I woke up with a start. Another one of those dreams and I am gonna have a heart attack at 22, thought I. The dreams were always the same. The characters had the same characterstic penchance for violence and the setting was as dark and surreal as it had been the very first of those unending sequence of imaginations and vivid nocturnal imagery. How was it that the self same dream recurred night after night without so much as a break? Was there something, someone out there in the spirit world, was trying to tell me or was it just another barren interjections of an infertile mind that I possessed? How was I to know what was being asked of me through these dreams if at all they had any hidden agenda.
In my dreams, I find myself standing over a desolate landscape. The milieu is what you would find if you would go to Mars on a solar eclipse. The area is empty and the sound, muted. It’s a soundless dreams. It has always been like this. I am running naked amidst the craters and over unfamiliar grounds. Shaking my head, crying silently I am out there searching for the damn human presence. Days pass in and out and I am still out there looking for someone or something that can be called to have a trace of life whatsoever. I encounter skulls, bones and burnt wood. I see flashes of lightning that blinds me in its wake. I imagine in my imagination of dreams about the possibility of death through my own hands. Cowardice comes aplenty when there is none around. Tired and desperate I search for means to end my existence. I know I would be born human again, but in a different circumstance and in a different age. I have too many things I need to do before I can pledge my allegiance to the kingdom of Heaven. Before that I need to take care of my material longings and aspirations. Defeated in the seemingly easier purpose of taking my own life I carry on my fruitless journey towards the elusive figment of life.
Years run by and I am still running. In dreams, time knows no bounds. In dreams, logic knows no limits. In dreams one can see what one wishes to see. Haggard and defeated I am a picture of utter destitution. The sun never shines in my dreams. It never sets as well. It’s as if the period between the dusk and the sunset sits frozen in my imagination. The million sparkles on the expansive terrain is one of sand, shining and glimmering with an orangish hue. Boulders of rock sits asymmetrically over the wildest of vegetations. Yes, it has always been like that. Sand and vegetation complete each other with delicate tenderness. Its a post-card assimilation of two worlds so different in their own right. The expanse is surreal and hauntingly beautiful which adds to the eeriness.
I am running now. Sweating profusely and with jarring limbs I am running. I cannot stop now. Too much time has been spared for destiny. Relying heavily on one’s own fate is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I was a victim and I knew now. I would not stand and wait for what lay ahead of me now. I had done this for far too long a time. I would not sit and curse me and my setting for all the bad that has happened to me. I would not engage in self-pity and I would not float in the rivers of my own tears. I now know better.
I am at the top of a hill now. Having run for days at end I am losing faith again. Gradually and surely the fatigue and desperation is overwhelming my entire existence, whatever it is. I am out of my breath and have run out of tears. My eyes are dim and laden with sadness and sense of failure. I want to sit and cannot do so for the sheer fear of never being able to stand up again. I look askance at the bottom of the hill. Jump and you are free from this bondage. Jump and you renounce this life of destitution. Jump and you accede to destiny’s demands. Jump and you fail. I look up.
I see a light at the far end of my planet. At the very zenith of the landscape, the place which seems to be the end of the universe and the beginning of the deepest fall, one that never ends.
What is it?– I wonder.
Hope is a good thing. Maybe, the best of things. Hope can turn the fortunes of men. Hope knows no logic or strategy. It revels the internal faith mechanism and the optimist in us. It is inherent in its capability to make us see things we want to see and believe things we want to believe in. The light I saw sent torrents of hope up my heart and into my brains. I painted pictures so vivid and descriptive that it was hard for me to see anything else.
I saw life. I saw happiness. I saw emotions. I saw voice. I saw the sun shining brightly over my very own Shire.
I was running again. My limbs had the rush of adrenaline and my brains were spouting imageries and millions of them in flashes of brilliance. I was racing to see the culmination of my long and fitful struggle for the life that I had so badly wanted. The desolation did not bother me anymore. I now had seen the light. I now had a goal and a destination. I now knew my purpose in life. I now was in no 2 minds to see things in different lights. I now had become devoted to a single cause of getting myself near the source and letting it engulf me in its blinding brilliance.
The haunt was gone. So were the skulls. The vultures who had so ravenously circled over me this long were now pigeons, and hundreds of them. The shadow over the sun was now lifting and I could feel the pulse of the rhythmic winds brushing past my frame. The sweat now smelt good. It was as if the dawn in my dreams had become a reality. The smell of flowers drifted through my now-sensitive nostrils and the cool himalayan winds invigorated me to run the mile. I ran, at full speed.
Seconds turned to minutes, minutes turned to hours, hours turned to day, day turned to weeks, weeks turned to months, months turned to years. I was still running. The journey was now pleasant and refreshing. The fun lay in the journey not the destination, so I thought. Its always the journey that one remembers and not the destination. The achievement of getting near the destination is replete with the memories of the path that one took to get there. I had never been so happy. I had a purpose now and my path was strewn with elements that made my goal attainable and within my grasp, even though it still was at the same distance it had originally been.
I was now getting restless. I had been running endlessly for years at end and still the zenith seemed as far as it had always been. I was slowly losing faith. My path was now what I had always seen in my dreams. Why should I waste my energy over something that seems to be an eternity away instead of staying put and enjoying the marvels dished out to me? – I wondered.
I decided on a time frame. I would run till the day came to an end and if I am still only within a sniffing distance of my goal, I would stop. I would not let my moments of happiness go away for that one Big dream.
I would not sacrifice smaller and more frequent moments of happiness for the elusive bigger one.
It was dusk now. The day was now entering the phase I disliked the most. The after-dusk hue reminded me constantly of my earlier life and I would have done anything to let go of that memory. I was now looking forward to halting my march. I was now looking forward to the day-end. This was not what I had wanted but this would do. After-all compromises form a part of life- I had consoled myself. I was happy at what I had attained and did not want more. My goal seemed distant now and a vague memory, nothing more. I closed my eyes for a moment to soak in the vagaries and the memories of my eventful life. I stopped running.
I opened my eyes.
The trees were gone. The skulls were back. The vultures cast shadows over me again. The sun was darker and darker still. The winds were gone. The aroma was now that of stench, slime and dirt. I closed my eyes again.
I opened my eyes.
It was another one of those dreams.