06 October 2014 ~ 5 Comments

Freedom

It’s hard to imagine how a fish can survive without water, how a plant can live without sunlight, how a human can survive without air.

Actually, it is rather impossible. And I can no longer do it.

Prerna Lal - Awesome Adventures

Enroute to Beachcomber, an island in Fiji.

I went home on August 22, 2014, for the first time in 14 years, 9 months and 9 days.

Lets just have that sink in.

I went home after spending 14 years, 9 months, and 9 days in a prison tantamount to hell. I am sure people have been imprisoned for far less and in far more horrible conditions. But that doesn’t begin to change that it was akin to hell. And it was wrong.

People leave their homes for many reasons. Some seek employment opportunities abroad. Some are trying to escape persecution. Some decide that they need to experience another culture. And some are forced to do so, for no conceivable reason, and have no real choice in the matter.

There’s no point in re-hashing why my parents moved to the United States. To be honest, they tried to go to Australia and New Zealand for the longest time, but could not make it those countries. I made the most of what was a horrifying third-choice, and learned one very vital lesson: Don’t move your child to a new country when they are 15, unless they are dying. Because, it is essentially, akin to killing her or him.

But enough about the nightmare that is the United States. What I do want to talk about is the utterly marvelous, thrilling, spectacular, life-changing, journey home.

It has taken me a long time to write this because I’ve been lost for words. That doesn’t bode well for a writer or aspiring novelist. Yet, it is hard to write about magic.

Therefore, I’ll start with the photos. Now, photos cannot quite capture freedom. Nor do words. All I can say about freedom is that it is brief, it is beautiful, and everyone should be able to have a glimpse of it, if not feel it throughout their lifetimes.

Freedom at Beachcomber, Fiji

Freedom at Beachcomber, Fiji. No alterations.

The other thing about freedom–a secret that only a former prisoner can attest to–is that you don’t really feel it until it is gone.

  • Maria Cuerda

    I’m so happy for you and sorry for all you went through in the U.S. I am married to a Mexican man who has not seen his family in over 10 years. It is killing him, too. And, it’s broken my heart. So, I know what you mean. All my best to you.

    • prernalal

      I’m sorry about your hubby. Please give my best to him.
      And perhaps I can help, if you’re a U.S. citizen, to get him papers such that he can see his family?
      Let me know.

      • Maria Cuerda

        Thank you! We have hired an attorney to do that and are in the first phase of showing that our marriage is legitimate. Take care!

        • prernalal

          You’ve me and you hired someone else?! The shock and horror!
          Lol, I’m just kidding. Wish you both a lot of success in this journey.
          And let me know if I can ever be of help!

          • Maria Cuerda

            Thank you!!

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