Apart from a stupid dream I had while I dozed off one Tuesday afternoon months back, about none other than Hrithik Roshan of all people, and mind you, that too when he is not even in my dream-list, my dreams have mostly been confined to those where I appear for tests to write which I am inevitably and totally unprepared. I can almost hear the brains of the dream-analysts among you readers whirring into action as facts heard and unheard, known and unknown are thrown hither and thither, fitted and then unfitted to try and come up with an inference on just why I dream of appearing for tests. I am curious to know as well, so please do not forget to drop me a line if/when you find the answer.
The rest of the dreams are all about mundane day to day activities and mostly forgotten the minute I wake up and engage in even more mundane activities of the day. There is one exception to all the dreams mentioned here, dreams with a theme that replays itself, a theme I can never forget. Water and floods is that theme.
By flood I don’t mean a river in spate or the muddy brown water flowing along its destructive way gathering whatever it can as it rushes with all speed towards the sea. I still remember a sight from long back; I must have been at the most six at the time, a mat and a pillow among other things being carried away in the swift currents of the fast flowing muddy water of the Ithikkara river. No my dreams are not such. Neither are they about waterlogged villages with people marooned on trees and rooftops waiting to be rescued and more people on boats trying to save them and all this watched by still other people on their television sets. Oh no siree, nothing tame like that.
In my dream the deluge is such that there are no people left to watch the happenings on TV. How can there be when the whole of Earth is submerged or at least most of it because I usually find myself stranded on top of the tallest of skyscrapers with water all around and lapping at my feet too! Scary, what?? The water is a dull dark bluish gray or maybe it is grayish blue. The skies are an even duller sullen gray. There I stand with the sea water all around me trying to assimilate and accept the mind-boggling depth of the body of water around me and totally stupefied by the fact. To save myself from this deluge Noah himself has to make his appearance with his Ark or Lord Vishnu has to once again don his Matsyavatar.
Among the many versions of the deluge I have dreamed of (sometimes I have company of a few people either known or unknown, at other times I am totally alone) stands out one which remains as fresh in my mind today as the day or rather the night I dreamt it. The dream begins with the four of us, the Lord and Master, the two kiddos and yours truly precariously perched on what looked like a metal beam with serrated edges which could have been a part of a railway bridge or of a high rise building. It is the darkest of nights and all around us is water, dark blue and menacing. In fact our feet are dangling in the same intimidating water. There is nothing we can do but wait, holding on to the beam, trying not to lose our grip and drown in that frighteningly high level of water. So there we sit waiting, the L & M with the two year old junior son in his lap and the eight-year old senior one seated securely between him and I.
Towards daybreak the continuous drizzle stops. When morning comes the sky is clear and bright blue in color. The water now has considerably and magically receded to its normal level and from the height we are sitting, we can see deep down among the smooth rocks, a meandering brook. The height really scares me though the countryside itself is such a delight to watch: the blue sky, the brook below, the rocks, the faunae all fresh and green and the blue sea somewhere in the far distance. But, the situation we found ourselves in was far from pretty.
We were seated on a beam which was clearly part of a bridge that connected land across a boulder filled deep gorge in which flowed the brook. One end of the bridge had been washed away and the other end was still connected to land quite a distance away. Getting to the land, which in the morning sunlight looked so inviting and beautiful after the incessant rains of the previous night, was not just a Herculean task, but an impossible one. A beam of about half a foot (less actually) with serrated edges and two small kids; how could we ever make it?? The only one who had a remote chance was the L & M. But could even he make it with the two year old in his arms?? What about the eight year old elder one?? What if he faltered on that interminable crawl to land over such a treacherous path?? And what about me, the one who was terrified of heights?? How was I going to make it??
We did not know what to do. Meanwhile, the sun was moving higher up in the sky and the baby was getting hungry and cranky. I felt the situation was hopeless. We were going to sit there and get sunstroke, die of hunger and thirst. Why not end it earlier?? Yes agreed the L & M. The next step was to choose a way. Let’s jump down with the children. We’ll hit the rocks and die an instant death, I said to him. Yes he nodded. But suddenly a thought smote me and I stopped in my tracks. I imagined us jumping and the junior son’s shirt getting entangled in the serrated edges of the beam leaving him dangling there, crying for us while we fell to our death. I couldn’t handle the thought of such a thing happening.
No I told the L & M, explaining to him what could happen. Now what?? Ok, let’s push the children first and then we jump after them, I suggested next. He agreed once again. Now another thought came to me, of the look of betrayal on the faces of our children when we pushed them. They would not know why we were doing it. They would be shocked at our treachery. Is that the feeling with which we wanted them to leave forever?? I could not bear the thought, it tormented me and once again I said no. As I sat there in turmoil unable to find a solution, I heard something. The noise was slowly getting more in volume and I just could not grasp what it was. I opened my eyes to find darkness all around and light from a little away. But it had been day!! Where was this?? I could hear voices but could not understand a thing and felt totally disoriented.
It took me more than a few minutes to orient myself, to realize it had all been a dream, that the light was from the next room and the voices I was hearing were those of the L & M and the kiddos and the blasted TV set and that we were all safe and I did not have to make any decisions about dying. I had gone to sleep after taking my dose of medicines for my malarial fever and had such a horrible dream. I couldn’t believe that for the others it was just a normal evening.The relief flooding me was something I just cannot put in words. I felt totally drained and extremely weak.
I dragged myself up and walked to the next room. They all looked at me happily on seeing me standing at the door looking at them, little knowing the terrible experience I had been through. The L & M offered me some dinner (they were all watching TV and having their dinner). I shook my head. Food?? How could I think of food jus then?? I just stood there watching them all for some time and said, “I had a dream”
“Oh you did??” said they and went back to watching TV.
I didn’t mind, I was in no mood to relate my experience. I slowly walked back to my room and lay down. And this you are not going to believe, I continued with the same dream. I dreamt that the four of us managed to crawl all the way to land from where we had been sitting on the beam (which part of the dream my brain seems to have fast-forwarded so I don’t have any memory of how exactly we managed it) and reached terra firma. Yeah that is what I remember, reaching land and stepping on it. And then the four of us walked off talking and wondering if there were other survivors of the deluge and whether we’d find them. Even if we didn’t find them it was alright. The four of us were together.
It is almost seventeen long years since I had the dream. I have since dreamt a number of times about deluges. I remember most of them for the terror the huge body of dark water and its mysterious depth induces in me. But the one I related above is one I will never forget as long as I live. I remember to this day each detail, even the color and design of the dress each of us were wearing that fateful day.
So dream analysts, what’s the verdict??