Nightmare or remembered past….
They say people dream when they are in the theta level of sleep, that they dream of the things that happened to them, of the things that they wish had happened and of course of the horrors that are feared, will happen to them…..
Daydreams are therefore safer, better and more appreciated……we exercise strict control and censorship……and as with most humans, control is basically happiness.
Interesting lot, us humans, hey?
I used to daydream a lot as a kid……especially in algebra class……about almost everything else but algebra. My dad claims that half of his hair turned white due this great ability of mine and its consequences on my report cards. He also claims that the other half of his hair turned white due to the same reason, only caused by my younger sibling.
- Must have been hard for him, an engineer to have sons with no aptitude for mathematics; the elder needed pen and paper to sum up one and one and the younger needed a calculator!!!
In any case, daydreaming was coherently and comprehensively thrashed out of me by Noel sir’s cane and later on, with the advent of studies without maths, by the advent of actual interest in what I was studying.
Life in college was too hectic to be wasted daydreaming, and after college, it was the work to make those daydreams real that consumed the time allotted to such trivial pursuits.
After a hiatus of decade and more from the fantasy isles of my childhood, I have returned back to it and received a rather warm welcome.
I today believe that my decision to study further was one of the best I have ever taken. And coming from a rather short list of good decisions, it carries much value. For nothing else, it has given me a chance to go back to the magical isle of daydreams.
My usual commute to my place work takes about 40 minutes by bus and the same back. Now, for most people, a bus ride that long is perhaps too long and a hassle, but I treasure that time as it allows me to sink beyond the ordinary and into the extra-ordinary.
Now, daydreams are not possible on buses in India, in fact, I would go further to say that once a person is out of school, daydreams are a thing of the past in India. The pace of life is far too frantic and the sheer crowds of people crowding into your personal space actually renders almost thought impossible, much less daydreams.
Buses and public transport in the West is usually one of the cheapest and most reliable methods of getting anywhere and the best thing about such transport is the singular fact that westerners prefer not to use it. They prefer the privacy and freedom of cars and personal vehicles. Not that I am complaining.
I love the sight of a huge bus seating a comfortable 73 being inhabited by a scant 7 and sometimes even 3. I can choose my seat, stretch out my legs and plug in my headphones and loose myself in my own world of possible situations and scenes…..
List of probable scenarios –
- My return back home, without informing anyone. First to land up in Delhi and shock the shit out of my brother in Dehradun and then to arrive together back home and listen to Ma’s insane screeches of delight and surprise
- Possible extenuation of the same in relation to relations…pun intended
- A day in the future, when I am done with my loans and with a decent job waiting for me back home, packing up the debris of my foreign travels and adventures
- My possible life, hopefully comfortable, back in India without hassles and with some decent company to share my load of foreign alcohol and stories
- Possibly the day I meet someone chosen by my folks for marriage and scaring the shit out of her to convince her that I am the worst possible choice for marriage and settling down
- Maybe finding someone who’ll actually find me interesting enough to spend some time with…….though I doubt that again…..however, it’s a daydream, so what the hell……
- My own place, paid for and decorated ( I want a bedroom with three white walls and one wall done up in fire engine red with charcoal sketches of calvin and hobbes on the wall – very minimalist, with a simple double bed and a nice copper wet bar somewhere on the side – haven’t yet decided on the den)
- My own garage where I can keep my old beauty, my lovely thunderbird and hopefully a harley-davidson someday and a decent sedan car
Even more hopefully, a son or daughter to teach how to ride the monsters. Doubt the presence of a mom in such a scenario to be honest since I know that even daydreams have limits.
Ah, the list goes on……
The fact still remains, that even if daydreams don’t come true, they are always there for you, to be called up at a moment’s notice, to re-invigorate you, to keep alive the flame of hope burning in your heart.
Another interesting thing is that daydreams are possible here because no one wants to intrude on your private space. A few blogs ago, I had sneered at such need of space, but now I see the benefits of having space.
Space to breathe in, to dream in, to be yourself in, to recharge yourself within to fight the cold and real world outside….
Everyone here jacks in their headphones and forgets the world around them
(except for the little and big old ladies who seem to have some kind of a massive freemason’s society of their own and chatter in their own incomprehensible lingo and seem to recognise each and every one of their own – I sometimes have the feeling that the whole world might be run by the dotty looking granny with the wispy white hair and massive purse who sits opposite me in the morning bus run and her ilk. She does mutter to herself quite a bit, which increases the suspicion – she might be murmuring instructions on a hidden speaker!!)
My usual, blatant paranoia aside, the whole exercise is indeed a form of yogic healing maybe, because I feel one benefits from having a wild imagination and happy thoughts which leave you feeling at least a wee bit happier and better equipped to handle cantankerous professor’s and demanding bosses and give you a reason to smile.
The transition from daydreams to power naps (love that term) is also a probable consequent which also helps in the long term, though it can cause long walks back home when you miss your stop and land up back in the bus depot, about 3 miles from your destination.
They say, difficulties are grist for a writer’s mill and extra exercise is always good for anyone, so I usually just grin and make my long way back home quite often and see much of the neighbourhood than I would usually see. In fact, its all grist for my ever churning mill, supplying the ever increasing demands for places, locations, situations and characters.
Like the crazy NED (Non Educated Delinquent) with the horses teeth who very kindly woke me up at the bus station and pointed me home and the rather smart and kind looking ladies in nice cars, who refuse to give a lift to an uplifted thumb in the pouring rain.
You do meet all sorts and types and they all give you a reason to say, yeah, this is why I came here and whistle through the rain……daydreaming of the day I hit the hot and dusty airport back home, with enough funds to actually implement a micro-hydel project or maybe three back in the village, stop the bloody floods everywhere and generate enough electricity to bring about sustenance……man, wouldn’t that be something to see, a way of generating self sustaining resources, in fact, creating employment as much as giving the people something to be assured about……we might even be a success to try for more projects…..who knows, we might set up a whole network of micro-hydel projects all over Lower Assam, hell, maybe, all of Assam…..
And the feet pound the wet pavement, the wheels turn and the daydreams go on…..