“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.”
What strikes me the most in Nehru’s speech is his belief that its time, India will awake to life and freedom from the unending epoch of darkness. The very awakening happened for me when I had the basic understanding to question his speech for good or bad. The power you see came with the mighty pen, which hit a paper at the stroke of midnight, to create India’s ‘Tryst with destiny’ and along with that very paper, came a certain amount of hope of an unbiased attitude to the free expression of speech, without the flag of ‘Emergency’ hovering on it.
The liberty which I first understood to exist for real was the freedom of my pen. The rest still remains at stake, half of which revolves around the societal curse of being a XX chromosome. However, the early twenties of my life made me come across a beautifully hard-learned truth i.e the non-existent importance of the word ‘my’ before the word ‘pen.’ Apparently, half the population do not even care as to whom the pen belongs until they see your gender popping up above the cap.
Excuse my ranting for the prejudice! I mean if Charlotte Bronte had to survive under the pseudonym of Currer Bell, I among the least, have been given the opportunity to write my own initials, by the grace of the protectors of the society. By the so called word ‘protector,’ I mean both of XX and XY chromosomes who refuse to understand the importance of education, expression and expectation. What more can I ask for? Such big hearts!
In some parallel universe, my fear might be thanking my stars, for not questioning the basic rights of existence but my pen isn’t sorry, especially to the ones who feel my liberty to write about issues, concerning my freedom can bring the civilization to the stake of extinction. My fear has her point, you see. It strengthened with India rising incessantly to the third position of being unsafe for women in the planet.
Writing comes with an add-on called writer’s block, mostly associated and common with every person who wishes to write. But, it’s a condition purely unbiased to your gender. It comes and attacks everybody into its lap. The very attempt of my first blog is an ode to getting rid of this dangerous disease and to celebrate the power of words with a humble pen.
Freedom comes with a price, be it struggle or criticism. What made me escape the hullaballoo of Face book Notes or Instagram Captions has nothing do with criticism but the act of condemning an opinion, much before expressed by reducing me to the point of mocking my very existence, with their lustful image of my chest, thighs and hips. It’s sad as to how the pen held up for my identity comes down to the words of a few unknown, slaughtering and butchering my liberty into pieces.
Seventy- two years ago, India had her moment which she had to claim being in her own land. A moment which is painted with a stain rather than any colour from a utopian brush. The four minute, fifty five second speech which announced her rendezvous with her destiny also brought an end to the seemingly unending quest of an era submerged into darkness. However, the call for freedom came with treaties of quits and splits as to what Salman Rushdie in his book, Midnight’s Children refers to as – the picture of a mutilated nation alike to the disfigured body of Saleem Sinai. Similarly, India’s dis figuration happened by drawing a line of belongingness to the land . Historians call it as India’s traumatic Partition of 1947.
My disfiguration happened when some few lines united to create a boundary, without my consent in the largest democracy of the world. The disfiguration happened when the same ink used to pen down my identity became somebody else’s weapon to slit it. My mother tells me the necessity to have a personal diary to keep my burning mind into an unaffected zone. ‘Every drop of ink has its worth’ has become her universal statement to which my father replies, ‘Every drop of ink has its worth, if you do not want history or the present to be under the carpet.’ If Sir. Tharoor could go back to the colonial land and give it back to them in their words; I can at least bring together my scattered and discouraged confidence to take a stand for my opinions in my own land
My tryst with destiny might happen through this blog or might not. I may be accustomed to anxiety attacks for the sake of writing to please somebody’s ego or instead keep the sugarcoating lines locked in a drop-box. As for now, I simply plan to write. I wish to write being unapologetic abut my opinions which do not find a place in my near corner or the area outside the gate of my house.
Mighty or not, but a pen never needs to put on its cap; if only words fall short.
To the pen as fearless as your identity, to the words as essential as your personal freedom.
Happy Independence Day!