This is so difficult to explain. I still do not get it why I always dream of old, ruins of forts, havelis , an empty road leading somewhere I do not know of and sometimes people whom I have never ever seen or heard of. After a series of such dreams I decided to write about them. Vivid as they are and most parts I do remember for days.
Yesterday was a tiring and trying day for me and I decided to take that much-needed afternoon nap. Here is what I dreamed.
Me , hubby and my two boys are in a car driving past a place called Moti Bagh ( those who know of Delhi will be able to visualize the area with govt. houses and nothing out of ordinary but he the place I associated with Moti Bagh had a series of road side shops dealing in iron stuff especially utensils, keys, huge locks and the dominating thing was iron griddle (tawah) , loads of them kept upside down, their shinning metal catching the brilliant mid day summer sun.
We are driving on this usual route and suddenly my hubby who is on the right side drive leans out of the window on the left side and picks up a huge bundle of old keys.
“That’s stealing, WTF you think you are doing. ”
I am stunned. The next moment he notices a low floor A/C red color bus following us. We take a quick turn in to an area called R.K.Puram which again is a familiar place with Govt. Flats.
The bus keep following so I open the door and start running towards the market. Strange , because I have no idea what made me jump and run. I meet a man who guides me towards a park area which is safe. ( who is this man, why does he guide me )?
I run until I reach the park gate , it is late evening by now but the light is still there. I am tired . The park is empty and I see a gate leading to the other side and cross it to face an open road , dusty, never-ending and lined with old havilis and some portions of old forts etc. Hardly a tree is visible. I do not know what’s on the other side but I can feel the sand.
It is hot, humid and dusty. I run blindly on that road. I can hear noises of jeeps and some other vehicles but see nothing.
After a mile or two I spot a better looking haveli with nice winding stairs leading up to the terrace. I take a turn and start climbing the stairs .My calf muscles ache( they really did ache, I kept rubbing my feet and could feel the heat and sweat) .
After climbing at least three-story , I come to a terrace where there is a mother dairy booth. ( mother dairy is the name of a govt milk booth in Delhi). I go inside . It has only one section where a man is sitting with all the machines, the other section where the milk is sold does not seem to exist.
The man does not seem to be bothered by my sudden appearance and on asking for a safe place he readily agrees to hide me there. I look outside from the Jharokha (a type of overhanging enclosed balcony used in Indian/Mugal architecture) and see a few open jeeps standing at the road. there are some men running around and one tall person wearing a maroon Kurta and jeans with dark round sun glasses on his eyes is giving instructions with his arms. I do not know any of them. ( Are they searching for me ) ? From where did this Mother Dairy spring up on top of the terrace ?
All this I have no idea.
My heart beat quicken and I look at the man next to me. An old man in simple white shirt and black pant. He smiles and tells me that the glasses have films that makes sure that people from outside can not see inside. Amazing I thought, technology in the midst of old ruins.
I watch the scene below and suddenly there is a sound of footsteps. I look around the tiny room for a place to hide. The man opens a small door in the back area and I enter a vault kind of thing. the door is left slightly ajar.
From that crack I see my elder son .
W TF I say . “where did he come from and how did he know I am here?”
He inquirers about me by showing a picture and weeps. I come out and hug. No words are exchanged.
We hear the roar of engines and the jeeps go back in direction from where I had come.
I thank the man and we run down . It is dark but we can still see the steps.
On the road again we start running towards the same direction from where we had come. There is no place to hide. The havelis on right side appear ghostly , on the left it is an abyss. Dark and unfriendly.
We spot a gate which seems to be freshly painted in white. I do not remember seeing it while I was coming on that road earlier in the evening. Again a question mark.
We enter the Haveli through a spiral staircase. We knock on the heavy wooden door and you won’t believe who opens the door.
Gul Panag. ( She is an Indian film actress)
What it is she doing there? Again a white shirt and blue denim). Without a word she lets us in.There is a table and chair with some papers . Maybe her working table. We run up the stairs leading to first floor. There are tourist. Some monkeys are sitting on the jharokhas with their little ones.
I look at my son. He has no answer to this. Suddenly a child throws a stone at a group of monkeys and hell breaks loose. people are running ,screaming, moneys are attacking and snatching their things. We manage to run down and meet Gul Again .She too does not seem to be perturbed by all this as if it is the usual thing
I ask her what is she doing at this God forsaken place and in reply she opens a back door.
There are children, old men, women , a family living there with a patch of kitchen garden etc. Normal household stuff. Kitchen Garden in desert area ?
She closes the door and we leave the place.
Out on the dark road we are left alone. Where have all those tourists gone ?
It is quite. very quite.
We begin to walk slowly. There is a phone ringing somewhere. It seems a familiar ring tone of a mobile phone.
I suddenly realize that it is my phone. I wake up with a start, the phone is right next to my pillow ringing loudly.
Later when I thought about this dream I noticed many similarity between this one and the last two. Same, intermingling of past and present, old Havelis, me on the road and much more. Many questions remain unanswered. I had not watched any movie of Gul or seen her Picture etc any where in past many weeks.
I wonder what it all means and why I keep having these dreams. Maybe some one can explain.