Subtle Insanity

Sakshi Sangekar

“It’s time to say hello to the subtle insanity within us”

I often wake up with horrific flashes of my dreams, my body reacts in a way that it almost experienced reality. Thrilled by this, I realized we can experience emotions as well as events without actually witnessing them in reality. Isn’t our brain a clever one? We operate our brains, but funny thing the brain is the one that fools us- our senses, perceptions, memories, events.
Initially, these thrilling dreams occupied my mind with worries and nervousness. With time I learned the inevitability of dreams hence I started accepting them as it is or as it isn’t.
At a point I enjoyed them, I told myself that it is like playing with fire except that you will never catch fire although you will be fearful of the fire. It felt like a whole new world of virtual reality unfolding right in front of my eyes.
I dived right in, trying to interpret my own dreams, trying to read the implicit event, to reach out to the repressed wishes and its underlying meanings, the ones we normally brush under the carpet. This helped me connect with my needs, desires and fantasies. More importantly, I was able to  explore my authentic self and understand it better by confronting the conflicts I had with myself and my deepest of fears buried within me such as- losing my parents, uncertainty of future and of course the sudden experience of libido as a growing woman.
The book “Interpretation of Dreams”, by Sigmund Freud gave me an insightful knowledge to interpret the flashes from my dreams. I would like to end with one of Freud’s quotes- “Dreams tell us many an unpleasant biological truth about ourselves and only very free minds can thrive on such a diet. Self-deception is a plant which withers fast in the pellucid atmosphere of dream investigation”.

Below is a description of one of my personal dreams.

Rusted wooden flooring, a tattered wooden door, a dark room. Inside, on an aged wall, a small square shaped window with torn curtains on either sides. The window opens partly as distinct harsh wind gushes and pervades in; transforming the fragile, torn curtains into a frenzied, stern mob-that protests for freedom. I step back.

A room on the left, closed. Mist of unsettling darkness hovers around - maybe it is night now. *shudders* I hear footsteps approaching nearer and nearer. I turn around with a sudden jerk in my body, There is something queer about the breeze which brush past me, as I stand still. Averting my pale, yellow face, my ears strains for recognition, eyes struggle to adjust to the dark, my heart pounds faster than ever as a manly figure with a knife in his right hand looms in front of me.
My hands own some kind of supernatural power as they take a self-defense position and tackle him on their own. While I move cluelessly under the guidance of the godly force. Thoughts race in my mind like horses on a racecourse.

I tie his wrists and legs with a rope. Where did I find this rope? Unable to escape he lies down on the chilled flooring alone. His features are more prominent now, his face seems familiar. My eyebrows furrow as I wonder who he might be.
Why did he attack me if he knows me? How can I trust my close ones? What is that makes the course of trust so rough ?
The suspense in the deep air consistently unfolds in the most mysterious tricks.

The window. I go there for help. Strange. An oddly peculiar clock tower towers upwards to reach me. Bewildered, I stare. I squint to scrutinize the clock, it’s face turns towards me, and leaves a grin . It has big googly eyes. Remember the cartoons we watched as toddlers? Exactly like that instead it’s frightening rather than heartwarming to look at now. An air of stern, deep and irredeemable gloom hangs over and pervades all as the clock strikes three. Why three?

The sky. The dark blue expanse casts a spell. Eerie. The strange breeze unnerves me I quickly go back on my feet.
On the spur of the moment, I see some familiar human bodies alive and strolling across the room. And the man still lying in the corner. I am scared. I try not to feel. Like other things in this room , my sheer existence is strange now. I walk out of the room with no apprehension. Unhesitant, impassive and lifeless. The door shuts.

A chair. A table. A bed. Single bed, short in height, hard, uncovered. Sitting on the chair, similar to one I have at home,
I dwell in rested discomfort.
It feels like my space yet seems to be unknown. Should I try to escape this? How can you escape your own creation ?

Oh my god! I scream in terror and angst as the string of thoughts break into beads. Shrieks of horror echo in the room. This can’t be it! Dad!!! I see him. I see him down on the restless bed about to lose consciousness. Chills run down my spine as my feet touch the cold, freezing, white tiles, my knees bear the weight of my trembling body as I fall on them in pain and despair. The horrors of my worst nightmares flash in front of me. He needs help! Dad!!!! I howl in pain. Nothing is audible, my throat clogs.
I hold him up with my weak arms. I’m praying and praying as my deepest of fears creeps towards me like red ants. In a spur of the moment , he shrinks into a smaller being, why am I doing this to myself? Why am I emasculating my own dad?

From the thin mist my mom enters helping us to recover like a goddess of strength and power.
Puzzled with thoughts, I am panting heavily , my eyes drenched. I escape it, the feelings, the situation, the mere fact of incidence.

Just when I think that I have escaped it all, it comes back to me in cascades of daunting episodes. My body sweating, my heart palpitating faster by every second, my mind trapped in terror of losing my dad. This has to end I tell myself. After all if I don’t take charge of this situation , who will?

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