Monday, November 24, 2014

Theme for my Dream

Last night I played with a friend's daughter and bought her some handmade toys. A few nights ago, I was at a railway station chasing a train. I had reached a few minutes too late and my non existent running skills could do nothing to salvage the situation. Some weeks before that I was at a friend's book launch, feeling important and smug in the company of erudite men and women. A few years ago I had accidentally shaven my face, and had grown a beard, but not before being chased by a full bodied python on the streets of Jaipur. These of course are the rendezvous I remember, there are many others which have faded -- or have been forgotten -- with time. 

Funny, scary, pleasant -- dreams are sometimes entertaining, sometimes intimidating. Science describes them as 'a series of thoughts, visions, or feelings that happen during sleep', it also says that one usually dreams when the brain activity is high, 'resembling that of being awake'. There has been extensive research on interpreting dreams; there are books, websites, specialists, and sometimes forklore, that help you decode your dream. In India, for example, dreaming of a snake is supposed to bring good luck, and dreaming about some body's death is supposed to add years to his life. Then there are the other common ones -- missing a train, being chased, drowning, falling, dying, marrying -- each of them having their own interpretations, often influenced by the local cultural and religious beliefs.

Dreams intrigue many, I am no exception. I have tried to look for what they could mean and how, if at all, they reflect my subconscious. I have not yet found the answer (what could have shaving my face meant, really), although I have observed a pattern. Sometimes they reflect my current state of mind; sometimes times they reveal my deepest darkest fears or desires. It is usually pleasurable to have your desires manifested in your dream, but facing your fear is not easy. Unfortunately we can not always control what we dream of unless of course we are day dreaming. 
Day dreaming is often associated with the romantics. For some it is an occupational hazard (writers, poets, philosophers), and for some the route to a life they otherwise cannot have: a job of their choice, or a lover who they can only fancy. One can sit at his office desk, saddled with work, and yet be in another place, another time, with another person. We might not be able to control the activity of our subconscious minds, but can surely chose whatever our conscious mind dreams of and make impossible possible, at least for that moment.

Sometimes such dream also come true. When I was in college, I would often dream about sitting in a plush office, working late nights, drinking coffee in a smart black mug (it somehow seemed impossible at the time). By chance -- or by design -- I was doing exactly the same a few months down the line (down to the black coffee mug). Lately I have been dreaming a lot about sitting on a large teak desk, lit by the warm glow of the lamp, in a cozy hill cottage, writing my book with a beautiful fountain pen. I only hope this dream also comes true someday.

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