I saw from within the cell of my being.
Forbidden freedom came knocking one day.
I peeped out at the sudden interruption
But what was there to see?
My eyes clothed in their earthly apparel
strove in vain for a blessed glimpse –
A glimmer of light; a sparkle of silver
as dust falling onto a sunlit ledge
but all in vain; I was blind.
I tried to feel; grope on in the dark
But what was there to feel?
A clammy coldness of the heart
from reaching out in the balmy air
to feel something that was not there?!
Finally I tried to hear
the beating of my heart,
loud and clear, like a soldier’s march
trudging back to camp with footsteps weary.
I strained to hear something more
but does silence have a voice?
O freedom, if you come next time,
bring your Identity card along.
How else can one know someone
Not seen, not heard, nor felt?
Maybe, just maybe
The address to which you came was wrong.
* This poem has been written and presented by me at the Foundation of Saarc Writers and Literature Conference in New Delhi, India in March 2011. Click the link to view a video recording of the proceedings. For improvement in audio quality use headphones.
* Illustration created by the author.