Cost of Freedom

Two months now into the new home that I had recently relocated to, a job in a new city away from my family – I perceived it as a potential really, to break free from the bonds of family and society and to create a haven that I had always dreamt of; something that was defined and translated from my inner voices wishing having an abode of me a reality!!

The search was excruciatingly intense, at times the society and the buildings were too old and dingy, another times they merely had phenomenally huge price…neither comfort, nor basic amenities nor the satisfaction to have chosen a rental abode that had make you feel like coming to its havens day in and day out!!! Finally chose the current one as the location was more enticing and comparatively the house was cleaner, Spartan, old but comparatively spic and span.

Plush greeneries facing the kitchen and the hall windows, while the other balcony facing off an open road and huge ground…..this one felt open, free….in touch with nature at one side while in touch with the concrete on the other….peacocks, squirrels, birds and cuckoos, around in the plush and the greenery…

Hmmmmmm, finally a tough decision, but the choice was made. I lived here all these 2 months in wanton abandonment, enjoying my company-solitude. My balcony remained open and the windows bringing in sprightly breeze and lovely sunshine in the mornings.. Work and home and back to work, followed by a period of overnight travel in trains to and fro from this home to that home where my family is….a roller coaster ride on self journey, solitude, freedom and with this separation…love of family grew stronger…

Never ever would I have dreamt of the fact that in the minimalistics of my living, a burglary with an intent of catching some pricey catch on jewellery or money would be done… Not much interactions with neighbours or the society, I was living in my world, happy in cooking, enjoying a good flick, studying or getting my assignments done.

Hence, when my neighbor called up during office hours that someone had gotten into my house and the door had been broken, I was initially in a challenge mode; ‘how dare someone peek into my house?!” I thought, as a peculiarity of the community that I live, this could be expected, whereby out of curiosity, society may consider breaking in to check in what’s what in a single person’s house! But later as the words fell with their true meaning that ‘not snooping’ but actually ‘my house was robbed’, immediately I made a quick calculation on my potential losses as I calmly instructed my neighbor to ‘lock the broken door with her lock, and I would see her in the evening post work hours’…. my superiors though, knew their world a bit better than me…and persuaded me to rush in immediately to check on my losses if any….

I was like, “ohh, what’s lost is lost, it won’t ever come back again, so what’s the point”; I assessed ‘well, all electronic possessions that I had recently purchased in the preparation to having my family here for vacation….TV, Fridge, AC, my convertible…maybe, I can make it up to it….. But, I was ordered to go home and come back with the assessment on salvaged remains of my abode…

In the excess heat, as I rushed, a collegiate gave me a lift on his bike till my abode as I found no vehicle in the heat of the noon… As I entered, too many neighbours huddled around my house, 2-3 more houses in the society had been burgled….kids rushing towards me, ladies shouting in shocks and curiosity, my neighbour kid running and giving me company….all after me in the house…the door was broken, the lock zone wood was sawed and cut…TV, Fridge, and AC all intact, even my convertible remained on my bed, in its broken screen look but loyal, still with me by my side…I was glad…

Looked into the Almira, the lockers were rummaged through, but no money and no jewellery as I keep none of those with me…Boy, with a sigh of relief I declared ‘Man, I have just been proven by a thief that I am a pauper of the world, nothing with me that can be stolen!!!’ The teenage ladies all smiling a sigh of relief with me as they knew the struggle I had put i to get the AC working and installed…..the ladies so curious, without my permission moving from room to room after me, checking stuff as though some UFO had landed on an alien’s abode! I borrowed neighbours lock and plugged it on the outside door, in inner main door remained broken; and I left for work. FIR was lodged by the other 3 folks for me too as they too had someone snoop into their houses. Someone had planned it….those on the same floor, who were at home, were locked from outside by the thief…smart…..

As I was returning to office, it dawned to me…..the fear of losing possessions in a man can be phenomenal! However, I, no sooner heard the news, detached myself from those assets and possessions and assigned a mathematical pecuniary value to them, that I can reinstate with extra effort…..I had the power and the reserve to make up my losses….This was the materialistic possessions and financial aspects of the living, that are labelled as ‘NEED’ by us..

Similarly, what if there was something at an emotional level….what if I lose something that I assign a value more than my life, that which forms the base of my living…..would that fear been same or would that be something massive? I am sure, it had be many fold precious than I could assign a mathematical value to it….

Mankind whose life is full of suffering is mostly due to the possessions that he holds and assigns to their world. Emotional fears stuffed close to their bosoms…of losing love, whichever face or form it be, losing on ambitions, losing on success, name, fame; whatever that he is after as an inner calling of their lives and the living…what if, we did not have these fears for which we did not have possessions? In my case of the burgled house, I had no possessions that I had die for….hence the pain and the pang of this was mitigated….However, I would have suffered in case it was at an emotional level of my attachments with my kith and kin, and the people closest to my heart!

Wonder whether, as the truth dawned upon me; Lord Buddha’s key commandments ‘Detach from materialistic cravings and emotional possessions, live in the present and the now…’ I could get myself detached from the worldly passions and possessions at emotional level as well? Had I been a true pauper today, emotionally, physically and financially, that burglary would not have mattered….when one has nothing to lose, there’s nothing to fret about really, no pain expected! Question is ‘how do I grade myself as rich?’ whatever that richness is about, my books that were in the drawers that were to carry jewelry and cash, were not of much value to the robber. Richness should hence be something or a person or an asset that does not carry a monetary value; something that cannot be stolen….If something can be stolen, then it does not belong to you, it was never yours….

So what is the cost of freedom? Not money for sure…..

Regardless of being robbed not robbed, I was irate on the fact though, that my haven, my security, the walls of my abode, had been broken by an extraneous creature, the guts that the man had and the prowess to swindle a society….how dare he held the courage to invade someone’s temple, their privacy for mere clinging of the coins? How sorry was that man, how poor and meagre, how servile in his dignity of humanity… have carried such an undignified task!!!! He who invades others, neither holds self-respect for others, but lacks the core of being a human-self-respect!!!!

So what is the cost of freedom then again? Money?-Nope… is self-respect, it is self-worth….it actually goes down to the knowledge and wisdom of our ‘Individuality.’