Imagine the song that a caged bird sings, imagine its crave, imagine the fall of disappointment that it takes every day, imagine its plight at the sight of the open sky, imagine its building desire to fly into the sun, with its brothers and sisters, like storming life colliding with the depths of fire, imagine, imagine the rage that inks every page of its life, imagine the helplessness of soul that’s trapped behind the strength of a cage – the only want, the only need, the only desire – liberate, what the cool breeze of the dawn whispers in its ear, the word that rhymes with the flow of it – liberate, even the whipping lash of the rain and the blind rogue wind seem inviting to it, when shall fate take a liking to it, and provide meaning to the word that it knows not – liberate. A form of life that knows nothing of life, a word that comprises of no meaning, what is fire without its flame, what are clouds without rain? Why is the caged bird singing of ringing despair, why does it wait and flutter – the cage won’t snap open on its own, it won’t break free at God’s will- for God’s will is the steep of a hill and lifetimes seem to pass as we descend down and down in wait – God’s will is your will, dear old bird, songs shall bring you pity but they shall not bring you freedom – and yonder stands that effortless cage, bars of strong iron – and here you stand chirping, all flesh, and bone but efforts in our soul. So try and try, till you persist, try and try till your efforts rain, try and try, till you flood the cage with blood and break free into the air of freedom that awaits.
And as the little bird shall thrive, our nation thrived too and after years of strive that started with blunt little tries did we sharpen our motives and pledged our soul, shed all bonds and strengthen our allegiance to our nation. One sacrifice followed other, till many followed that humble sepoy who gave birth to a rebellion more than a century ago. He perished and so did many, the name of whom we do not know – but a flame was ignited in the long tunnel of darkness, for us to see and follow – the tunnel that opened into a nation freed from the western clutches. Atrocity after atrocity, till they were regarded as atrocities, we bled our failures and celebrated our victories, we never gave in, we never gave up, we build up like a storm and crippled all that, that stood in our way. Then one day, he deboarded the ship from South Africa and with the aid of the humble intellectual that he possessed, he started his walk towards freedom, with receding hairs and a stick in his hand, wearing hand-woven fabric and an essence of a kind tongue, he marched miles and miles hither and tither, from Sabarmati towards Dandi, all over the country, casting his impact. He played a game with the cage as if life was trying to outwit death, he played long enough to bend and weaken its bars, he didn’t riot, just condemned the act of violence for he believed that from the roots of violence evil stems. So, whilst he played his role, a turbaned man with infinitesimal vigor, a brave heart who ripped apart, any force that meant to withhold him – and when caught, he smiled and sang his way to the hangman. And all those who fought, perished like the leaves of autumn, only to blossom again, fighting back the ghastly lash of the crippled old cage. Time gets the best of everyone, time gets the worse of everyone – everybody and every event seems to be suspended by that strange infinite thread of time, dangling over nothingness – waiting it to break and set them free into a future of venturous being. Our nation sought freedom, our nation found it, our nation sought freedom, our nation fought for it – but finally battered and bruised, did we rise tall over the ones who were incriminated for all the wrongdoings that we had been inflicted with. But do we weep over the past, over the debris of what that once existed? No. We fly. And we flew into the open sky free of any inhibitions, to golden prospects that awaited us.
The bird has broken free of the cage, and flies into the blue depths of the sky where all is calm, all is peaceful, all is beautiful – and the bird flies as it ages, time has healed the wounds of the past, it has been envisioned in new colors, it’s growing wiser and less tiresome and its wings have achieved whole new flights. The bird is free and freedom is immortal – one bird shall replace another, of the same kind, thoroughly alike and no one will be able to tell the difference. A free bird in the sky, a mirror image of independence – witnessed by a crowd of billions on the land – a mirror image of independence, a nation on the map of the world – a mirror image of independence – you, I and everyone else – a mirror image of independence.