I had gone to see off my brother. It has always been difficult for me to see off people. So I stay as neutral as possible, bye passing my brain to some other thoughts. Apart from that everything was alright. Same as usual.
Slowly I began to feel heaviness in my heart , my mouth was dry. I wondered. What is happening? My eyes wandered among the passengers. Who is it?
Ah, Then I see. Over there ! in front of the door, Oh! Not again!All my dreams were standing in a queue waiting to get in. Leaning forward with their heavy back packs.
“You are all going? ” My eyes asked them. But they were busy , and happy , high fiving among themselves. eager to leave.
Please don’t go . If you all go I will be left here like an empty shell. My world would not be the same anymore.’ I wanted to say. But couldn’t figure out how humans converse.
The train was about to go. I heard the bell.World appeared like a whirlwind.
My parents, brother and his friends were somewhat surprised to see me so overwhelmed by grief . My brother came forward and hugged me. “Don’t worry, I will be back soon.”
‘But ………. but ………..my dreams. They are in the train!’ I wanted to say. I peeked over his shoulders.
The train started to move. My brother waved at us and every body waved back. I stood there dumb as if in another world. My vision got blurred with the tears that welled up in my eyes. I tried to blink them back.
When I opened my eyes the train had gained speed. And all my dreams were in it , happily sightseeing!
Who am I saying good bye to….
my little brother who has now become a young man ready to explore his life.
my family which was so closely knit with love.
my teens which passed without me ever knowing.
The emptiness and silence that immediately follows a departure filled the space . There were downcast faces every where. People had started to walk back. I was sobbing. My parents tried to console me.
Then across the platform I saw somebody smiling at me. It was the Real world with its prospects of clear vision and bright sunshine. We walked back together. “Is it always this bright ?” I asked innocently . I had never noticed.
But down the lane inside my car, All my dreams were waiting.
“Didn’t you all go? I saw all of you in the train. ” I said.
“No , we decided to stay back.”
“But it is okay. You can go if you want. I am happy to be with Real world.;
Wont you all ever go?” I asked.
“We will surely go the next time you come to see off somebody.” They replied.
“Okay, fine ; ” I said thinking of the boy who wanted to kill the turtle to host a funeral party.
My dreams moved and gave me space.
Real world who has walked along with me slowly blurred ….
“Objects in the mirror are farther than they appear.”
World appear as a never ending railway line , moving on fast in the opposite direction.
The rear view mirror will eventually put forth its hands and grab me inside like a giant black hole.
Yes, the show must go on.
I can see long chains of unknown alphabets and words dancing inside the darkness of my head .
I can feel little people marching over the sulci and gyri of my brain.
I can hear Trumpets and drums. I can hear thousands of waves roaring.
Is this what people call insanity!
And the dreams slowly took me in . We moved on…
Reaching home I opened the doors to the loneliness of my house and all of them silently followed .
‘Thanks, For you I am not alone anywhere.’ My mind whispered. ‘Stay with me forever. Don’t ever go. I don’t want clear vision.’
A note: As both my parents were working I got lots and lots of lonely time as a kid. Saturdays were always deep, dark hollows when my sister and I were forced to spend our day off at day cares, neighbors’ or whichever place my mother thought were safe for us. Sometimes our maid took us to her house or even to houses where she went to work.
The best thing we could do then was to sit quiet as if almost invisible without interfering with the hosts’ routines.
But those Saturdays taught me how to dream. They became my ‘Days for dreams’. One day I read the story of a Princess and her mango orchard. The orchard was gifted to that lonely girl by her father . It followed her everywhere she went. Without me ever knowing my dreams became my orchard . I climbed on the trees and sat on the branches. When I was hungry I ate the mangoes .Quenched my thirst from the stream that flowed in it.
Wonder what I dream about? Almost anything. This world is so beautiful. I hear conversations, see people, see words. It is a world which only I can see. When somebody call me I fold my orchard neatly and set aside.
My dreams follow me everywhere like my shadow. Whether it is good or bad , I dont know. I have learned to live with them.