You know the worst thing about a mobile phone and an iPod (or any other gadgetry that you carry like a third arm)? The worst thing, that is, as far as I am concerned? It’s completely taken the romance out of the rain.
First it was that icky flood in Bombay two years ago that we terrible media types have been going on and on about. When that rain happened, I began recognising a diminishing sense of romance and love for the rain. I used to seriously be crazy about it. I remember walking out of a boring lecture to go get drenched – thank god for large classes and backseats. Now I realise how notdone that kind of thing is. If I were the teacher, I’d have whacked me.
And now I walk around listening to seriously smile-inducing music and it starts to pelt. I just don’t know what to do. I use bags that are made of anything but leather or plastic – in most cases natural fibre is what I carry. And there’s no way on earth that a nice Lambani-embroidered bag is going to protect my phone or my iPod. And so if and when I want to get drenched – even though I love umbrellas – I can’t because I am carrying stuff that’s not too kind to moisture exposure.

These days I’ve decided to leave my music maker home and the phone, well, I just place it under the rest of the world in my bag.

*****

Almost everyone on my google talk list has some tongue-in-cheek comment about Independence day. Everything ranging from lines that include “corporate slavery” to serious questions about what freedom means to me or to them.
I wish they’d not ask such questions. Because, honestly, I take questions very seriously. I can’t dismiss them with a wry one-liner or ignore them entirely. Questions are enticing, maddeningly enticing. I can’t resist the hugely satisfying bait of a question. And true to form I had to answer what freedom meant to me. Or it would burn up from inside me and trouble me forever.
I’ve thought about it and thought about it and thought about it. But everytime I come up with an answer I realise that it takes care of only one facet of my life.
For example:
Many times freedom to me means the ability to dislike someone and not having to pretend otherwise. Now I don’t mean I should be allowed to be mean, or rude but I shouldn’t have to feel guilty for ignoring the person after a polite hello.
Or the freedom to express my liking and admiration for someone without them thinking it is flattery! And then I think, that’s it? Something that superficial is what one of the things that freedom means to me is?
What about having the freedom to love someone even though they’ve hurt you? What about freedom to ask your pride take a walk and make up, irrespective of who is wrong? Especially when you’ve done it too many times, and you think once more is going to turn you into a doormat.
On it goes… And I still don’t know what it means to be free. Maybe eventually freedom is being able to go to bed every night knowing you have a decent life – some of which is your making and some of it is Someone Else’s.

What does freedom mean to you?

*****

The thing about confessions is that they’re a disease. Unless you have serious issues, things you need to take with you to the shamshan ghaat, grave – where ever – or you’re a terribly asocial person, chances are that if you catch someone’s confession – no bra, secretly stalks girls with green kurtas, killed someone, was a man, used to be a woman, only pretends to eat, has lice, absolutely anything – you’ll be making one of your own pretty soon.
That’s a tool I’ve noticed people with very high EQ use pretty often. And it’s not like they pull it out of their jhola and wave it in others’ face; it usually comes to them naturally because subconsciously they know the best way to get someone to talk is to tell them something that is seemingly personal.
That’s a question I think about a lot. What is personal? Sure you don’t want all that’s going on up there out on exhibition but if you are what you think, then it’s likely that what you think will one day make its presence felt. What do you do then?

Question 2: If you’ve done something not so acceptable but it’s a sheer work of genius would you talk?

4 thoughts on “

  1. Ubuntu

    You have not seen romance lost until you have been in a foreign country and fail to see one person, not even one person enjoying the rain! I am not professing to be the ultimate rain dancer….but how i miss it. When i was in college; salwar hitched up when the campus got flooded, wearing only rubber chappals and feeling all sorts of gunk come in contact with my feet, 5 girls sharing one umbrella, one auto, desperately trying not to get wet but always winding up drenched; when I was in college I never thought a day would come when I would miss the rain. Rain, beautiful heavy drops that hurt a bit, come again and I will be the first face to greet you, eyes closed and mouth open.

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  2. Galt

    Freedom is the knowledge that nobody can dictate as intimate a personal choice as the choice to wear shorts or to not eat in a restaurant because it’s Ramadan! One’s idea of the concept tends to focus on the small elementary freedoms when you grow up in a country like Oman.

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  3. karuna

    freedom for me is to just be happy in my skin… to be me and just to let others be themselfs… its the freedom to stick out my tongue and taste the rain… so share a sandwich with an urchin at a redlight… to fight for what needs to be fought over… and not to bother with that what does not need bothering with…i feel free when i can hug a tree, man, woman child… just because i feel they deserve one… and freedom is to allow myself to be hugged too..

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