15 th august came and went. some folks spent a quiet day at home, others went out, doing the things they love to do,catching a movie, meeting friends, shopping..
i went to a bookstore and spent the entire morning blissfully reading. each year i wonder what independence day means to me and i never quite figured it out but this year i think i realized what freedom and independence mean to me. in the bookstore, i was reading the book about mukhtran mai, the young Pakistani woman who fought for justice and truth and became the face and voice of millions of women who are battered, raped and left in despair. her struggle for justice when the universe she knows is up against her, is absolutely remarkable.
as I read her story, i began to realize what freedom meant to me. freedom to me is to go to a bookstore alone and sit and read there without fear or hesitation. it is that which lets me live alone in a big city again without fear or skepticism.
freedom to me is to go out to dinner and come back late without worrying about my safety.
freedom is that everyday choice i get to make.. freedom to wear what i want, meet the people i want at the places i want, talk a little loudly when i have to, yell at the auto driver for making me wait for too long in a petrol bunk or walk into a restaurant alone.
this is freedom to me. freedom means falling in love , fighting with my father, talking to my male friends, owning a cell phone and the millions of other privileges that i tend to take for granted.
my parents made sure that i got a good education. this gave me my freedom. my country ensured that they could do so.there are millions of young women on the face of the earth who cannot do any of these things. they cannot even show their faces to the world or have their voices heard. they eat, sleep, live and die at the mercy of a man. father,brother, husband, society and country.
thats why i celebrated independence day doing the one thing that i love the most. reading.