I break free

Taira Dutta

I sit at the bare tip of a poverty stricken country. I am privileged, i am blessed
Yet I am trapped; aren't we all?
Where compassion exists up only until convenience does
where power lies in the hands of those with captivating clout
where we dare not break the hierarchy so carefully curated by society
I ache to be free

I dare not magnify my own struggles
because when starving little boys and helpless old women look up at me, what do they see?
everything they aspire to be. But is it really so simple?
Is life divided between cruel and kind? Black and white?
I ache to be free

Up here, education may be within our reach
But my enlightened voice seems to fall short when I try to let it boom across the masses
Is my self compelled gratitude so utterly justified? Living amongst grubby fingers who's thirst for more affluence never seems to quench?
Yet never more capacity to love, to forgive, to peacefully rage in all our glory
Is all of this assumed to just perpetually remain in endless supply?
Do I believe it?
I ache to be free

I spent a year closer to the bottom, with both narrow-minded and highly aggressive tendencies
I learnt to appreciate all I had as I desperately crawled back to the top
But I am not the innocent, untouched girl I was once was. Am I truly safe again?
Does being entitled to literacy, working jobs, elite schools and company - hone us, nurture us to be better people?
Where is it that we are in such a dire hurry to reach, even if it means stepping further on those barely on the brink of survival?
And what is it that I want?
I ache to be free

I have come to grasp the fact that I cannot alter my past
But I can use it to light a fire and ignite it with every bit of magic I possess
I will watch the bright and unyielding flames blaze, providing an ever crackling harness of strength
I will let my experiences give people solace and comfort. I will let my current victorious circumstances give them hope
I have scarcely ever cared enough about myself, and that will change
How can I expect to make a difference if I cannot ensure my mind, body, and soul are in perfect harmony? 
I strive to be free

Is it a blessing or a curse that I find myself in the middle?
Not as sheltered as my friends and family, not as crushed by the world's malicious grip as others my age
I feel my memories, both good and bad, etched into every part of me. They have built me. They are me
The shades of grey have never looked so intricate, so exquisite
Is it a blessing or a curse that I have, at such a young age, faced an abundance of both?
Only I can answer that question. Only I can decide.  And I carry them with me
My nightmares shall not cease, nor will my fears disappear. But I will still be brave, I will still be strong
I will embrace my past. I will control my present. I will control my own future and that of the lives I intend to make better
I run free

Never have I felt beautiful. My mother never failed to remind me growing up that I didn't inherit her allure
Now, even as I let her go and try to move on, the reminder remains latched onto my surroundings
And then it dawns on me. I am the one scarred. And not just physically, but eternally tainted by the ghosts of my past
I am my biggest enemy. I let my weight take charge. I let my fear dominate. I let others dictate how I should feel about myself.
But I am in control. Of every step of my journey, barring the destination. 
How misguided I have been! We have all been
Sprinting to reach the destination, when it is the sole part of our existence that isn't ours to command
I run free 

What is it that we are chasing?
More success, while we pretend not to hear echoes of violence and the never ending discrimination against those deemed inferior?
Eyes glued to the screen, as the rich hues of red blended with orange spread their largess into the grateful sky as the sun goes to rest
How beautiful is this world! 
How could I have missed it? Trapped in the bubble we so unwaveringly consider safe
The self absorbed and blissfully ignorant bubble that beholds reverence in what is material and short-lived
I choose to no longer belong within it. 
It has taken breakdowns to lead to breakthroughs, but here lies the inevitable truth. The key. My key, that symbolises my control 
I am beautiful
I am free

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