Around the Web

‘I choose to be free’: On Women’s Day, a ‘brazen’ poem reminds women to live without fear or regret

‘Because freedom is not an allowance, it's mine to breathe.’


The word “brazen” derives its meaning from brass, which is the best metal for fighting fires owing to its strength and durability. It is perhaps no surprise, then, that Aishwarya Choudhary used Brazen as the title of her poem, which is an ode to women who are unapologetically and fiercely themselves.

The 24-year-old actress and part-time poet wrote her poem (video above) keeping in mind people, specifically women, who have gathered the courage to show unabashed defiance in the face of judgement or taboo.

“I also wrote this from a personal space, to be at peace with the idea of myself,” the Mumbai-based poet told “I am often misunderstood for being a little ‘too much’ or ‘too bold’ or outspoken, especially as a woman. It irked me to see how easily we are stereotyped into labels. With my poem, I want to assert that it is all right to make mistakes, to be imperfect, to not fit in, and to exist as a mess because there’s something so beautiful and graceful about a human being who is just naturally comfortable in their own skin.”

Choudhary stressed that it is equally important to talk about things that make people uncomfortable. “It’s funny,” she said, “how mentioning things like periods, sex, LGBT rights, orgasms, equal pay and representation or even having opinions is called out on or considered ‘crossing the line’. That or being trolled over something so hideously ordinary and natural like cleavage or armpit hair.”

In keeping with her personality, Choudhary’s poem is an unapologetic, defiant “no” to those trying to limit or control other people. She asserts in the poem, which was intentionally released right before Women’s Day, “I won’t apologise for [who I am], I never shall” and recites in the video:

“I choose to be free
unleashed, unbound.
I observe what I see,
I decide where to be,
I choose what I wear,
and I choose what to think.
fearlessly, without effort or worry,
I choose to be free.
Because freedom is not an allowance,
it’s mine to breathe.”

The accompanying video montages for the poem were directed by Terence Hari-Fernandes over two days in Udaipur. Hari-Fernandes told, “While improvising the shoot, we realised the director, associate director as well as the cinematographer were all men. We didn’t want an unintentional male gaze to interfere with the sincerity of our intent. To that effect, we decided to have Aishwarya take the camera in parts and go do her own thing in an effort to have her ‘take control of the male gaze’ and just be herself.”

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Bringing the glamour back to flying while keeping it affordable

The pleasure of air travel is back, courtesy of an airline in India.

Before dinner, fashionable women would retire to the powder room and suited-up men would indulge in hors d’oeuvres, surrounded by plush upholstery. A gourmet meal would soon follow, served in fine tableware. Flying, back in the day, was like an upscale party 35,000 feet up in the air.

The glamour of flying has been chronicled in Keith Lovegrove’s book titled ‘Airline: Style at 30,000 feet’. In his book, Lovegrove talks about how the mid-50s and 60s were a “fabulously glamorous time to fly in commercial airlines”. Back then, flying was reserved for the privileged and the luxuries played an important role in making travelling by air an exclusive experience.

Fast forward to the present day, where flying has become just another mode of transportation. In Mumbai, every 65 seconds an aircraft lands or takes off at the airport. The condition of today’s air travel is a cumulative result of the growth in the volume of fliers, the accessibility of buying an air ticket and the number of airlines in the industry/market.

Having relegated the romance of flying to the past, air travel today is close to hectic and borderline chaotic thanks to busy airports, packed flights with no leg room and unsatisfactory meals. With the skies dominated by frequent fliers and the experience having turned merely transactional and mundane, is it time to bid goodbye to whatever’s enjoyable in air travel?

With increased resources and better technology, one airline is proving that flying in today’s scenario can be a refreshing, enjoyable and affordable experience at the same time. Vistara offers India’s first and only experience of a three-cabin configuration. At a nominal premium, Vistara’s Premium Economy is also redefining the experience of flying with a host of features such as an exclusive cabin, 20% extra legroom, 4.5-inch recline, dedicated check-in counter and baggage delivery on priority. The best in class inflight dining offers a range of regional dishes, while also incorporating global culinary trends. Other industry-first features include Starbucks coffee on board and special assistance to solo women travellers, including preferred seating.

Vistara’s attempts to reduce the gap between affordability and luxury can also be experienced in the economy class with an above average seat pitch, complimentary selection of food and beverages and a choice of leading newspapers and publications along with an inflight magazine. Hospitality aboard Vistara is, moreover, reminiscent of Singapore Airlines’ famed service with a seal of Tata’s trust, thanks to its cabin crew trained to similarly high standards.

The era of style aboard a ‘flying boat’ seems long gone. However, airlines like Vistara are bringing back the allure of air travel. Continuing their campaign with Deepika Padukone as brand ambassador, the new video delivers a bolder and a more confident version of the same message - making flying feel new again. Watch the new Vistara video below. For your next trip, rekindle the joy of flying and book your tickets here.


This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Vistara and not by the Scroll editorial team.