Monday, September 10, 2007

Captive

Past noon and I am awaken to hunger by a construction truck thundering outside. With a momentary shake to senses, I cast a sharp look around, just in case you know. Ensuring I'm the only living being for yards around (not counting pests, plants, insects and ol' spidy), I take wing to the lunch table.

I am formally served food on a white plastic table in the family's dining room. The people here take care to supply me with atleast three variants of food a mealtime, something I call good thinking because I'm quite picky, see. On landing, I have half a second to look at what's on offer before I hear a snatch of conversation through the living room window. Three voices chinwagging, flying past my dwelling, I suppose. Three voices of my kind!

Voice 1: Excellent. I see a mango tree. That should do for lunch.
Voice 2: But we've had it just yesterday. And they're off season!
Voice 3: Notch down, sonnova dawg. We've flown nine miles breakfastless.


I struggle to hold back the natural impulse to call out that I'm at lunch, that I have sufficient food for four of us (with dessert too!) before being slapped to the reality of living in a closed space the others cannot enter. As the voices fade, I begin to reflect-- on the freedom I never had, my bargain for confinement with the breeze that never ruffled my feathers..


However, 'confinement' is a strong word to call my existence, as I'm at reasonable comfort for a domestic pet. I am allowed to rise and retire at will, fed with the choicest of food (an extensive list derived from little mistress's prolonged research, which happens to consist more of her fancies than mine.. never mind) and left to my own for most of the day, much to everybody's good. My temper tantrums are humoured upon; I am fondled more than a newborn, grab more attention from guests than mistress's prized wall piece and have never been starved or abused. Instances of me hopping on the computer keyboard, perching on assignment files and snuggling into the black helmet on a cold day are treated perfectly normal, as are my attempts to sing (although I do get an occasional reprimand when they disrupt phone calls).

Not that I have no escape. I can flee at sunrise when the good lady opens the door to collect milk, or later when the good man leaves to work or even when the good (!) girl leaves the window open while draining cups of some brown liquid. But to what would I flee, pray, when I already have a life of comfort in hand with no threat to existence, when I'm not caged or trim-winged like my counterparts and when procuring food is a mere two second flight? The only thing I have not is the company of my kind for which I'm surely not fool enough to risk the world outside, mortgaging this freedom.

I may not soar high among tree tops or have tales of adventure to brag. I may have not gone places or dated and mated but I never, too, have flown nine miles in search of an unassured meal or lived and moved in stealth dodging predating eyes. My life may be predictable, listless, yes, but it is atleast definite.

Four plunges at the rice bowl, a bite of groundnut before I grab the sweet brown chunk and fly to the window..for a solitary gaze on the mango tree.

Captive, am I?

23 comments:

Karry said...

A brilliant article. Been a long time since I saw something like this. Another idea in my mind that never saw light. But thanks to you, sis, it's seeing the light of the day.

Now that I think about it, I shouldnt hold ideas captive.. :P

Nisarg said...

This could have been simple.Don't you think so?

Akshata said...

Thats the whole point son. If I go telling simple things the way they are, why this blog? And who would give those 'simple things' a thought?

Arjun Bharadwaj said...

Nice article......
though i took about 5 minutes to figure out what you are referring to.....
;)

Govil said...

Maaan the depths you have reached and the heights attained......Incredible! Just incredible!

NIRVANA-CAFE said...

I think sometimes simple thing can be lustily romantic and subtly sexy.By the way Gabbar Singh , I am not your son!Frankly I found this article boring!Now I know you will be made at me but that's the truth.

NIRVANA-CAFE said...

To understand you Akshata on this topic I reread this article,three times.Now I admit,everytime,it increased it's charm.I was wrong I accept ,however I guess I don't know but I did not like something about this article...I don't know....but I still feel like...feel like..you understand that right...?!

Akshata said...

@ above:

Nope. I do not, at all. And no, I'm not 'made' at you (referring to the first of your comments).

honeydew-jia said...

I read your blog everyday, Aksie. Its just that I'm left speechless with every single piece of your work. The depth of your blog makes me feel inferior. Not that I mind though. :) Why else do you think I've recommended your blog on mine? ;)

Cheers woman!


P.s: It took me 3 full minutes to figure out who this post of yours referred to. :D

Akshata said...

And you're the only one who figured out 'who' it referred to, not 'what'.. Thanks. :)

NIRVANA-CAFE said...

Thanks for pointing out my mistake *mad* see my profession is not writing ,yours is ....I just like to read.I would hire people for writing.[:P ]Anyways...I guess you need to get out of your house.I am sure the day you will leave your home ,your attitude will start shivering.Ms. I am the best. [:X]

NIRVANA-CAFE said...

And read some quality books [:X]...Next time when I would go to Europe do remind me to take a lots of toilet papers with me...because Archer novel's are really nice to read in toilets.I know I am coming out as pathetic here but Ms. that's the truth.Read some quality writers.(e.g Ralph Waldo Emerson, Tagore)And write something that would really be enjoyable and something that I would remember.I am being tough here because I believe you have talent and I do care for you. It's time to become a mature writer.Shut up,Stop Whining and get a life.I want you to be a world known writer and it's a time for you to change.

Akshata said...

@ nirvana-cafe

Oh, you've finally managed to read Tagore and Emerson, the lifetime works of whom I finished reading way back in 8th grade and you brag about it like its the world. Get a life boy. You judged me by the booklist on my Orkut profile and I expect nothing better from a person who wants to 'hire' writers, or whatever it was you meant.

I'd prefer you keeping to the contents of the article while commenting on my blog. Get that?

nakul said...

Aksie... Madam engg. jasti kelsa illa... tham hatra patakke barbeku... yenri iduu (wah)n [read as wah power n} keep it up ... yarge reffered annodu bahala sulbha vaagi gottaytu i don't know why others felt it tough....

NIRVANA-CAFE said...

I got that.

Karthik R said...

I desisted on commenting again, but somehow now, I cant stop myself.

At nirvana-cafe, or whoever you are - criticize if you can do it sensibly. Otherwise, the world is a more peaceful place if you shut up. That's the only thing I have to say, after all those comments that you have posted on the blog.

Sorry, Aksie, if I am insulting a blog patron of yours, but his/her comments were a load of pure crap.

NIRVANA-CAFE said...

I accept.

Akshata said...

@ Mr. Karthik R

Amen bhai. :)
Patrons are those who spirit. The others, just linger..

Karry said...

I envy your blog, sis.

18 comments. That NEVER happens on mine. 10, atmost. Never 18.

Dr Who?!!! said...

interesting..I just wonder whether this describes Human nature to an extent..Those who live in their comfort zone and are loathe to change(negative freedom i.e freedom from interference)and the second lot- those who will take the opportunity to break free to do what they want but go bravely into unchartered territory(positive freedom)..

One more point..You have forsaken companionship for a comfortable life--In that,you are truly captive to your own fears!!!

kavya said...

A real well-written piece, but I feel a tad bit differently towards what you have written, I must say.

Firstly, I don't really know who the first person is. My best guess is a pet bird.

Secondly, freedom can never be replaced by any amount of comfort imho.Yes, it means a definite life. Yes, it means good amount of food. Yes, it means shelter. But does it mean happiness?
Defying all laws of nature, imagine yourself being brought up by a pack of dogs. Imagine that they treat you as gently as gentle could be, feed you with the choicest of foods, give you the best they can give, but will you be happy with absolutely no human interaction?

Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand. Can I say I don't want legs, just because I'll enjoy the comforts of being carried around and served everywhere? Or that I don't want eyes just because I'll be read to whenever I ask for it?Or that I want to live under someone's care forever just because I don't want to go out there into the world and make my own space? No, I can't. I would never be happy that way. Nor would you. What you need for a good nights' sleep and a content life, is very different from a perfectly content lifestyle. What you need is a sprinkle of challenge in everything you do. :)

purplestorm said...

Good one. Reminded me of Jeffery Archer's novel. Dunno which one though. The story involves a cat.

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