A cold gust of humid air hit my face. The thrust of air was somewhat dragging me sideways as I struggled clutching the iron that I was holding even harder. Somewhere deep inside me I knew that I couldn’t let go. I just couldn’t.
I opened my eyes. The landscape was fast receding. I was swaying occasionally. I looked around to find myself hanging off the door of a railway compartment. I shuddered. How the hell did I reach here, I thought. I lunged back and retreated into the compartment. I sat on the first empty seat I could find and tried to remember what had happened.
“No, you cannot fool me. I’ll recognise you at once” The man said. The other looked at him, smiled and said “Appearance is very important but so is the body language. I tell you, I change my body language and behave differently keeping my appearance very much same as now, you’ll have a hard time recognizing me”
Silly people, I thought. I couldn’t concentrate. I moved further inside the compartment.
I tried thinking even harder about the last thing I could remember doing but, I felt blank. Out of all efforts, I tried to recall what I have been doing lately. I remembered that I were to leave for my home in a couple of days. Oh yes! I might be going to Mumbai. Yes, from there I was to get on a connecting flight to Indore. But wait, I was supposed to get on a flight to Mumbai. Why the hell was I on a train?
I was utterly bewildered. If I was on the train, where was my luggage? Where was my ticket? Where was my mobile? The increase in humidity implied that we were close to Bombay, but how the hell did I manage to avoid TC throughout the journey?
I never before seemed to have lost the track of time or place so dreadfully, nor had I the problem of sleepwalking. Nothing made sense, unless it was unreal. Unless…
Of course! It was all a dream. Everything seemed explicable now. A feeling of happiness dawned over me. I was awake, in dream. Really awake. I had always wished for this to happen. I wanted to be in control of my dream from a long long time. But it so happened that the realization of it all being a dream always came to me with consciousness. Boy! How hard I tried to go back, every time, but was never able to return to the dream once I had set foot in the materialistic world. But, today was my chance. Indeed.
I wanted to observe, what happens. I wanted to see if what we see in a dream was a reflection of the thoughts in our minds, things we have learned, bits and pieces of our sub-conscious. When I think now, of what I might have observed, nothing comes to my mind. It was as if a virtual machine was running inside my mind. Naturally, the processing was bound to get slower. It seems now that the ‘write to memory’ subroutine was totally wiped out in the process.
The first thought that came to me was, what would happen if I jumped out of the train. Will my reverie be broken? It seemed like a logical explanation after what I had seen in ‘Inception’. If I die in my dream, I would wake up before actually dying. It had happened to me on previous occasions. I had returned just from the brink of death to find myself thanking the Gods for it had all been a dream. But never before I was in control of what was happening. Never before I was conscious.
But, what would happen if I didn’t wake up? What would happen if I died in the dream? Will I die in the real world? Will I go into a coma? Will I find myself in Limbo? ‘Curse these science fiction texts’, I said in my mind.
I wanted to get out of this dream. Its strange that only when we get out of a problematic situation we think if given the chance to be in it again, we would have done this and that. But when actually in it, the first instinctive response is to get out from the nearest exit door. So instinctively, I wanted to get out of this fucked up dream.
I saw a boy about my age sitting contently a few seats away. The face looked oddly familiar. I felt that he and I had something in common. We shared something. The same dream, perhaps?
I approached him and asked directly “Do you know this is all a dream?”
“I think so…” He said. He was bewildered.
“So you think we are sharing the same dream?” I asked. It sounded ridiculous.
“I don’t know” The boy said. It was clear that he couldn’t make sense of it either.
“Have you had dreams like this before?” I asked again.
“I don’t remember” he said with a sorry smile.
“Okay, here’s what you will do..” My brain was working very fast. “When you get up from the sleep, you’ll search ‘Tarang Goyal’ on Facebook and send a friend request straightaway. Don’t delay man! It’s important that you do so as soon as you get up. If I get a request, it’ll mean we really were sharing the same dream! This would be big!”
I felt a painful sensation on the right side of my neck and shoulder as if they were under pressure. I tried to rotate the hand, but couldn’t. It felt that something heavy was lying on it
I could hear faint voices in my head. The voices of my friends. Were they aboard? It didn’t make sense.
“I raise the pot to 150” Bonda said.
“Shakal se dikh raha hai, Bluff kar raha hai saala” Rafa replied.
“Esa hai to call kar, ch**** ” Bonda retorted.
Obviously, they were playing poker. Oh yes, I was in my dorm. Of course!
I opened my eyes and looked around. The lights were on. I was lying sideways on the right half of the body. Book one of “The Song of Ice and Fire” was lying on the floor by my side. I looked at the table clock. The Simpson was still making its way out the dial.
I grabbed my mobile and opened the Internet browser. I logged into Facebook. 3 Notifications, 2 Messages and 0 Friend Requests. I felt sad. I threw the phone on the table, changed sides, closed my eyes and went back to sleep, trying very hard to go back to the dream I came from!