With time, I see the chains.
With every passing day, they become more visible,
heavier and stronger.
I see more chains crawling up my legs,
creeping through my fingers and holding me in place.
I wonder how I never saw it.
It was so clear,
yet I mistook them to be
a garland made of flowers.
I loved to see those tags hanging around the neck of all the proud officials working for impressive companies. They seemed like garlands – tickets for prosperity. I visualized myself there. I dreamt of working (I like working, really!), earning, saving and of course spending. I thought of the smile on the faces of my family and friends and smiled. Hardly did I know that my smiles would be numbered.
One fine day, unexpectedly, my dreams came true.
I adorned my neck with the garland they gave me. I looked at my reflection and my chest swelled with pride. I was another proud official and when asked where I worked, I said the name with pride.
They showed me an impressive and sophisticated room and a place for myself. They gave me all that I would need. They gave me gifts, mementos, hopes and painted beautiful pictures. They said that I could go whenever I wanted, approach them if I needed anything. They said I was ‘free’ and garlanded me.
I had barely walked around with my garland for a few hours and then, I slowly felt the weight setting in. At first, I did not bother, but soon saw the colours fading. It did not take me long to see those chains forming and more chains crawling up. They were up until my knees and had me immobilised in no time. I tried running, I tried walking and tried quitting with no luck. They had my freedom locked up and dangled the keys up and beyond my reach.
They were watching me all the while they said I was ‘free’. They had walked me into a spacious room, locked it and synced the entrance with ‘the garland’ while they said I was ‘free’. It wasn’t about what they said. It was about what I understood. It took me a while to realize that ‘freedom’ was a word perceived in a million different ways.
Now as I sit here, bound by umpteen chains, I do not regret my decision. If not for this experience, I would have looked longingly at the so called garlands. I do not regret my decision for I do not fear deadlines anymore. I hear the deadline whooshing by, yet here I am doing what I love, banging vigorously at the keyboard, my eyes fixed on my blog, the love of my life.
As I tell and retell this story, I know that these shackles of bondage cannot hold me still. No companies can own my freedom for my blood is fresh, my body is strong and my heart is young. I’m crawling towards the exit, towards my freedom which is not far away.
With Love, A corporate slave aka proud official!
I always knew that I wasn’t built for a corporate life. I am definitely a survivor and could adapt to any kind of surroundings. If I fall, I’m confident that I’ll fall on all fours! This internship I got, is something that 90% of the individuals aspire for. But for me, it was a lesson. The number of zeroes in my salary does not matter. Out of the 24 hours in a day, I need some time to do what I love. That is my freedom. How can one be ‘free’ if one cannot do what she wants?
If this would help you, this is what I do. The question I ask – ‘Am I doing what I like at least for an hour every day ( or a day every week)?’
I will keep trying until I say a ‘Yes’ to this question. Did you ask yourself this question? What do think? 🙂