I don’t care for freedom

Just let me live my life.

Let me choose what I study

Let me dance, dress, feast, love and, if I so choose,

Let me drink

Let me drink what you do not recommend

Let me decide who I love

Let me eat what you find tasteless

Let me love the language you hate

Let me dress in ways you never would

Let me feel good

Let me hum when I walk

Let me know I am safe (If only as safe as the next person)

Let me love a culture you hate

When I disagree, let me question

Let me shop with the money I have earned

Let me walk fast,

Let me run.

Let me laugh while I run.

Let my laughter be heard.

If I so choose, let me let me be seen

Let me choose

Let me work hard,

Or let me laze, unless you are paying me

Let me shave my head or tattoo my body

And let me regret it a year later

Let me travel alone

Let me take a gap year

Let me earn

Let me stay up all night

Let me sleep till late

Let me sleep with someone you disapprove of

Without fearing I could be killed for it

Let me write what I feel strongly about

You may not agree

You may think I am wrong

Convince me

Or let me find that out for myself

Let me demand a little more

Let me dream a little higher

Let me believe I can

Let me discover I was wrong

Let me try again

Let me object,

Let me protest,

Let me light candles

Let me refuse to acknowledge the god you would die for

Let me hug that dog you hate

And let me cry for the tiger you have imprisoned

Let me hug that tree you would cut

Let me live for what I believe

Let me try to live and let live

Let me paint the town red

Without needing to send anything Pink to anyone

Or if I choose let me lie carefree on a lonely beach under the stars

Or in a sunny park on a sheet with a book and a flask of coffee

Let me cycle, whistling on littered streets

Let me feel my hair blowing in my face

Let me love every moment of my life

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66 thoughts on “I don’t care for freedom

  1. So true…just let me be me in all and every way.
    Saluting the spirit of independece and liberty today!
    Dream on all women, dream on…and live your lives like you want to.

    Like

  2. wow!!! 🙂

    oustanding!! i cant think of a better way of expressing freedom!

    Happy Independence Day, IHM! 🙂 to u and every woman in the world…! let us hope one day they can have what u mentioned in this poem…

    Like

  3. Very true… I loved the poem…

    *Pixie wonders how these talented people just spin the words like magic!*

    A mantra for most Indians!

    Happy Independence day IHM!!

    Jai Hind!

    Like

  4. ah…a perfect description of what independence means.
    we take our independence for granted…u know? we don’t think twice about it…or even once. We just have it dont we?always have and always will. we can’t even begin to fathom life without it.

    perhaps we should.

    that would teach us to value it and not misuse our freedom :o)

    Happy independence day!

    Like

  5. Let me be free
    And tell you without any interruptions
    That I love love love
    The way u express
    The thoughts you protray
    The emotions you bring into play

    Let me say this freely,
    This was lovely IHM!!!

    Happy Independence Day!
    Aazadi ki saalgirah mubarak!
    Vande Maataram!

    {{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}

    Like

  6. Good post . I will add few more lines.
    Let me have 3 square meals a day,
    Let me be able to study where and what I want based on my academic and not financial status, Let me be allowed to live at the apartment building of my choice regardless of my religion or caste,
    let me be allowed to practise the faith I wish to practise even if I am dalit,
    let me wish I will never be denied correct treatment for my illness because of lack of money,
    let me wish I will never be raped by anyone whether he is my employer or my police officer or my father or a fascist goon of another faith,

    let me express myself the way I want by way of writing or painting or whatever without fear of becoming hunted and becoming countryless,
    let me wish I will never gunned down by a terrorist on a Railway platform or nby police in a fake encounter, ………………………………………
    let me stop here and hope all your and my wishes and similar wishes of each and every citizen of India can be fulfilled

    Yes Charakan, let all these and more come true! Thank you for he meaningful thoughts you added …!

    Like

  7. IHM,
    Beautiful.
    Couldn’t resist adding some more:
    Let me not live in the constant fear of terrorism
    Let me have the right to education
    Let me decide the traditions to follow
    Let me be proud to have been born a girl
    Let me be proud to have a daughter
    Just as you said – let me be me:-)

    Thanks for these lovely thoughts Minal!

    Like

  8. An Americanized and liberal Indian friend of mine once said: “Every woman should be free. And I will ‘let’ my sister marry who ever she wants”. And he never understood the irony of his statement. As Lokamanya says, everyone is born with freedom as a right. There is no freedom till all the ‘let me’ in here are changed to ‘I will’ -I guess.

    Yes Naveen, you are so right! I don’t think even we realise what we are conveying when we say “Let me’ and not ‘I will” !!!!
    I think you will love Maya Angelou’s line.. here,

    Now you understand
    Just why my head’s not bowed.
    I don’t shout or jump about
    Or have to talk real loud.
    When you see me passing
    It ought to make you proud.
    I say,
    It’s in the click of my heels,
    The bend of my hair,
    the palm of my hand,
    The need of my care,
    ‘Cause I’m a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That’s me.

    Like

  9. U hv read the minds of so many of us and put it in words IHM! My life … let me live it 🙂

    Belated wishes 😛

    I ws celebrating in the true spirit of freedom [from work ;)] on a vacation 🙂

    Like

  10. and let me shift my independance day. it is too close to pakistan’s.

    You know I feel despite everything the politicians do, average citizens both, Indians and Pakistanis are basically not enemies… don’t you agree?

    Like

    • very long ago, about 20 yrs or so ago, i happened to encounter a couple on a train from delhi to chennai. in the a/c 2 tier we were together in one coupe. at first i could not make out that they were different, no, not even in their hindi. then they shared some food with me (those days we never invented spiked foods and so i was safe). it was while we were deep into some general discussion that they revealed they were from pakistan and travelling to chennai to the ‘shankar netralaya’. but when the discussions turned to war and politics the husband and wife got together to grill and very young me. there was blame on me and on every indian, as per their view. so we could never be the same. we could never like each other except for sharing biriyani.

      This was really sad! And specially since you are much younger. My sister had met a bunch of Pakistani students (girls) in college and they had a great time and they even exchanged gifts – I guess we cannot generalise Vasudev.

      Like

  11. I loved it! Refreshing!! 🙂

    By the way, I’m back! (I think. Hopefully will have time on my hands now)

    Here are two posts of mine:
    Why I’m an atheist ( http://bigotblog.wordpress.com/2009/08/16/351/ )
    Something else ( http://bigotblog.wordpress.com/2009/08/15/spot-the-bloody-difference/ )

    And more importantly, my new PhotoBlog (which I will be contributing to more often): http://photoofthemoment.wordpress.com/

    Ta-daa!

    WELCOME BACK SIDDHARTH 🙂 ta da indeed! 🙂 Missed you, and really glad to see you back :)!!

    Like

  12. I protest to the word “let me”

    I mean.. I wasn’t born by anyone’s permission right? I dont breathe by anyone’s permission.. why do I need someone’s permission to do things that are by default mine.. my choices to make ?

    Like

  13. none of your wants is accepted by either the chaddi gangs, the mullahs, the priests, the government and the rest of the moral brigade.

    so, you better coop up and sit at home. 😀

    Happy Independence Day.

    But you saw what happened to the chaddi gang? 😆

    Like

  14. Those are lovely lines and I hope my daughter get’s to live in a world which doesn’t think her freedom is a privilege and of a man is a right.
    I hope she never feels in her heart “wish I was born a man”,
    I hope and I hope….
    Happy Independence Day to you as well! We spent the day home watching Lagaan and eating home made (by me) bhalla papdi and gol gappas. I miss my beloved India. Seeing me missing India so much yesterday, my 4 year old made 2 Indian flags using her popsicle sticks so I can decorate my car!!

    Awww 🙂

    Like

  15. Yeah, you can do all that…

    When you grow up 🙂

    (That’s what I’ll tell my son and daughter, I mean)

    LOL 🙂 Rakesh, trust you to say this 😆 Good to see you! You’ve not been around for a while!

    Like

  16. Hi IHM…..I finally resurfaced…..You have always put into words what we have in our hearts…and you always say it so aptly…..and i want to add my part too……
    Let me take my chances, and grow my soul.

    Let me put life in my years, the way I want to , not the way you want me to.

    My life may have no aim, no purpose , no direction as per you, but then it is my life.

    Let me be the one to decide what I make of it, without telling me what I should make of it………

    My life to me is as precious as yours is to you.
    And also I too have one life to live …..
    You got me going IHM…..you always give me food for thought, Thank you…..
    And Happy Independence Day …..every living day.

    Welcome back Poonam J 🙂 Love the points you have added… thank You!

    Like

  17. Wow, that’s freedom in the real sense of the term. But is not something being missed here. How about imbibing the values ? How about carrying the baten ahead ? How about sharing the burden ?

    Like

  18. Happy Independence Day, IHM.

    Very beautiful thoughts indeed – and these are all the thoughts pertaining to our rights, or the denial of these. Here I may add a different note – all these rights come with an equal, or more, number of responsibilities.

    Help me live up to my responsibilities towards the Nation that lets me enjoy this freedom;
    Help me live by the Constitution that guarantees these to me and to every other Indian, irrespective of caste, creed, religion, language or region. AND many more such responsibilities.

    Yes, yes of course! …thanks for adding some responsibilities too to the list 😆

    Like

    • dear sir..sorry to state this but the constitution would soon stop giving any freedom at all considering the number of times it has been modified, mutilated, added, deleted or whatever, to suit the combined whims and fanciful requirements of those in power…. from the time it was formed till date it has been mutilated over a 100 times. (please read ‘leaning over backwards’ by arun shourie to get a clearer picture on how this is done)

      Like

  19. I always stand for freedom of all.. but since women have even lesser of it, so the stress is all the more for women’s liberty !! I have experienced certain things, and I am sure other women too have experienced them. Things like, woman more so are deprived of the freedom to even think !! It happens everywhere, at home, in the work place. One is expected to give in to the other person’s view point.

    I think, our society encourages hypocrisy and lacks freedom. Openness is not welcome most of the times. (though we are much better off when as comparative study is done). I agree with each and every line of the poem 🙂

    Niharika You summed it very well when you said, ‘our society encourages hypocrisy and lacks freedom’… freedom for women is actually considered morally wrong, I have heard girls being told, “Bahut azzad ho gayee hai” (She has become too independent/free etc)

    Like

  20. IHM, I’m commenting very very late on this post, but i couldn’t resist!
    I love the way you’ve expressed freedom. Every word in your post is full of it.
    It makes me realise and value what i have in this country.
    I’m glad we are a democracy and can vote the people we choose to represent us into office. I’m glad that we had the SC to protect us ‘almost’ every single time those people we elected made mistakes. (i’m studying about the Indian government!!)

    And i loved what you said about “Let me shave my head or tattoo my body And let me regret it a year later”. It’s something i want to do, even if i do regret it! ;D

    Thank You blabberblah 🙂 Oh I too always have immense respect and a lot of hope from the SC ….

    Like

  21. loved evry line of this passionate post..
    but in the light of new afghani law… I have suddenly started appreciating (whatever) freedom India can offer to me as a female…
    sad but true.. am scared!!

    RDB if you read A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS you will find we have every reason to be scared. Fundamentalists exist in India also, and many of us support them!… all political parties are afraid of speaking out against anything said in the name of religion… even the moderate ones 😦 It’s up to the citizens to make sure we never empower anybody who asks for votes in the name of Hindutva, culture etc, because other ills we can handle, this fundamentalism is a dangerous and powerful demon… it will be a constant battle

    Like

  22. This world never fails to remind me, that I still have to fight for our basic rights!! just because i am female..:(
    Wonder y my parents never taught inequality?!!??? I have a strange illusion of being free n equal.. n rights!!… wish i had never grown up

    RDB if we are conscious of our right to be free, and if we want to be free, then it is good to be grown up … when we are old enough we can help others fight for their freedom too 🙂

    Like

  23. wonderful!
    on a lighter note “Let me shop with the money I have earned” I am ready to shop with anyone’s money 😀 😀

    😆 Reema have fun! And then blog about what you shopped! 🙂

    Like

  24. i hope it applies to both genders 🙂

    Me – Sojo, it applies to all humans, the not-so-equal and the more-equal, all. The need for freedom is above gender. Even birds and animals need freedom. About the more-equal’s need for freedom (yes they need freedom too) – read this, https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2009/04/01/mip-men-in-pink/
    And about what’s denied to the not-so-equals here-
    https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2009/06/07/i-do-not-like-reservation/
    🙂 Hope you agree.

    Like

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