The Idea of Independence

As a seven-year-old, Independence Day entailed waving flags in the morning school assembly and leaving with a handful of orange candies after. It suffices for a kid who wants to do nothing but get a weekday off. Come to think of it, as an adult; I have wanted the same. A weekday off.

‘Independence’ has had a flexible tone in my life. If you asked point blank what it means to me on a given day, I might construct my answer considering how far the payday is. Money gives you room to move around and explore. There is no denying that. Someone who makes just enough for their need and someone who crosses that threshold, have different ideas of financial independence. Like most things, freedom too is relative, whether it is economical, emotional or social.

To compartmentalise it into a single, utopian ideology is overreaching a bit. There is no one answer. More often than not, it is in the small exercises that build our day-to-day. After the end of a difficult relationship, it is in the act of humble decisions like socialising, buying grocery or altering takeout preferences.

Freedom is in self-discovery and the opportunity to exercise that awareness. It is in friends who have a sympathetic ear for all the heart-to-heart conversations. It is in a relationship where you still remember what your voice is, and are appreciated and loved for that. Maybe for some, it is safely taking a walk late at night. For others like me, it is watching people take a stroll while sipping a cup of hot tea on my veranda.

Independence is at first a personal distinction, and from there it snowballs into a social revolution. So today, let me ask you your idea of freedom? Not the textbook definition, but what makes you feel empowered, at peace and in control.

Personally, my balcony had the net door nailed in today so that I can let the breeze in, sans the mosquitos. I love looking out from time to time; it keeps up my creative mood. It is in the small things, really!

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