“I will live the way I want to, someday.” do we realize how many times we say this to ourselves? Today, as I sit on my chair facing the blank laptop screen, I wonder what exactly “living my way means to me”. Is it having the liberty to do anything at any time? Or is it doing the thing I love most without worrying about everything else? The search for the right answer takes me back to the days when I first consoled myself with this statement.
I hated the classroom when I was in school. Few things about it appealed me. The things I loved were music, language classes, spending time with friends, and playing games that teach us lessons far more important than books, Friendship. Sitting inside the carcass of childhood (classroom), resenting every moment spent in it, I often looked through the window guarded by rusty Victorian grills, and promised myself that someday I will be free. The constant reds in my mark sheet and occasional whip from the teachers further reinforced my desire to be free. I knew I am not cut out for studies. I told myself that someday I won’t be compelled to sit in one place and learn passively. Someday my life will be more than just math problems and textbooks. Someday, I will live the way I want to. Meanwhile, I discovered that I found peace in writing down my feeling in prose and verses. It somehow cut through the discontent, noise, and chaos that crowded my mind and found me waiting devoutly in a tranquil place.
Time passed and so did my school days. I even managed to pass with decent grades. Now, I had to choose a course and a college. I could have chosen a BBA or a B.Com, but I had grown wise enough not to. I chose to study art and advertising instead, and it was fun. College was the time I exercised the right to live free. I did everything I ever wanted to with little regard to rules. Time flew, and when the four years at college were about to end the noise in my head only grew louder. I finally decided to ask myself, “Am I free or just reckless”. I had done things I always wanted to, some in excess, but freedom still eluded me. I realized that freedom had to be something else because I didn’t want to live that way. I wanted to find peace.
With a fragmented definition of freedom, I ventured into the Advertising Industry, and took a job of Graphic Designer in a hot agency. For six months, I worked hard but my work was relatively cold. There was nothing wrong with my designs, so I felt that the copy lacked warmth. I also felt that I could do better. I slept with this thought and quit the job next morning. For next few weeks, all I did was write. And I felt resurrected. I was doing something I had always been in love with, but never realized. Later, I joined another agency, this time as a Copywriter. I could make love with words and it didn’t feel like work at all. Since then there have been ups and downs in my life just like everybody else, but the noise in my head has subsided.
Today, as I sit on my chair facing the blank laptop screen, I see that little boy sitting in the classroom staring through the window. I reach out and tell him that freedom is not out there, he won’t find it on top of the snowcapped mountains or in the ocean’s womb. He wouldn’t have to fight a war to get it. No, not in the books either. Freedom is a distant town with no name, strange but beautiful. No map indicates its location. There are no signposts or milestones showing the direction or distance. You just have to believe it’s there. He can give in right now and adapt to live a perfectly normal life. Or he could be who he is all his life. If he does the latter, freedom will find him, someday.