When Did You Really Feel Free?
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Kite Maker, Old Delhi
When I see my kites soar in the sky, I feel I'm flying with them. That's freedom for me. I have been making kites for 30 years now; my father was in the same business," says Kashyap, who makes kites in a small dingy room in the winding lanes of Lal Kuan in Old Delhi. Every year on August 15, the gruff 37-year-old goes to the roof to spot his kites among the hundreds that dot the sky. His fingers are a mottled brown, with a thick crust of local glue forming a perpetual layer on the skin. Kashyap makes around two thousand paper kites every day. Except on August 15, when he flies high with them.
Stand-up Comedian, Pune
About five months ago, when I was performing at the India Habitat Centre in Delhi, I joked about how Doordarshan's version of the Mahabharata was like the ultimate rave party of 3,000 BC. I had people come up to me and appreciate the joke. Even though I was a little skeptical while performing it and did expect a few from the audience to get ticked off, I was pleasantly surprised at how well they took the joke. That was the time I really felt free. Earlier, there were so many implied restrictions on what you can talk about and what you must avoid during a performance, but now is the coolest time for stand-up comedy in India," says the 30-year-old.
ATM Security Guard, New Delhi
Azadi kahan mili hai mujhe? (Where have I found freedom?)," says 47-year old Kumar, a B Com graduate, who works as a security guard outside a bank ATM in Delhi. Kumar lost both his parents at a young age and was burdened with a set of responsibilities. He moved from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi but his dreams of landing a good job never came true. Now a father of three, Kumar says his job doesn't even ensure his children proper education, good food and clothes.
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