Free as a kite?

Nisha Shaw

One morning, my son asked me, “Daabu, who says the kite is free? Look it’s got a string.” He got busy playing with his cars, while leaving me stranded with a question that did not take long to answer. To create an analogy, I picked up living elements from my life: I always wanted to be the kite, so that was non-negotiable; my partner was the one flying it; and my mother-in-law was holding the spool. I laughed for about a couple of minutes imagining that. What do they say about self-deprecating humour? I think it gives you a perspective of your problems. I gathered myself after the laughter only to realise that my eyes were welling up. Alas! This shouldn’t have been hard-hitting.

I closed my eyes and imagined being a kite, desperate for freedom and deliberately moving towards other kites, so they could help me in my effort, but each time I was close enough, the string would be pulled back. I didn’t stop trying. However, the breeze had slowed and the arms were tired from pulling me back than from letting me fly. I had scars that were temporarily fixed, but I will be flown again. I thought to myself, “I will try harder next time, and one day I’ll be free to swing in the sky, dance with the breeze and find a place to settle where no one would be able to attach a string or shackles again!”

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