The Priceless Freedom

Over the years of growing up, I have realized my profound love for birds and animals. Mere watching them play in their own amazing innocent ways have always excited me. I just feel like being a part of their merrymaking. I know it sounds a little crazy here but I am pretty sure that like minded friends would second my feelings.

Seeing this ultimate fascination of mine, I remember my aunt gifting me a cage of 4 love birds, 2 beautiful pairs in yellow and white. That seemed to be one of the happiest days to me. With overcoming my health issues and the restrictions on outdoor play time, that seemed to be the gift, my aunt thought would keep me busy and smiling.Well, she wasn’t really wrong in her own ways.

I would spend hours watching them, taking care of them and wherever I would go, I made it a point to carry that small cage of colorful bliss with me. I recollect dutifully, cleaning the cage, giving them a timely shower and ensuring refreshing their food and water regularly. I soon became a very responsible and busy little girl who forgot her pain with her 4 little friends.

As years passed, I got them a bigger home and some more similar friends . One day in my such busy schedule, my father blurted out to me, ” why don’t you free your birds? they would be much happier flying around.” I immediately protested as I justified saying that my birds were happier with me. They din’t have to fly and search for food as they get a regular clean food and are also away from the danger of bigger birds attacking them. The last thing he told me in this discussion, sitting on the cane chair in our veranda is something, I still remember even after he is gone,he said, ” no matter how hard you try, you can never compensate the beauty of freedom of a life.”

Years went by, I moved to college leaving behind my four little friends back home. While I started a new life with new friends, my old ones were still in their cage that I called them their home. Our friendship was almost eight years old by then.  Meanwhile, a few had managed to fly away and a few even died with age or illness but nothing really changed for me apart from shedding a couple of tears.

“The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.”
David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

During these long years, it so happened, that I underwent the most crucial surgery for my recovery and remained bedridden for a whole year. My parents had arranged the best for me. A separate cabin with good food , television and books for my entertainment. However after a couple of months later, I was feeling the rush of impatience and restlessness within me. I had everything at my disposal with my parents looking after me,healthy food, the entertainment and visitor friends who came to see me yet I deeply missed something. Till one day, its when I realized it, what I missed most out of every comfort was my freedom of movement, to walk around like my friends who came to see me, to move at my will like I was born to and there was nothing much I do about it.In spite of all the probable comforts I could be made available to, there was no comparison to a life of normalcy.

I learnt it in the hardest way. My father was right when he gave me a friendly advice not to take away the freedom of those adorable birds. Birds are meant to fly and such is the freedom of life that nature grants to all of us and this is how I got to see it.

Be it a circus, a zoo, or any amusement park with captivated animals,let it not be a part of our lives, a part of teaching our children in their growing years, a part of our love story,for it surely doesn’t feel nice to be watched with amusement when you are in the life that you were not born to be in.

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