Ravi Shankar Rajan is a software program director who writes on varied subjects from history, archaeology to leadership and poetry.
The Word “Freedom” Has a Surprising Meaning
The oldest known meaning of freedom comes to us from the ancient Sumerians who lived in Iraq over 4000 years ago. The Sumerians called it "ama-ar-gi" and it meant "going home to mother".
The definition originated from the condition of the slaves who finally managed to return home to their beloved mothers after long hardships and sufferings. In ancient Sumeria, it was also a legal term used frequently in all relevant documents and state decisions. It was later during the middle ages the "mother's love" definition of freedom got simply transformed to *Frija" meaning “beloved".
That said, there is no doubt that freedom is beloved to all and the word holds different meanings for different individuals. For the martyr it is freedom from tyranny, for the spiritual, it is freedom from temptation, and for the health-conscious, it is freedom from flab or sedentary lifestyle. Knowingly or even unknowingly, all of us are fighting for some freedom or the other almost every day in our lives.
The below poems portray some facets of freedom as I see it. Needless to say, they are inspired by dear Hubber Brenda Arledge's week-29 prompt "Freedom."
Freedom from Hell
Clouds of darkness engulfed me,
Gigantic brown waves creating whirlpools,
Sucking me deeper and deeper into hell.
The odious stench suffocating me,
Hot, scalding steam burning into me.
No sign of shore, devoid of life,
my legs felt useless, heavy like lead.
The viscous liquid choking my senses,
images appearing blurred, distorted,
I began vomiting bile mixed with blood.
Death began dancing before my petrified eyes,
I am doomed to die, slowly, very horribly.
Suddenly, a strange force pulled me out;
I escaped unscathed from the jaws of hell.
Under the clear, blue skies, I heard a voice,
“This damn fly spoiled my coffee.”
Freedom From Fear
He lay sprawled on my spotless bed,
lips curled into a sarcastic grin,
vile, gleaming eyes transfixed on me.
A creepy feeling suddenly ran through my body,
shivers of disgust funneled down my spine,
I felt like vomiting, legs became heavy like lead,
a bitter taste of bile filled my mouth.
Goose pimples erupted all over my body,
nausea overpowered my muddled senses.
I booed at him, screamed at him,
he refused to move even an inch.
A helpless feeling of fear engulfed my mind,
I hung my head in shameful defeat,
the brute continued to torment me.
Suddenly, the door opened.
a rosy-cheeked kid came running to me.
He asked me in a shrill, mischievous voice,
“Uncle, have you seen my toy lizard somewhere?”
© 2021 Ravi Rajan