Since we have been on the subject recently, here’s proof that I’ve lost my mind: my latest dream, fresh out of the oven, as they say.
I am an English Professor at an elite post-graduation school. Classes are held in small wooden cottages with gravel paths leading up to and between them. In one such class, I am conducting my lesson. The end of lecture is marked by a gong in the distance, and my class disperses.
I leave the cottage and walk up the gravel path, past another couple of cottages where lectures are being wound up. I recall distinctly as I walk past one of the classes that I particularly dislike the professor conducting that class, for in incompetence and inherent inability to teach. I haven’t the faintest notion who that person was.
Anyway, I move on and pass through the Teachers’ Lounge, which is another, bigger cottage some way off. The next bit is weird. I remember getting into my silver sportscar and driving off for home. I particularly remember this for two reasons. One: I’ve always thought my car would be black, and no other colour. Two: I think somewhere earlier in the dream I had already established that I rode a mountain bike.
Anyway, I drive away in my really fast sportscar, on smooth and beautifully designed roads that don’t exist in Bombay. And at the end of it, I reach a multi-storey building. I don’t actually remember reaching the building, just that I was next in it. And surprisingly, instead of starting at the bottom of the building, I was on the roof, making my way downward.
Now this was one weird building, too, because, for me to get to the floor below, I’d have to go through the room on the floor I was on. And not just through, around, in a sense. Not making sense? I thought so. That’s why I decided to add this helpful visual aid, with the arrows showing my direction of motion.
Now the weirdness begins. I started from the roof, descending to the floor below. Here, I was walking between walls while following the upward and leftward arrows in the graphic alongside. But when I got to the bit marked by the downward arrow, there were doors (both open) to the dorm rooms of two of my students, a boy and a girl. The boy came at me with a thick hardbound book, wanting me to clarify some doubts. The girl sat alone in her room, listening to music and folding clothes.
On the floor below, it got weirder. As I’m descending the stairs to get onto the next floor, I find myself already in a room. It is dark, and to my left there is a bed. There is the shadowy form of someone sleeping on the bed, huddled under heavy blankets. But what struck me as odd was the stuffed toys strewn casually and profusely all over the room and even over the bed. Odder still, the certainty and calm acceptance with which I knew the fact that the figure in the bed was my cousin. Check that. My cousin brother who’s 17 years old.
Nonetheless, I tiptoe through the room, stepping over and around several soft, blue pillows and a veritable menagerie, and begin my descent to the next floor. Again, I was already inside a room. Weird, innit? And it got even weirder.
On this floor, there was a TV set in what is the top right corner of my visual aid. It was switched on to Cartoon Network, and was blaring at a ridiculously loud volume. In the diametrically opposite corner was a music system playing heavy metal. A figure lay on the bed, hands covering ears, as if attempting to block out the cacophony in the room. Instead of blankets, this person was covered by an orange Jai Maa type shawl. A closer look revealed that the person was meditating. And that it was Baba Ramdev.
That’s when I woke up, stifling a scream.