I know why caged birds sing

By Rimsha Mehmood
Singing Caged Bird
It Sung, It sang and will sing…a bird. For a world of elation and contentment but not tears. For a world of colors but not blood shed. For a world of emancipation but not slavery.

Crouching beside the bars of the vicious cage…the bird sits…we sit and view the horrendous sight. Thousands of people, innocents, die everyday, due to the audacious and insolent bombing episodes. A mother separated from a child, a brother separated from a sister, a loved one from a lover. The blame thrown off at the “so- called” terrorists, our leaders shut our mouths, forcing us to operate as puppets. Our hearts cry for integrity and justice, however our lips stay sealed. But the bird hopes, hopes for even-handedness of the precious lives of these creatures and sings.

Living in this cage of abhorrence, our eyes catch sight of further catastrophe and adversity. While a girl pays the price of being a woman in front of our eyes, we run to save our own nobility, ignorant to the agony of the poor, wretched creature. The world “help” seems to fly away to some far off part of our tender heart. Even so, the incarcerated bird articulates its empathy, and sings with its beautiful and melodious voice, the song of impartiality.

I demand an answer to the question: How can a man, a creature with a pounding heart, kill his fellow being? A brother kills his sibling for inheritance…worth a few rupees? Wouldn’t the woman who gave birth to both of them die? Die of regret of giving birth to a monster? Die of grieve and torment at the death of her child? And his society, it appreciates him for attaining his right?

Moreover, honor killing, the right to kill a woman if found in a relationship with a man, usually practiced in Islamic countries such as Jordon, are reprehensible acts. None of the religion encourages bloodshed. Then how can a father from a conservative family kill his own daughter due to a mere rumor of her being in love? But we stipulate no cry for justice. We sit and watch. But the caged bird longs to purify the world from these dreadful heartbreaks by his placid vocals, and an inspiring song.

Our leaders lock us up in the barred cage of blindness. Our eyes see beyond authenticity, disregarding the reality of this world. As our leaders play the game of acquiring THE POSITION we seem far too engrossed in false perceptions of our survival. We see no danger to our economy, society and our lives. We let our top-notch leaders play their peek a boo, while we play our hide and seek.

Someday, on your way back home, just stop and notice your surroundings. About 70% of our population dies of starvation but the high-class indulges into extravagance and lavishness, closing their eyes to these feeble people. Did your heart ever felt their pain? Maybe it did…but your other part of the heart was too engaged in satisfying your desires that it forgot to feel for others.

But all this time we hear a soft, mellow voice. Singing, singing to wake us up and not fall without resistance into the malicious doom. It inspires us to fly away from these atrocities and sing for our right.

As Tennessee Williams’ has it:

“Caged birds accept each other but flight is what they long for.”

Perhaps now I comprehend, why caged birds sing.