When Junk Food Equalled Freedom

As the great Indian nation went into mourning for a celebrated rebel leader, us folks in Maharashtra were stranded in our homes without warning or junk food. The news channels were flooded with real time footage of the funeral procedures of Balasaheb Thakerey and I was forced to exist, in the largest democracy in the world, within the confines of my home for a reason other than a national emergency or war.

By 18th night (after at least 36 hrs), I’d had enough. I went for a walk, hoping I could find a shop where I could buy Maggi noodles and some chocolate. The thought of junk food never felt so good. It was definitely the result of my own rebelliousness that peaked my need for some. No wonder people can’t stick to diets! Restrictions suck.

As I started my walk, the shops were starting to open. They too had enough. Enough loss. As the lights started to twinkle and as people slowly started bustling about, the neighborhood started to come alive. It was bedazzling to witness the growth of lights and candles along the linear road.

After ten minutes, most shops had opened with barely ten percent of their usual dazzle. At that moment, I knew how the suppressed across the centuries must have felt like and how ridiculous suppression is.

As I bought my noodles, chocolates and chips, I experienced a sense of emancipation. It felt so good to do what I wanted. For that moment, those bits of junk food symbolized freedom. Freedom to live and do as I want…

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