A Free Soul

I’ve grown up believing that India is a land of beauty and culture; there was never a part of me that wanted to live anywhere else because I loved every bit of it. There are the trillion festivals that never fail to lift your spirits, people buzzing at every corner and never is there ever a dull moment. Recently however, my views have changed.

No, I don’t know where I’d go, I don’t know if i plan to go, but a certain part of me is left disgusted. The concept of “Live and Let Live” is lost on the entire population, which is beyond my understanding.

“Vegetarians deciding which meat non-vegetarians should eat. Spinsters deciding how many children women should produce. Straight people deciding the limits of gay lovemaking. Actors commenting on medical ethics. The uneducated running education ministries. Politicians deciding which films should be released on which Friday. Clerics and pujaris debating on how much science is okay for schools. Half-pant-wearing uncles deciding on the length of teenage girl’s skirts. Rapists commenting on the morality of girls they rape and murder.”

No, I wasn’t the one to pen down these words but no others explain the state of our country better. Women are being judged for how they are dressed rather than on what they have to say and men are questioned on the basis of what they do instead of what they represent. No one, and I mean no one, has the right to do anything without jumping through the hoops of their family, schools, teachers, friends or colleagues.

I now figure myself a free soul with a non-conformist view on life, one I can’t shake no matter how hard I try. I believe in the freedom of spirit, where everyone has the right to live life the way they feel. I want to live on a beach and take long walks in the evening or read a book in a cafe in France. I want to have some good wine and get high on invigorating conversation . I want to be able to write with a paper and pen and paint my body on a huge canvas with nothing but a palette knife. I want to meet interesting men and lose myself to them without being questioned for it. I want to be a human being, in love with another human being. I want to go around the world finding first editions of my favourite books and read as much as I possibly can on the way. I want to be able to take in the world when I still have the chance but the chance slips through my palms and I wither away in this godforsaken country where nepotism wins and talent dies.

Urbanization went the wrong way, we had it right in the 70’s. My wants are innumerable but my rationality cuts the path. I know one must earn their daily bread and for that one must do many a things one does not wish to. I’m a dreamer, maybe even a coward for not being able to find a way, but someone has to pay the bills. So here I am, a free soul in a bonded body, which will burst out and engulf me whole some day. That day however, is not today.

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