Etched in memory

Kriti Kurele

To be honest, this essay about my dream worlds does not really have a moral. I do not get up with a renewed sense of purpose or a drive to change the course of my life. I have never dreamt of flying or falling or clouds or anything that the psychology books talk about. I have dreamt about my hair falling out but I think that was just because a lot of my hair was actually falling out.
I dream a lot about prospective movie plots, though. Horror or fantasy is the predominant genre. Once I dreamt that the whole country was infected by a virus which made one’s bones melt, leaving them to be just a pile of flesh and meat. I was driving away from the city, trying to outrun the virus with a couple of friends (I know, pretty generic, right?) and I passed an eerie looking tree. On a second look, the tree was made fully of human bodies infected with the virus; twisted and turned and piled on top of each other to mimic a tree. Then, my friends started to melt right beside me and soon I was going the same way… I could only watch in horror and that horror stayed with me for a few seconds after I woke up.
But then, I thought, ‘Huh. Cool Dream. I wonder if they have made a movie about a bone- melting virus yet. The human tree my brain cooked up still amazes me from time to time.
Then, there was one I had in college; once again about a dystopian reality. A friend of mine called in distress asking me to save her. But when I reached the location she had indicated me towards, I realised she had moved on from there. She then asked me to drive all the way to another location (The Japanese Embassy in Delhi) and so I decided to drive there. However, the road to my destination was quite narrow and flanked on both sides by a beautiful blue ocean- all in the heart of Delhi. The ocean was glimmering in the midday sun but the scene gradually turned grim as I drove further- Hundreds of tornados started arising on either side of the road. These were not any regular run of the mill ‘rotating columns of air in contact with both the surface and a cumulonimbus cloud’ either. They were bright and colourful and progressing in size as I moved along- bright red, pink, purple, green- a plethora of colours. They were leading up to a giant pitch black tornado smack in the middle of the road further ahead with a mob rioting and setting fires everywhere right underneath it. One of them threatened to kill me too if I didn’t go back. I turned around and started retreating but the weapons and flames of the mob caught up to me.
I do not know if I was supposed to be a hero or just a bystander in this story. Nonetheless, it was an exhilarating experience, even if it was only in my subconscious.
I have dreamt of having friends who were secretly mer-people and had to be sprayed with water frequently to stop their legs from transforming into fishtails and priests kidnapping my whole family and playing ring-of-roses with my little brother. Once I even found myself a secret spy in a restaurant chasing terrorists and trying to discover egg-like bombs which were carried around by waiters. Well, I failed to stop the bombs from detonating and when they did, they turned each of the servers of the restaurant into a single piece of popcorn… To this day I am amused at the randomness of events in this scenario. These are only a few of the many crazy scenarios in my unconscious mind.
In a lot of these stories, I have been the hero and protagonist which is understandable. Although, many a times I have wondered about their significance. What makes the brain manifest such a fantastical and improbable reality? What is the symbolism of the various objects and situations one experiences in that world? So far, my dreams have been quite a source of entertainment. So much so, that a few times I have actually attempted to go back to sleep if I wake up in the middle of an interesting plot. Most of my dreams do not stay with me for long. But some, like the few I have mentioned, have been etched in my long term memory.
A few times I feel like my dreams tell me that nothing is impossible to achieve, other times I think I probably watch too many fantasy movies. They are maybe a sign of my faith in myself, of escaping any entrapments I might have in my insignificant life so far; maybe to achieve the impossible. They may be a sign of my own brain telling me that my life might mean more if I let it. Or, like Freud supposedly said, “Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.” Maybe I should just write a screenplay. Whatever the significance, some of the visions in my mind are truly irreplaceable and picturesque (or gruesome, for some).

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