It is an evening of cool winter breeze flowing through the small gaps amidst the blocks of stone and pillars that define an ancient architecture. A small leaf trying to grow out of a crumbling rock on the side walls of a building is shivering and going green. The building overlooks a courtyard, which has a chiseled fountain right in the middle and the grass on the ground is as close to a carpet as can be created by a hand made lawn mover used by strong labourers.
From the other end of the lawn, our carriers of knowledge and truth appear to walk towards the fountain. The white and brown robes flutter in the breeze, under the furtive eyes of the shaky green leaf. The brown robe speaks first, while looking at the mountains in the distant.
“So we are back here eh?”, Plato in the brown robe says.
“Looks like. Or should I use the modern day phrase Appears so?“, the white robe replies solemnly.
“Quite some time has passed since we last figured here. What do you think might have changed?”
“A lot. And the same time, nothing at all”, Socrates speaks in a fluent diction without any hesitation whatsoever.
Alright, time to ask the question, thinks Plato.
“And what does that mean?”
“Time is a concept of the mind, of the universe, of the atom. It stands still when you do nothing, it moves when you try to measure it.”
“Didn’t know it was all that simple. Anyway, so we are back here and free to do what we want, once again.”
“Freedom is nothing. And freedom is everything”, said the white one has he moved towards one of the open corridors on his right. There, hanging from the top of the flat roof, was a cage with a bright green talking parrot. Plato never quite understood what the talking parrot spoke. Probably because it always spoke Greek.
Plato, trying to one-up his master, “Isn’t freedom a great thing to have?”
“Depends”, answered Socrates who was instantly unhappy with himself for using that word which was made popular by new age MBA graduates.
“Freedom is a perception, like the rest of the world”, Socrates added to cover up for his earlier answer.
“Of course not. I mean, look at this parrot. Wouldn’t it be happy to be let free? Wouldn’t it love to have the freedom to fly above the mountains and eat fresh green yucky things crawling on those lovely trees out there?”
“What if the parrot is in love with the cage?”, Socrates asked.
A momentary pause sets in and tries to restrain time from flowing. Plato experiences that sublime enlightenment moment which he has by now got used to.
What if the parrot is in love with the cage, Plato thinks to himself.
“Ah, I get it master. If the parrot is in love with the cage, then he being free out there in the mountains eating those fresh green yucky things crawling on those lovely trees wouldn’t make him happy would it? Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Freedom is a perception. Brilliant.”
“You used the word happy in what you just said. Now happiness is a different story, for some other day.”
“Yeah. So, we are in love with this place and that is our freedom”, says Plato.
“Yeah”, says Socrates and walks off into the corridors which have had the privilege to serve this profound master of knowledge for so many years.
“Yeah. We love this place. We are free”, Plato murmured to himself as though familiarizing something to remember for long.
They both walk off into the depths of the corridor to discuss happiness, which, of course will be a different story here.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the return.
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