Visions in Dreamland II

Contd. from Visions in Dreamland

I was walking down the corridors of the 3-storey building which held our dormitories on the upper floors and a tv room on the first floor, with the dining hall or mess on the ground floor. (That’s how storeys are measured in India; the ground floor is like Floor Zero.) The corridors in the dream were dimly lit with bulbs. My dorm was on the 3rd floor. I was wearing a blue sweater, holding a book, opened to some seemingly relevant page, against myself with my arms crossed over its cover. I went down the stairs to the first/second floor and entered a hall to the right. The lighting here wasn’t bright either. The room was made of a dark wood, and so were the tables laid along its perimeter. On each there were glass cases holding artifacts which seemed ancient, or quite old, at least. Among those, there appeared to be a few insects. I leaned in to look at them more closely. They were roaches. In the next frame, two of them were missing from the glass case and my mouth went dry as I wondered where they’d gone. I absolutely detest the creatures. They very thought of them, their hairy legs, their papery wings and the exoskeleton visible on their underside disgust me and make me gag. A thought that sent chills down my spine crossed my mind and I moved the book away from me and looked down at my sweater. They were on it, on me, my stomach! One was a little bigger than the other and I frantically tried to brush them away but they wouldn’t budge!

When I narrated this dream to the professor, without hesitating, he slowly began, “There is something you need…maybe not right now…but soon…something you desperately need…and an uncle…an uncle you’re not very close to…he will come to give you that…you won’t expect it…you will be very surprised…he lives closer to you…not too far away.” As I tried to imagine what I would possibly need soon, he added, “Within 10 days he will come here…” We lived in Pune and I did have some family a few hours’ drive away: My dad’s elder brother and my mum’s sister lived in Mumbai. I knew it wouldn’t be my dad’s brother because I hadn’t seen him in many years, I wasn’t in touch with their family and we hardly talked, so I couldn’t see why in the world he would give me something I’d need. My mum’s sister’s husband, I was closer to him, but I didn’t talk to them very regularly. I was in a boarding school, you see, and outgoing calls were rarely allowed. They didn’t call me often either, because the phone lines were constantly busy; there were a lot of girls with parents and boyfriends who wanted daily updates on their hostel-life. There wasn’t a lot of time to chat about inconsequential things and so conversations with parents were also mostly brief and to the point.

About 8 days later, I was walking back to the hostel after meeting the professor. I’d told him about a dream in which someone gave me a dark, giant wooden wheel. “Someone will give you a ring made of either silver or platinum or white gold,” he said simply. That was fine with me: I don’t like yellow gold. I was walking towards the hostel, talking to my friend about today’s dream and telling her how completely broke I was, when somebody called out to me. I saw someone walking away from the hostel and towards me. It was my cousin and my dad’s brother! My jaw dropped. That, to me, was the most unexpected sight at that moment. They crossed the field between us and came to me because I was rooted to the spot in shock.

“We drove down from Mumbai,” he explained, “and stopped to meet your parents on the way.” This meant that they had taken a much longer but scenic route to this city so they could pay my parents a visit. He handed me a bag, saying, “We went to your dorm, but your strict matron told us you were in the school building.” I nodded dumbly. “Your dad told me to give you this. It’s getting colder, so it has some of your sweaters and there’s an envelope of money for you in there.” The prof.’s words came rushing back to me! After thanking the uncle and cousin profusely, I turned around and went back to the professor to tell him how correct his interpretation had been. He was pleased to hear it and I became a believer. After a bit more chatting, I headed back to the dorm, sat on my bed and opened the bag. The envelope fell out, followed by a blue sweater, the one I’d seen in the dream.