Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fantasies of Freedom

As a human being, we tend to possess some fundamental qualities which are in sync with the animal kingdom itself. There is hunger, there is thirst, there is curiosity, there is fear, there is defense. As a human being grows, the form of the qualities changes. Hunger for food turns into a hunger for money when you grow up, thirst for the water flowing from the tap turns into a thirst for power and position in the complex society (ok! thirst for knowledge is also considered but that is not bound by the phase of life), curiosity regarding blooming of the flower is taken over by the curiosity over what other people think about us (especially of the opposite sex!), fear of not completing the homework is replaced by fear of the consequences.

I feel that all these emotions are inter-related and very basic to any animal. But what makes me wonder is that these emotions are fundamentally functions of the very basic nature of any mind (not necessarily just human but the whole animal kingdom) I feel that all these emotions focus on achieving a single target, irrespective of the phase of mind, cultures, religion, country and natural form. The target is - FREEDOM

Freedom has always caught the fancy of a gibberish as well as the most sophisticated mind. Being an Indian, the word freedom was in my face through the details of our history books in school. India’s history is all about fighting for freedom. So has been for the world. The sense of freedom or liberty so subtle in every act that we actually don’t understand that we are doing this or that to achieve some kind of independence or some kind of freedom. The mankind always has had the fantasies of freedom!

We define the sense of freedom in our own way. For a baby*, may be walking on its own legs without a support could give happiness which could be as good as a young woman (let’s be feminist for  a while) getting an appointment letter for her dream job. However, the sense of freedom in such achievements is pretty fragile. Because the individual is not aware about the path which he/she is going to trot in the future. It is just a momentary jubilance of achieving a milestone; but is normally confused with freedom.

(*I won’t talk too much about the baby’s independence after learning to walk; but can’t resist from sharing a wonderful joke making rounds of facebook these days. It depicts a picture where a cat is telling a baby – the baby is yet to learn to stand – that the moment he/she will stand on its two legs, he/she will be dispatched to school. And the baby had a horrific look on its face asking,”Really??” J)

Say, the girl in the above given example may take huge pride in calling herself as an ‘independent’ woman for a while, keeping her head high (Oh yes! That is the way to do it!), the sense mellows down for many people (and women) when the reality sinks in.

Suddenly, one starts feeling the pang for going to work. You find it difficult to get up. Though you drag yourself in front of the mirror in the bathroom, your eyes refuse to open wide. You don’t find the breakfast tasty though prepared with best ingredients. Then the regular dialogues start visiting your vocal chords regularly “Oh, I’m stuck here!” “God, please help me!” God must have shot back,”Oh dear, I thought you were living your dream!”

I guess the problem is our confusion of freedom with living other person’s life. We always tend to get inspired by the people who you may know or you may not. In a way, it is good that your life gets a direction through inspiration. But the problem is destination. We really don’t know what the person is seeking from the life when he/she is doing something which excites and inspires us. In this process, we give up being ourselves and try to adopt a lifestyle which is entirely not ours. We refuse to find our own destination and confuse it with the path of other people, the destination of which is not known to us. We in a way are sacrificing our freedom to lead someone else’s life. That is an initiation of misery and 90% of you must have understood it if you would have shown the patience to go through this torturous text
By any means, I am not saying that the process of understanding self is simple. Our mind is enthralled and captured by so many secondary experiences that it is difficult to come out of that thick burden. Remember Uma Thurman digging out of her way through coffin while being buried in the grave in “KILL BILL”? Life may not be that unkind though and will keep on giving multiple signals to understand who you are. You just have to be either smart or fortunate to capture them. The day we realize our goal is the day you may celebrate the freedom and give up the fantasies…
I want to end this note with a beautiful thought from the film ‘Asoka’(Yes, I watched it!) – It says that the destiny of a traveler is nobler than anybody else, even than the kings and monarchs. You just need to know the destination….
Best of luck for your journey…..