Freedom is a relative thing… I live, I laugh, I love. But total freedom – the freedom to cry, to speak my mind, to choose, to break down…

such freedom doesn't exist.

I would know. Born into the confines of the glamorous life of world leaders and politicians where one has to keep a strong and smiling front, forced to hide what one truly feels, forced to keep smiling at the cameras though reporters aim trick question after trick question, waiting for you to trip up…

I was nothing but a smiling dummy. I had no right to falter.

The freedom to cry

At twelve, I was asked about my stand on a controversial topic and I gave an answer that went against my father's. that evening was met with a slap on the face and an order not to say anything without knowing what father would have answered. Not only was my smile bound – my tongue was as well.

The freedom to speak my mind

She was a transferee; I had been here for a year. She was quiet and withdrawn; I was cheerful and an extrovert. She said she enrolled because she wanted to; I enrolled because my father said so. She was simply another girl with no riches, no fame, no money; I was the new president's son. I was like the prince; she was the masses.

I was not supposed to fall for a girl like her.

The freedom to choose

I already had someone assigned for my marriage; the daughter of my father's close friend, a computer mogul. Despite that, a few months was all it took to give me a taste of freedom, of real belonging; with the transferee, I could be as corny as I wanted, I could speak my mind and nobody would judge, something I had not known for the full 19 years of my life.

One glance, one smile at her and I saw a flash of pain in her eyes. A gun was raised, but all I could see was the blank mask her face had settled into, not quite concealing the pain there. Her eyes closed; the shot missed; I stared in shock. She dropped to her knees and it was only then that I realized that this betrayal hurt much more than it should; I had come to love her. My world came crashing down that night and I wanted to do the forbidden – I wanted to cry. But I had to keep my calm exterior. I had no one to turn to but myself.

The freedom to break down and live the way I want to.