Monday, August 15, 2011

What the Hell is Freedom

It is a lazy Bangalore evening. I and my friend are on the bike, hunting for houses for rent in Indira Nagar area…

“Dude, we have been roaming since morning. Let’s go home. Will come back again tomorrow.” My friend moaned. Riding in Bangalore traffic is not an easy task.

“I have gotta go to office tomorrow, bro” I said through clenched teeth. The anger was at our lack of luck in finding a house. 

We stopped at the traffic signal. He removed his helmet and turned around to face me.

“This is no way to spend Independence Day!” He mumbled.

“Oh yeah? How do you wanna spend it then?”

“Let’s go party!!!” His eyes light up.

I laughed out loud. “That’s your idea on how to celebrate Independence Day?”

“Why? What is wrong? Let’s grab a few beers and cool off!”

“Anna Hazare is going on a fast yet again for us. Why don’t you join him if you wanna celebrate Independence Day?”

He blew a raspberry at me and wore his helmet as the signal changed to green. Cars behind us were already honking.

As we came forward, we saw a man standing on the middle of the road. Vehicles were speeding from both his sides. Some even shouted abuses at him.

As we passed him I saw tears streaming down his eyes.

“Dude…” I put a hand on my friend’s shoulder.

He braked. The vehicles behind us started shouting.

“Something is wrong, bro. Go check what happened.” My friend said.

I got off the bike and ran towards him.

It took me a few moments to realize that the man was blind.

I took him by the shoulder and brought him to the sidewalk.

“What happened?” I tried asking him in what little Kannada I knew.

He started speaking, but was sobbing uncontrollably. I could not understand what he was trying to say. His whole body was shaking. I just held him, looking around for help.

My friend parked his bike and was running towards us now. Another biker, probably younger than me, pulled up seeing the commotion. He talked to the man, and this is what he found out.

The man lost the cane that helps him walk around without the help of others. He cannot remember where he lost it or how he got to the middle of the road.

I quickly offered whatever money I had to him. He said, “Beda Sir. Paisa Beda.” (No Sir, I do not want money!)

He said that he works in a well known company and earns enough to support his family. He just wants to go home where he has a spare cane.

I quickly tried to stop a rickshaw, when the other guy said. “It is ok, I will take him home.”

We helped him climb on to the guy’s bike when the man put his hands out and touched my face. “Thank you, Sir” he said.

I could not speak. My whole body was shivering as I watched them ride off.

“God bless that guy for helping the poor man” I said.

“Wipe your tears, dude!” My friend said as we were walking back to our bike.

That’s when I realized that my eyes had filled up.

“Happy Independence Day” I said, as I wiped my face.

We did not speak to each other after that. We just rode home.

What the hell is Independence? Does it mean not having to depend on each other? So many vehicles passed the man. The only people who stopped were all below 28 years of age. And people have the guts to say that young Indians do not have any values. I say that this generation understands patriotism and human values more than you people ever did.

Jai Hind.


  1. Even I agree with this, youth of India is not dumb and they have the guts to do whatever they believe in. Proud of that boy and thanks to you for sharing such a wonderful story...

  2. Awesome job bro. You guys would have been like a God in disguise for that man. This is the kind of post i was expecting from you for long. Simple yet leaving something in our heart.

  3. @Saru: Well said and thank you for stopping by...

    @Cju: Better audience make me write better posts bro.. hehe! Thanks for being a regular reader. It is really inspiring. By the way, the friend with me was Suraag, if u remember him!!! :)

  4. damn, i miss him !! do convey my special regards da :)

  5. dude.. its awesome.. well done and well said.. :)
    afterall the action is wat most of us always (pretend to) miss..

  6. a very gud post nikhil.. hav to say atleast some humanity is left in this busy world...after reading ur post every1 will think wht they hav did...?? for nation for themselves... :)

  7. Awesome is a minor word! Being an Indian, living in US, I can very well understand the loving, caring and helping mind of Indians. I bet, you won't find it anywhere.

    Keep writing, Keep helping! Surely India will shine!

  8. @Anjali: I hope so too buddy... Thanks for takin the time to read
    @Nishana: Wow! Thank u and thanks for stopping by...

  9. This is a good common sense Blog. Very helpful to one who is just finding the resources about this part. It will certainly help educate me.

  10. Thanks a lot Gainesville!!! :) Glad u like it... :)

  11. very touching Nikhil

    and that's right what you said - that youngsters have their values in place

  12. Thank u! Glad one another person atleast feels the same!!! :)



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