Sunday, April 30, 2000

Liberty

Liberty is an illusion. How free can a man be? As free as a bird who flies at will. Or as free as a prey caught and caged. The questions have always remained as questions. Answers, as ever, are elusive.Born of the womb of beauty and truth, Freedom hunts for free souls, free minds. You desire to do something which you can not. And here Freedom collides with an even stronger word - Bondage.

Bondage which assumes the shape of bread. Bondage which we euphimise as security. Bondage which we love to breathe in and give it a name. Compulsion. Driven by a bare need to survive, wecrawl when we are asked to bend. Far away from ideals, we discover a new world. Desires, passions and frenzy on one side. Needs, wants and responsibilities on the other. A poor man gets smothered. Should he defy and die or oblige and live. Freedom is wealth? A wealth worth life. Risking life for Liberty is ideal. Swapping Liberty for life is real.

The concept of Liberty is as old as Time. Man, born free, got chained everywhere. Aeons have passed, but the debate sees no end. Children of Adam and Eve are still battling out to draw the precincts. Freedom is a fruit which lets you taste it with caution. Freedom is a habit. If you don't practice it, you forget it. Like any other habit, it needs to be sustained by having it experienced. Freedom makes life. Freedom to express. Freedom to buy displeasure. To damn consequences. To face music. To name spades spades, shovels shovels. To decimate the gods worshipped. To explode the myths revered. To unclothe the emperor. The expose the stinks. To lay the rots bare. Easier said than done.

All ideal. All imaginary. We think of freedom. Dream of it. But mean little. Too little. A genuine question arises. Why fear? A genuine answer goes. Why live? The temptation to live makes one fear. The desire to comfort makes one compromise. And this holds good. To the man, to the last man. With exceptions to be duly honored.

We all are ruled by our weaknesses. We could have....... , but we do not. We might have...... , but wedeist. It needs a maniac to draw a line. It needs a prophet to be uncompromising. Who amongst us? We are braves and cowards both. We personify fear and fearlessness both. At times we compromise and call it wisdom. At times we stick fast and call it integrity. We roar till it doesn't harm us. We oblige the moment it means otherwise. Why shout when you are not free? A serious question for all those who still believe in healthy debates. Is discussion a pastime? You make speech or you make fun?

The point is if we can't be brazenly bold, let's broom out any misconceptions regarding ourselves. Let's accept and accept it fearlessly that we fear. Cowardice confessed is reality accepted. Domestic compulsions, professional obligations, parental expectations and above all emotional locks - all these join together and 'eunuchise' males and females alike. Neither truth, not untruth, opting for a midway is only to fill up the void. Taking sides, dangerous though, makes us live our life to the full.

How much can be put at risk. Live, enjoy, promote, earn, spend, spare, wed, bed, booze and then write against the lord of the time. Incredible. What a miserable caricature of the word that gallants love to take - Risk. How bold we can be in buying the frown of the one who 'feeds' us, 'fetches' us.

Iqbal encapsulates the whole big truth.

Your free men are chained here, chained there
Here they don't live by will, there they don't die by will

Boldness attracts. But then the attraction is fatal. Freedom tempts, but then the temptation is killing. We are at the crossroads. What is to be taken, what jettisoned. Fraternity, Equality, Liberty or Death?

Adapted Geekay