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The Fishpond

Freedom means self-inurement. Upon entering the next country, he was deceived into the illusion that the land was vast, and its horizon stretched towards an unknown eternity. Then he saw a bird, circling about gleefully in mid-air before flitting headlong to the death embrace of its twin self. He realised, that the country had circumambient boundaries, all were composed of mirrors.

Suddenly he saw Him. Tentatively he retreated a step, ready to flee the place. A contemptuous smile appeared at the other side, silently jeering at his cowardice. So horrified by the sight he started scurrying here and there, but everywhere he turned he found no exit. Finally giving up such audacious attempt he sit nursing his wounds under a tree, and there he saw- myriads of glaring eyes, mocking.

Out of frustration, he howled. The earth responded resoundingly in low and faraway echoes. Nature chimed in with rumbling thunders. The bird, terrified, shrieked out her elegy until blood trickled down from her throat, and stained the grasses and flowers. Some time later, the world quieted down, and during this respite a booming voice spoke, full of authority yet by no means threateningly: “My son, why vexed by things that are beyond your control? There are bounds everywhere you go, meeting you face to face at the end of your every journey. You think you are free, you think you can run on a vast land ungoverned, and your unfettered heart is in the form of a pair of flapping wings. But there is always a part of you that is forever prisoned. No key can unlock that tormenting incarceration. Darkness bears down on you, relieved only by momentary starlight that filters through the cracks of the small chamber wherein you are cooped up. You envy the gods. Because they possess the absolute sovereignty of their freedoms, and yours. No man is ever free.”

Ruefully he groaned: “How I wish I were a fish. Swimming as carefree as one were allowed to be in the boundless ocean. With scarcely anything to be afraid of except the predatory sharks.”

Musingly the Father answered: “Contrary to what you supposed, the fish are not totally free either. Because all my fish live in a golden pond.”


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