A fettered tiger wailing fruitlessly in a zoo,

A captive dove striving to flap its wings in a cage,

A stultified shark swimming in the same small tank,

A weary mortal surviving in the wide world,

All yearning for freedom; the same.

Freedom for what, you ask?

Freedom to roam the green with its brethren,

Freedom to fly far in the open skies,

Freedom to dive unbounded into blue oceans,

And freedom to walk the Earth in peace.

Why is it then, that birds are caged behind bars,

Menageries and aquaria yet thrive,

Speech and movement are often cut?

Do we all not wish to be free?

Now arrives the irony:

The same individual longing to be free

Still pays to see the big fish in a tank,

Still captures the doves for sale,

Still ensnares a tiger in the wild;

And then at dusk calls his colleague a hypocrite

For he didn’t follow his own preaching.

Are we not plaster saints then,

Desperate for an entity

We aren’t willing to share?

Existence is too minuscule to be callous and harsh

To creatures that do us no harm.

How hassled are we

To woe another

For serving the purpose

Of soothing our sorrows?

Why be Minos of Crete,

And shackle Daedalus

For no guilt of his?

Freedom is more than being free;

It is equally about breaking the cage

For another being.

Do you ever feel,

Karma is perhaps real?

“Don’t be deceived, God is not mocked;

For whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”

Writer: Kush Gadia (Special Gratitude to Debolina Bhattacharyya)

Editor: Ananya Chaure

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