Independence to me …

Usually I’m very “I love my country” kind of a person. Independence Day has always been one of my favorite days, because I believe it’s the only day when we actually respect and honor our soldiers. But last night, as I stood out in my terrace dripping in the rain I was asking myself “am I really free?” “What independence means to me?”

Independence always reminds me of one of my favorite book “Thousand Splendid Suns”. Today I live in a country, where we can go watch movies, walk on road with our friends, enjoy coffee get-togethers and wear colorful sundresses without even thinking once. Whereas, the book tells us of a time , which still exists in many corners of the world, where women and girls are just not considered worthy of giving liberty to talk, perceive or even express, let alone the freedom to walk around, laugh out loud or look straight into the other person’s eyes.

I was asking myself, cynically, what the hell am I to do with this freedom, when I can’t even be me. Truth be told, there are people who would rather live in their closet forever and trade their dreams forever for the liberty of living in a country like ours, where the punishment of falling in love is not death by stoning, where tapping a foot on loud music is not objectionable and where having kids is not the only job a woman is assigned to.

We all have our own definitions for the words Freedom and Independence… Mine is related to existence and acceptance of women.

64 years may be less when compared to countries like America, but we are truly shaping into a free country where women are living better and happy life. We maybe cursed with poverty and corruption, but like I said 64 years is a small number. Independence Day is not about thinking of what all we didn’t achieve, it’s about celebrating and reminding ourselves of whatever we have that many other nations don’t.

My country is still a muddy boat rocking in the storm of struggle, but I’m happy I live in a democratic India where the law does not considers women a piece of home decoration. So, I shushed the voices in my head and said “I may not consider me free enough, but at least I’m living, cursing, laughing and dreaming. A luxury, some women can’t even dream of”