A Quest for Freedom

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 23; the twenty-third edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for this month is FREE.

I was born free, but it was I who lost it. My mind, seeing the beauty of the world from the moment I opened my eyes, decided it wanted to explore it. I was gladly willing to follow its urges, and my life changed. I saw the world for what it was; a beautiful place, sacred to my heart, full of love and peace… and the neighborhood where my mind and I grew up, it was the most colorful of all. I could move around without worry and all my neighbors loved me. I felt my first love there. All was going right in my life till the day I saw it happen.

We were playing hide and seek, the two of us. As she searched for me, I heard their footsteps as they tread past me. They never saw me, for I was perched high on the branches of a tree, afar from any straying eyes. As I watched in horror, they took her from behind and pulled her away, her voice unheard by anyone but me. It was then I realized the world wasn’t all hunky-dory as I had imagined it to be. It was just a minute, maybe lesser… but she had lost her freedom and so had my mind. As they placed her inside a big black van and exulted in their capture, they never noticed me as I sneaked inside. The van moved away, and in that moment, I ceased being free as well.

“Where are we going? Who are these people? I’m scared”, she said as she saw me beside her.

“I don’t know. But don’t be scared. I’ll not leave you. I’m taking you with me when I can”, I reassured her.

In the silence of the van, I could hear the others too. They heard me talking, and called out for my help. But I couldn’t help them, for they were too many nether this dark roof. I stayed by her side, and kept talking to her, making her as less worried as I could. But in the end, it was in vain. Captivity scared her too much, and affected by the tremors of the vehicle, she passed on, leaving me alone. I began to cry, softer than anyone would care to know.

“She’s not the first among us to move on, dear”, said a voice, a little pity and a lot of melancholy in her low tone from the darkness, “Here in the dark, a lot of us have not survived. We weren’t meant to be captured; we were all free till they came for us. We’re too little to be seditious. We’ve been here so long, the light seems scarier too, for we don’t know if they’re going to make us free, or change our chains. You’re not chained dear, so go out when you can. The window is open, and they won’t notice you now.”

“What about you? Can I help set you free?” I called. But she said no. I couldn’t talk more, as the door bolt came undone, and before they could see me, I jumped out the window, and entered a world unlike any I’d seen before.

This world wasn’t that different from mine. But the friendly faces here were just few. When I approached them, they welcomed me, but warned me to be careful, for the eyes of the kidnappers were quite near.

“You’re not that unusual. You don’t look very valuable to their eyes, so I think you’re safe. You’re free to stay with us, but keep an eye out just to be safe”, they advised. I took their advice, and stayed close to them for awhile. I remembered following my beloved into the van, and began to doubt my turn. I hoped my other friends weren’t worried or captured too, for they loved the garden where we played hide and seek too.

My mind was still adventurous, though this place felt new. I didn’t want to hinder the life of my new found friends, so I moved away quietly while they were daydreaming under the sun. But as I moved around, I noticed that danger was at every turn. Big vans and trucks sped through not bothering about me, and I had to use my agility often to avoid being hit.

As I turned to look back at the van one last time, I saw the big man place my beloved in her final resting place. With a last tear, I turned and ran into the new world. I saw the friendly faces here in this world were sporadic. Some helped me, gave me food while others were more hardhearted. I didn’t know which path would make me free but the quest was what enticed me, and I turned as my mind would tell.

It was such a turn that got me a step closer to my heart’s desire.

The world had changed again. But it held within its walls, a friend. He was in bed, a plaster on his hand and a stigma near his eyebrow. I wondered if he had had a hard fall somewhere. His eyes were kind, and it made me comfortable with him immediately. I went up to him, and stroked his arm, making him smile when he saw me.

“Where did you come from? I haven’t seen you before. Did daddy ask you to keep me company? I’ve been bored in bed you see.”

I felt glad and poured out my worry to him, wondering if he would understand. To my surprise, he did. As I smiled in joy, I heard footsteps again, and I hid behind his cot, hoping no one but he would notice me. It was his father.

“Dad, I feel bored. My hand is quite better now. Can’t we please go to the valley cottage again? You’ve been telling how nice it looks, and I want to see it too. It’d make me feel so much better”, I heard him say.

“Okay Krish, but only if you get to bed now… If you sleep fast, we can leave early in the morning”, laughed his father as he saw the glint of joy in his son’s eyes and lovingly pushed a tuft of hair away from Krish’s eyes and left the room.

“Dad wouldn’t hurt you. You needn’t have hid, friend. But you’ll be home tomorrow”, he pledged to me, smiling as I came from behind the cot. “Won’t your friends and parents be happy? Now get some sleep too. Dream of being free again…”

As I looked at the brightly lit dark world of this stone city from the enmeshed that night, I was happy for the first time since the early morning. I would be in my home soon. And I had found a good friend here. When I fell asleep, it was with mixed feelings. For soon I would be free, but I would have lost that friend…

I sat anxiously in the back seat of Krish’s car as it sped past high rise buildings. As it sped past the grave of my beloved, I blew a kiss for the wind to take it to her soul. Soon the stone city vanished, and I saw the valley nearing. The flowers were in bloom, and the garden called out to me. The car slowed to let the cows cross the road, and Krish smiled at me. The morning breeze called to me, and I flew out the window into its cool embrace, free once again.

As I look back at that day, I realize, it was a wrong turn that got me there. Yes it was; but I was the one who had decided to take it. But perhaps, I had to see the other world to realize, my home was where I was most safe and free.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Happy Independence Day!

Also given to the Sunday Whirl.

© Leo 15/August/2011

Poetry & writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

50 thoughts on “A Quest for Freedom”

    • There isn’t anything like “just a 55er”, Enchanta 🙂 A true 55er to me can trump even a novel at times. I’ll stop by soon.. Thank you for liking my story!

  1. It’s been interesting reading your takes on the wordle, Leo. I enjoyed this story even though I’m not quite sure what to make of it. At first I thought the narrator was a child, then maybe a dog that had been caught, then, based on the picture at the end, a butterfly. Whoever/whatever he is, he tells a compelling story. 🙂

    • That’s the end motive for a writer isn’t it, Traci? To give the reader some thought, and to keep it compelling? 🙂 In the end, yes, the story is from a butterfly.. lover caught by a lepidopterist and perished on the way, befriending flowers and the like before finding a kind boy to set him free, back in the valley where he grew up.. 🙂

  2. I love it Leo. As reader it was fun to try and figure out who/what the narrator is… I reread after reading your comments about the lepodopterist and everything fell into place. Well done!

  3. I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments-we never fully appreciate what we have until it is lost to us.
    Absolutely loved your etching of the protagonist through his thoughts, innocence, fears, hopes and ultimate realisation-a very simple tale but powerful indeed with your delicate rendition.
    And, as always, am still bowled over by your blog template ! 😉

    • Thank you very much for liking the rendition, Brijender 🙂 and the template as well. Though that changes quite often 😉 Hehehe!

  4. this is beautiful…left me with a lump in my throat…
    a well crafted and wonderfully presented story.

    all the best for BAT-23! 🙂

    you can read my entry here—

  5. An enjoyable read and all was going hunky-dory 🙂 till I reached the end
    …..and then I had to rewrite the story in my mind all over again!! 🙁

    You do give us work to do Leo!! 😀

    Well you killed two birds with one stone!! 😀

    • Hehehe! Glad you enjoyed the tale very much, Nanka! 🙂 But then again, the rewriting of the imagined story isn’t necessarily a sad thing I think.

  6. Wish I was a butterfly…well, at least the butterfly could be free, but can we ever be? Your narration always brings to mind such a nostalgic feeling that it lingers for quite sometime, till we become engaged with some other activity. A simple and beautiful narration which kept the reader wondering till the climax.

    • I don’t mind being a butterfly either, Cherry 🙂 Thank you for liking the simple yet deep story. All the best for BAT!

  7. Good one… though midway through the post I suspected it to be something other that a human ( a dog or something) , I never expected it to be a butterfly ! Or, is it?

  8. You always get down to something interesting, don’t you? Breaking free can be the most satisfying feeling that one can have in life, no matter what the cause may be. All the best for BAT.

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