What is it to be free?

Before I get into a long drawn rant, I want to show a picture, if you guys are interesting in reading this. So, I dont know who sent this to me. Or may be I found this on the Internet somewhere. But its am amazing picture that I would want as a background on my phone / laptop.

And you may want to read this tweet that I sent out today morning.

So coming, to the post, this friend and I, we met over lunch today and we got talking about life and times and careers and money and opportunities and other such things that two wannabes talk about. We also spoke about the fact that we are on the wrong side of age now. He's 34. I am 31. We were at Breeze and while he was busy getting drunk at 11 in the morning, I was content with a mere Red Bull.

So the thing with Breeze is that, on your left, you can see Bandra, Andheri and the sea beyond all those hazy buildings. In front of your eyes is the Powai lake and Vihar lake and the mountains, all these hidden by those multistory towers of Hiranandani. On your right are more buildings by Hiranandani and the hills. Its probably the best view of Mumbai that poor us can afford, second only to the view from AER.

These views, the bird's eye views, its like being on top of a miniature city that someone built and then abandoned. From such a vantage point, the city that never sleeps looks like a ghost town. You can only see the hazy outlines of buildings and the geometric continuity that these buildings seem to make in the distance.Of course there are cars and trains and other things that you can see but these are mechanical and scaled down. You don't see the detail, the very detail that brings the world alive for us.

Anyway, that is not important. And that is not why I wrote this.

I wrote this because we had this interesting discussion about being free. Free like birds that we could see flying among those tall buildings and going up and down at their whims. Free like that wind that was blowing at that height and was free to chose the direction it went in. Free like those thoughts that run amok when you are on a drive. Free like that free man that Morgan Freeman talks about in Shawshank Redemption. For the uninitiated, he says,
“I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain...”
We, the friend and I, we talked about it. About being free.

And then an amazing realization dawned upon us. We could be free as well. Free like those birds. Free like a man on the start of a long journey.

And all we needed to do was to hold our phones like we were holding a cricket ball. And then extend our arms all the way back. As back as it goes. Even bend backwards while we are stretching the arm back. Take a deep deep breath. Place our feet on a firm footing. As firm as they come. And then fling the arm, the whole upper torso towards the emptiness below us. And just when the arm is out there, travelling away from our body, let that deep breath escape from your body. The breath that had been trapped all this while. You let it go. And with it, you let go of your phone. The one that you were holding like a ball. The one thing that has been stopping you from letting go and being free.

But we did not. We did not have the balls or money to do so. We had he money but we weren't free. We weren't ready to be free.

The route is out there. Its simple really. Its only about doing it. Some day soon. I promise to myself, that I would be free. Free like a free man on the start of a long journey. Soon.

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