Free: A Poem for Independence Day

10 years ago Shaili Desai 2

Today is Independence Day. Time to feel sentimental and patriotic.

Blogging a poem I had written some time back on Facebook.


Yes, I am free

To roam around

Watch movies

Have a milkshake in the cafe

As long as I come back before

The sun sets


Yes, I am free

To wear whatever I want

Whenever I want

As long as it does not

 Show parts of me

Which make me a woman


Yes, I am free

To learn

As much as I can

About the world and the universe

To get an education

As long as it’s just a hobby


Yes, I am free

To give birth

House it in my womb

And raise a child

As long as it’s a boy


Yes, I am free

To care about someone

Spread joy

Make love

As long as it’s somebody

My parents chose


Yes, I am free

To have a bloody mary

Smoke a cigarette

Dance the night away

As long as I am okay with

Being called a slut.


Shame on my freedom.

Things may not be as great as we’d want them to be but yet, they are changing.

Politicians will always be politicians, touting themselves with their far fetched claims of bringing change and development. But at the same time, let us not try to justify the wrong done by the political class  by believing that it’s alright to do something unethical if you can do something for the economic good of the majority. Let us also not forget the looting of the nation.

One has to be careful and judge for oneself whether the development is only for one class, who is already born with privilege, as a result of their religion, gender and economic status or it is inclusive and takes everybody along. And development does not mean just an increase in economic wealth and infrastructure but also an improvement in social conditions and living. Progress is progress only if it affects the marginalized classes.

But the change will not come because of one leader. Let us hope for an India where we are truly free.