Dreams and Dark Imaginings – Dream Diary


Hippocrates had a dream theory that the mind received images during daytime and produced images during night-time.

Phantasmagoric is how I would describe my dreams. Usually I do not take naps during daytime but a few days back sheer mental, emotional and physical fatigue made me crash while my laptop and cell buzzed ceaselessly. I was in a sort of hypnotic trance and yet fully aware of the sounds that filtered through the closed-door of my room. The afternoon sun shone brightly and filled my little room with brilliant sunshine and warmth slowly sucking me into a gateway of a private fantasy land. Unlike the known realms of fantasy this one did not have any magical stuff . Somehow I feel that many of my lucid dreams are sequential and  bizarre. It seems I am shape shifting into some another being or sometimes I see myself with people who are either part of my present life or past at places known and unknown though I may have known them at some other time.  The scary twist comes to a normal lucid dream when your subconscious mind takes control and the dream feels like reality. You can actually feel, touch ,smell what surrounds you.  The senses are sharper than normal and visual impact is much more than what it may be in wakeful state. The thin line that separates wakeful state and sleep diminishes and dissolves.

On this day I was taken to an old house. These are the kind of houses you find in old cities. Houses with many big and small rooms, a veranda, a store-room in an old style kitchen, steep staircase leading to terrace. Heavy doors  and windows which bring in more darkness than light.  Old style flat wooden beds, iron trunks and wooden furniture that makes the atmosphere slightly daunting. There is always  fragrance of age, a murky presence of cobwebs and cold feel of stone under your feet if you walk bare feet.

I was in a big room where on a large wooden bed my mother sat but she didn’t look like her. Her physique resembled that of  my paternal grandmother whom none of us have seen except in a few yellowing photographs. She wore a soft cotton sari of some pastel shade. Her hair silver streaked with black tied in a loose bun resting at the nape of her neck.

There is a small girl whom I call with my niece’s name but she looks nothing like her. A thin wispy creäture dressed in a frock and leggings.  I bring her in and tell the two domestic helps to stay in the outside veranda. These girls work for us here now in real-time. So here is some present merging with past.

The room has another door at the other end leading to a row of dingy , vacant rooms smaller in size. I take the little girl to one of the bigger and airy rooms to wash her dirty face and change her clothes,

She is unusually quiet and obedient.  Not her usual self at all.

The scene shifts from these dark interiors to one of the flats I lived in as a teenager. It shifts to my room with again two doors , one leading to the balcony and another to the lobby. The setting is almost the same as it used to be in my time but there is an overpowering presence of an old wooden wardrobe. Heavy dark wood.  stuffed with clothes and things with bundles of more clothes and saris and sheets on top. I tell mom to clean her and put fresh clothes which she does. here her real image is clearly visible.

I may be in early thirties not younger for sure.

The scene sifts back to the old room where I put her on the wooden bed with a glass of milk. A modern glass with lid and nozzle, on of those insulated ones.

I go into the bathroom among one of the rooms in the row and come out to find a drunken , disheveled man shouting his lungs out to take his daughter back. I manage to push him out but can’t find the girl.

I call for the house helps but no one is there in the murky summer afternoon pregnant with various smells rising from inside and outside of the house.

I run around in panic constantly yelling for the helpers and the child.  I find her sprawled on the floor face down at the bottom of the staircase and in the twilight filtering in from door I see the pool of blood near her head. The house help comes running down the stairs and swears to know nothing about her fall or injury. I turn her carefully . She is unconscious and cold as ice but her heart is beating. I rush inside to pick up my purse and car keys ( By the way I don’t drive) and by the time I return everyone has disappeared. There is a dark pool of red seeping slowly in the crevices of stone flooring . The door is open and swinging slowly with evening breeze. I run around in the by lane but there is no sign of  life not even the usual street dogs.

I find the younger house help who tells me that a couple has taken the child to their house in the next lane. (These people are neighbors from where I lived two years back). I rush with her to their home crossing series of old dilapidated buildings. We reach a deep blue wooden door with a huge chain lock on it. I open the lock and step into another dark corridor and set of rooms. On my right is room with curtain drawn. I can hear hushed voices inside and a dim light is visible if you look carefully through the coarse material of the curtain. The gentleman comes out and tells me that the child is still unconscious but the bleeding has stopped. Nothing else can be done for now. I argue that we should take her to the hospital and he looks at me in surprise.

” Which world are you living in girl? There is a curfew in the town since last four days. I am surprised you even managed to get here and did not get shot. The town is shut.” I just stare at him wondering  how long have I been cooped up inside the four walls of that formidable house.

As we talk we walk into an open courtyard.  His fingers find a switch on the dark side wall and the naked yellow bulb springs to life. He turns to face me and his eyes freeze with alarm and concern.

‘What happened to you? You are bleeding.”

“What? Where?” My hand automatically reaches to the side of my left temple. I feel the sticky liquid run down my fingers.  There is no pain, no sign or remembrance of an injury.

I woke up with the feel of blood still on my hand. I realized that my hand was still at the temple and it that semi awakened state I saw the deep dark liquid on my hand, that unmistakable irony smell of blood filled my nostrils. I could feel its sticky texture and how it slowly made its way down to the elbow and down to the floor as I looked at it  with astonishment. By this time I was actually awake. The  laptop battery had died and the blank screen stared at me from the side of my bed. The sun had gone down and the room was in darkness except for the tube light  peeping from under the closed-door. I got up and switched the light on. My legs a little shaky and a definite ache in the neck muscles especially to the left.  I realized I was sleeping in one awkward position for more than three hours.

Slowly the sounds had faded and the house had become silent with my mother bent over her book somewhere. I went into her room and into the bathroom. Switching on the light above the mirror I looked closely for any marks on the side of temple but found none. While washing my hands with liquid soap the same feeling of feeling blood between my fingers returned  and for a second I actually felt it was blood but it wasn’t.

It is intriguing how I am able to actually feel the wetness of blood and know the right thickness and color of it. It is also intriguing how this is repeated in dream like sequence. This is the second time  I bled in my dreams and surprisingly it never scares or upsets me. Read DEATH RED here.

Beyond The Unknown – A Short Story


I felt slowly being lifted out of my physical body. It wasn’t a hallucination. I was very much aware of the separation of my consciousness from the flesh body I was living in for all these years.  I was aware of one of my selves watching the other in moment of life. Fully conscious of what was happening to me I watched my sleeping self for some quiet moments, turned and began to walk.  Nothing unusual.

I walked on a familiar road shaded with the deepening shadows of ancient trees that lined on both sides and remembered what a beautiful shade of green they were during daytime but at night they acquired demonic shapes. There is one thing about the night; it paints everything in its own colour. All forms, colours, and shapes dissolve. It fills them with similar melancholy stillness. There are things one can see only in the darkens of night

The road beneath my bare feet was like a glacier. I was sure I heard earth’s soundless whispering drifting through the trees.  Why wasn’t I scared? Why did it seem familiar? Was it Déjà Vu? Or was I under some spell?

I remembered my physical body lying on plush bed. The slow rise and fall of my breasts and the constant humming of the ceiling fan. And then I saw him. A hound. At least I thought it was a hound. It sure was a larger than life and had deep non luminous eyes. A hell-hound?

I could see his balanced athletic body movement as it advanced towards me, slowly growing like a huge sinister black shadow.  Strange that he did not charge on seeing someone on a road – deserted, charmed, and vacant running through the middle of nowhere. It surprised me that the darkness of the night failed to camouflage him.  There was nothing ferocious or scary about him, not even the demonic red eyes that looked straight into mine… instead I instantly felt a connection, an at ease feeling. I felt his sinews strengthening mine with his growing presence. A strange sensation began to flow through my veins. He seemed friendly, maybe he was a protector, an animal spirit guide or maybe not. Maybe he had some ulterior hidden motives? As far as he did no harm, it did not matter much to me.

I felt a drop in temperature as the distance between the dog and me shortened but kept on walking. I noticed he had stopped midway blocking whatever lay in the darkness. For  fraction of a second as my attention shifted from the dog to the rustling of the leaves he was gone. As if he just melted into the night and slid into some dark hole taking it along with him. Making it all even less visible than invisible.

The scene changed dramatically. I could see the graveyard now, dilapidated, old, forgotten and vandalized. The headstones were barely visible even though the early morning light pierced through the thick foliage like spears making some sort of voodoo motifs on the earth below. Everything was transfixed except the light.

The graves themselves were covered by wild flowers and moss.  I stood there observing the scene that lay in front of me.  For a long time I kept staring at a headstone half covered with gray green moss. It was the only one intact even though it had aged with time and had a dull decaying appearance. I tried to step a little closer to inspect but found myself rooted to the ground. I just could not move.

A bunch of wild daisies fluttered furiously at the base of its left side as if desperately wanting an escape. It was bizarre because the breeze wasn’t that strong.  The flowers held my gaze. A strange feeling of some past connection swept through me. The effort and the feeling of déjà vu were now consuming me.  I felt as if my skull was about to crack open.

Suspended between a strong desire to stay there and a stronger one to return I stood there in the midst of all that sadness that had burst into various shades and textures of green.

Why was I there and whose grave was it? I noticed that most of the other grave stones were buried under wild growth or barely visible. Some seemed ravaged, as if mauled by some animal. I suddenly remembered the hound and instantly felt a presence behind me.

I turned on an impulse and floated into a dream.

The same woman who came in my dreams, my friend, confidante and lover was standing behind me, wearing only a smile. Her left breast seductively half concealed behind the long dark tresses which she had brought forward on one side. Let us call her Luna. The familiar feeling of being at the receiving end of a torrential desire crept up between my legs.

I looked at the sky, the shadow of the moon was slipping away slowly from under the clouds.  Either the time was travelling too fast today or her eyelids had closed upon the day. Day and night seemed to have merged.  Weak with longing and fatigue I sank into her arms.  The touch of Luna’s smooth skin felt like ice on my scorched skin.  I was delirious. I remember whispering strange meaningless words to her. My face resting in the curve of her neck and her strong comforting arms wrapped around me like a blanket. It was uncanny how easily I melted and morphed into her skin and became her. Our relationship was something between friendship and love, something which I had not experienced in real life. It was fluid with no spaces in-between.

Luna had been my dream companion since time’s beginning and even though I am not a lesbian many times I found comfort in her. It wasn’t just erotic sexual relationship we shared but the bond of intimate oneness was stronger than any I had experienced. We were friends. Inseparable. When this world became too much to bear I always turned to Luna or should we say Luna was always there.  I don’t how to explain my relationship with Luna.

It surprised me to find her here in the graveyard and that too naked, why was she roaming around naked? But then I had always seen her like that. No, sometimes she wore mist but today her voluptuous body shone like an August moon in tranquil night sky.

I felt a tingling sensation tickle down my spine. A cross-road demon?

My body seemed chained to the bed and yet it felt strangely relaxed.

It took a lot of effort to open my eyes.

It was then I realized I was nude under a thin sheet carelessly thrown over me.

The kaftan I had worn lay crumpled on the floor.

My throat was parched. Somehow I dragged my body to the cabinet twisted the bottle lid and took a long drink of water. Some of the icy liquid ran down my bare neck and sizzled as it ran in rivulet between my breasts. I was still hot like flaming embers.

I manoeuvred my way through the smokiness  of the room turned the door knob of the bathroom turned the shower on and stood under the cold needle sharp jets of water. Eyes closed. I could hear voices and feel the coarseness of a bathrobe on my skin.  The water had stopped running.  The heat was returning and I was drifting again.

*****

I could not have heard her last words had I not been sitting close to her. I reached out and touched her forehead. The temperature was normal.  She was fast asleep.

I picked up my recorder and stood up. My shoulders and back ached as I tried to stretch myself. It had been a long day.  I walked up to the window and looked out at the lengthening evening shadows.  It had been strangely hot and murky day.  The tarmac on the road steamed and gave out sparks as the vehicles zipped passed on it. Something moved and caught my attention behind the cluster of trees across the road. I thought I saw a large shadow leap and slip away into the forested area.

With a swift movement I turned around. The couch was empty.

 This story is based on a dream I had some months back and which returned two days back

 

A Dream Comes Haunting Again


Normally I do not sleep post lunch but for some days nights have been stuffy and restless. Unable to sleep I toss and turn in the bed, dozing on and off into slumber and wake up with a start.

Something has been tugging me at heart since long and I am trying to find solutions. Since yesterday morning I had a vague feeling, a mixed emotion of fear and longing but I kept it to myself wondering if it was just another play of the devious mind or something deeper than that, a heartache.

Today was a quiet day and tired from the pre lunch activities and lack of sleep my body began to demand rest. Unusual, because this rarely happens and as my eyes began to feel heavy I excused myself to the bedroom.

Someone noticed that I was quieter than before and asked if I was missing my boys. I think I did reply but it’s not very clear now.

Sleep took over the moment I hit the pillow. An insatiable thirst woke me from a dream. An old dream recurred after a very long time and got overlapped with a new one.  The havelies have become an integral part of my dreams and surely have some significance and some relation with my past life.

I often wonder why I see and remember the details of even the minutest part of dream.  The colors, the clothes, the streets, everything is absolutely clear.

These are the dreams that stay with me.

Its evening when I enter the fort or haveli , the door is heavily carved and the corridor is  mostly dark except for the light filtering in from the jharokhas above and the mashals  ( torches) which threw dancing shadows on the cold stone walls.

I am searching for someone but don’t see him anywhere.

A heavily dressed woman is sitting on a carved bench of stone made along the left side of the corridor. There are two young women with her who get up and move aside the moment they see me. I kneel and pay my respect to her but she is anxious to find me there. A sort of resentment is visible on her face.  I hear whispers from the young attendants. She gives a cold stare and gestures me to follow her. WE move ten paces and go up an iron staircase. I follow her without question and on top of the stairs there is another beautifully carved heavy door .She opens it for me and I walk in without question. The door is shut behind me and then I realize that it is a cell. I notice how dark and cold everything is. I have been here before. I have spent an entire lifetime here, secluded from the world.

This dream was constant many years back and came as a flash and got overlapped with a new one. Even in my subconscious mind I recognized it . Something took control and transported me to another time.

I am in the fort/ haveli garden and there is some zamindar (landlord) or stately prince, someone powerful and authoritative. He orders his men to tie my hands and take me away.

The men have covered faces and only eyes are visible. One of them holds me firmly and almost drags me inside the same corridor but from the door on the other side. It’s much more lighted. His grip is strong and hurts. (I felt the pain on my right arm even after waking up) .

The other two subordinates are told to stay behind. I recognize the touch .It is familiar but I can’t place it.  We pass two small water bodies where two women are being given some ceremonial bath. Large mature women, nude and sort of sedated are being bathed by men in a pool of water laced with white flowers. Terrified of my fate I cringe and struggle to escape but am firmly and closely held by my escort. I can feel his breathing and body heat. That too is familiar. I have experienced it before.

Something tells me he won’t harm as I am hurriedly led from the scene.  We reach the same staircase and the shadows increase. He reveals himself and before I can express myself holds me close and rushes upstairs. In the process my anklets fall.

It is surprising how I can see the gold broad old-fashioned anklets shimmering in the light of the torches.

I struggle to get away and pick them before anyone comes. They will reveal my identity. I see a young maid and tell her to pass them to me but she is too aghast and petrified to pick them.  He keeps insisting on moving away. His arms wrapped strongly around me. I long for the anklets for some reason.  My life depends on not being recognized.

We hear the sounds from a distance. Fear grips me.

I opened my eyes slowly and scanned the room unable to place where I am. The dream left me listless and sad.

Last few days have been crazy enough to run me down but the beautiful moon in the sky today lifted my heart. Sometimes a voice, few words, a feeling of warmth floods the heart and makes up for all that is lost.

The dream needs to be interpreted along with the earlier ones. I am putting it in Dream Diary category.  Hope the beautiful night brings solace and calms my yearning .