Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Interpreting Dreams

As a child I often dreamt of a family which I was part of. The people and the place were so familiar that I could have recognised them anywhere in the world.  It happened regularly for many years but by the time I was old enough to make anything out of those dreams, they stopped. I have, many times since, tried to recall, replay and remember the details, but have never succeeded.

Then there have been the usual recurring ones -- failing to make it for the board exam or not being able to complete the physics paper or missing the train or the bus. There also have been some very strange and bizarre ones too (each of them etched clearly in my mind). And then there have been people who I dream of quite often.

Dreams intrigue many, I am no exception. I have tried to look for what they could mean and how, if at all, they reflect the subconscious. I have not yet found the answer, although I have observed a pattern. Sometimes they reflect our state of mind and at other times they reveal the deepest darkest fears, desires or feelings that we often do not acknowledge while we are awake.

One such fact that I have never acknowledged is that I have let two of my very dear friends down. Though in my conscience state, I don't even think about them, somewhere deep down within me, I live with the guilt. They are the only people who I ever walked away from, for no valid reason whatsoever other than my fear -- fear of having to lose them anyway.

At different points in my life, these men were amongst my closest friends, but eventually things changed and we grew apart. Was the growing apart natural or intentional? Don't we stay with those who we want to despite the emotional, ideological and even geographical differences? Did I create all the differences only because I no longer wanted them to be around? Or was it because both of them were men? These are questions that I have ignored and brushed aside for years now but they keep coming back to me and bring with them these uncomfortable dreams.

When two people meet and realise that they have a lot in common -- interests, work, ideology, even roots, and if they share common space -- work or otherwise, they usually end up spending a lot of time together. In this time, they might not only discuss professional but also personal matters and might also become close friends, that they belong to different sexes notwithstanding. Nothing wrong with that, after all, haven't we as a society moved to a stage where being a man or a woman does not matter? Not quite, especially if even one of these two happens to have a partner.

Very rarely will you find partners who are comfortable with their spouse hanging out with another man or women, unless they are a part of a larger group, often comprising of common friends. Ironically, if two men or two women are in similar circumstances, no eyebrows are raised. They could go out pubbing, drinking and even stay over at each other's, the partners would not care. In fact they might just be happy for their respective partners. 

But if it is another man or a woman -- as the case might be, insecurities creep in, emotions come into play and hell breaks loose. Going out with him or her, talking at odd hours or even texts on off days can trigger any or all of the above.

I could see it all around me -- women getting possessive about their man hanging out with a woman friend, men getting obsessive about their woman going out with another man -- insecurity and paranoia killing marriages. Mistrust and doubt replacing love and commitment.

It could have happened to me too. Having to chose between a friend and a husband or having to clarify about the nature of relationship I shared with anyone was something I was not comfortable with. So, I let go of two wonderful people from my life. They called, I did not call back. They offered to take me out, I made excuses. They mailed, I did not reply. They left messages, I ignored. While they might have forgiven me and moved on, I have not.

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