowrakshaks), we collectively pass judgments as we see fit (arushi murder case, salman khan runover case), we don’t value human life (’82 Sino-Indian war: Deoliwallahs), we monetize on religious sentiments, we categorize emotions as right or wrong and punish people who work against these set categories, we repress dreams and kill aspirations when they aren’t in tandem with the norms. This is what we’ve become merely 70 years after we won “FREEDOM”.

Should we be thankful for the rights and liberties we inherited? Yes.

Are we entitled for more rights and liberties? Also Yes.

Speaking of Freedom, here’s what my friends thought we need freedom from:

  • Freedom from Chauvinism
  • Freedom from an unhealthy lifestyle
  • Freedom from feeling unsafe
  • Freedom to eat beef
  • Freedom from Patriarchy
  • Freedom from moral policing
  • Freedom from gender bias
  • Freedom from Intolerance
  • Freedom from the past mistakes
  • Freedom from State capitalism
  • Freedom from too much freedom
  • Freedom from weak and incompetent administration and management by our leaders
  • Freedom from wanna be activist who don’t fully have the grasp of the case they are fighting for.
  • Freedom from your own insecurities
  • Freedom from financial debts
  • Freedom from racism and regionalism
  • Freedom from curfew at home
  • Freedom from my husband’s tantrums (Not sure if this applies to everyone!)

In other words, it’s time for an UPGRADE. An upgrade in ideals, norms and laws. An upgrade in the way we function as a society. An upgrade to become a better people. The one that our forefathers aspired for.

You could either accept the reality of today as your fate, or raise your voice and ask for what you feel is Freedom. You could comfortably sing “Saare Jahaan Se Accha Hindustaan Humaara” today, without meaning a single word of it; Or, you could free yourselves and India from the prejudices, injustice, corruption and hypocrisies.

The question remains, “What’s freedom to you?”, and more importantly, will you work for it like your forefathers did?

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The Real Deal .

Plato once said , “Every heart sings a song incomplete , until another heart whispers back .”

I wonder if that stands true even today . In a world where our ears are muffed with headphones , and our eyes buried into our smartphones , I doubt we might even hear that whisper !
Other than that , who has time for such whispers ?
All we want is small talk and Tinder chats . Non sexual conversations don’t seem to get us anywhere !

Gone are the days when a relationship between two people didn’t just happen overnight .
It took patience , understanding and love to build one !

I’m not saying that the all ‘love’ of today is fake . I’m saying that it’s so difficult to find something true and lasting !

Blind dates , speed dates , horoscope dates you name it , and there’s a type of dating system for everything under the sun !
But to what end ?

Dating today resembles a blind man’s game . No one knows what we’re looking for , no one knows where we’re going , Hey, we don’t even know why we’re doing it !
One date after another , one person after the other , the cycle is vicious and endless .
By the time we actually meet the right person , we are so tired of this game that we just give up and convince ourselves that our ‘Soulmate’ doesn’t exist .

People have started differentiating between Love ,Sex and Emotional attachment !
When in reality , none of these can survive without the other .
Hook-ups and quickies are in trend . No commitments , no strings attached . They sound so tempting and uncomplicated , so inviting !
But are they really what they look like ? Is it really that simple ?
Instead of making it my personal opinion , I’d like to paint this picture according to what science has to say about us .
Humans are built in such a way that intimacy is related to a emotional connection . I literally hear everyone today telling ,”Oh ! It’s no big deal , it’s just sex .” Or , “oh ! We’re just dating casually .”
Well science disagrees with you my friends . If we were to get intimate , and have sex with every other person we felt like , we might as well be called animals . We are different because, the millions of years of evolution have instilled in us , a sense of “Humanity” that includes the emotional attachment to the person we are with (partner) .
Sure , you can still argue with this and say that it is possible to have emotionally detached relationships , But I’d rather side with science on this one .

I’d rather look for something real . Something that is not only about physical attraction . Something that is more than just sex . Something that is greater than just a sense of mutual liking .
I want the whole deal . I want the comfortable silences along with unending conversations .
I want us to have insatiable thirst for each other . I want us to Like ,Love and Lust for each other . I want the good days and the bad . I want passion and complete submission . Most importantly I want it to be “Us” , not just ‘me’ or ‘you ‘ .
And I’m sure like me there are still many others who would say the same . So this one is for them ! The ‘Ol style people . The ones who still believe in the concept of “Us” . Who want “Forever Afters ” . Who are convinced that it’s worth having a ‘life partner’ than a ‘sex partner’ .
To those who still think that “For eternity “always better than “For the time being ” .
So go on , whisper in the air ; And hope with all your heart that the universe will call someone to whisper back !