Wednesday, July 01, 2015


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As I descend into the darkness in that imposing elevator, I wonder where I am and how did I get there. I have absolutely no recollection of taking this elevator before, and I must have done so to get to the upper echeleons (unless I landed on the roof in a chopper, which I don't remember either). The lights in the elevator are dim & flickering; it's occupants grim & sweaty. It has no walls and it is easily 20 X 15 feet in its entirety. I have been here before! Many times over the years, but where am I? Is this a dream?

Before I can comprehend the gravity of the question, the elevator comes to a roaring halt! I am the only one to alight; right into a dark room devoid of any furniture. The place looks like it hasn't been cleaned in months. In the center of the room is a television set hooked on to a contraption that makes it swing like a pendulum. Only, the movement isn't horizontal but vertical. This throws shadows across the room & rectangles of light on the floor & the ceiling, and blinds me every time the screen faces me. 

Once I adjust my sight to the alternating darkness & light, I notice the screen. Blank, only static. There is another man in the room, on a mound of moth-eaten mattresses, staring at me with disgust as if I am responsible for the shitty cable reception. With nothing on TV, I step out.....

....into bright daylight, right into a horde of children in uniforms returning from school! Neatly lined up in single files, they are eerily soundless. I turn around to look at the building I've just come out of: "Jamuna Apartments."

Wierd! What am I doing in Dhanbad? This is one of the apartments in my old housing society. Well, now that I'm here, I might as well go meet Mom at her salon. I'm running towards her now, with no apparent hurry to get there. And yet, I'm running. While I zip across the children & familiar sights of my hometown, I calmly ask myself a question: 

How did I get here? I remember sleeping in my bed in Mumbai last night & yet, here I am, thousands of miles away in Dhanbad. I rarely come here anymore. Did I just fly over on a whim? If so, why don't I remember it???

It was a dream. Real; and yet, as convoluted & fantastic as one can be. Why am I documenting a dream in such vivid detail? What is so special about it? We dream every time we sleep, don't we? Therein lies the catch, at least for me.

I haven't dreamt in a long time, or have been unable to retain a single fragment of my dreams. It has been documented that even though we dream everytime we sleep, we retain or remember only a minuscule percentage of that. Hence, the extremely frustrating memory of having had a great idea in your dreams. If only you could remember it. 

Ergo, either my dream adventures have been cut short, or I cannot recall them. Then again, why I was excited by this particular dream was that it was set in my hometown, in the housing colony where I first lived. Shanti Bhawan was its name, and it became a recurring character in my dreams when I was drafted to a boarding school. Perhaps, in spite of years of drifting through wonderful schools & a purgatory college experience, and finally having settled in the chaos of the entertainment industry, home is never too far away from my mind. And that in the deepest, more colorful recesses of my mind, there still remains that awestruck comic book fan, whose dreams take the shape of all the imagination locked up inside him.

And oh, my parents come visiting me in Mumbai tomorrow :)