Dreams are inexplicable animals. They have a way of affecting us, like few things can. They make sense only to us. Asleep, we are defenseless. The normal barriers that we erect around us, the rationalizations that keep us sane, collapse, come nightfall.
Being a part of civilization requires compromises on a daily basis. We play our part onstage. We laugh, sympathize, look concerned, and get angry, as per the occasion.
I sometimes get tired of all the drama. In such occasions, I read comics for a dose of reality. My personal favourite is Calvin, and his very real tiger-friend, Hobbes. I can never get enough of them. They keep it real for me. My favourite?
I could never thank Bill Watterson enough.
As a kid, I was a fan of fantasies. The Arabian Nights was televised in India back in the day, and I never missed an episode. It was the tale of Scheherazade, an unlucky woman, who had fallen prey to a lustful prince, and narrates a never-ending story that keeps the prince at bay, and infuses enough humanity into him to let her go. I’m sure the feminists frown at the story, but it never failed to captivate me.
I was a sucker for the fantastic. Who am I kidding? I still am.
I have a recurring dream. It happens in a dark cloudy day. I stand in the front of a block of apartments, thunder rumbling overhead, sky overcast, and I can see every single inhabitant. I’m privy to what they are doing inside their little cubby-holes. They have no secrets from me. I’m their lord and master. I can see them – living, breathing, loving, fighting, killing, struggling…
My dreams are a cathartic release. A way out. I remember the time I had a dream about a beautiful girl, an angel really, who’d fallen in love with me. I had a had a hard-on that lasted for a couple of hours after waking up. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why. Now I do.
My dreams tell me who I really am. They are a breeze, gently caressing me, sweeping all my troubles away. They are a storm, coming at me, telling me to stop. They are my own personal body guards. Protecting me from the sickness and the filth that I face every single day. Casting away the monotonous daily grind of my life.
Freud apparently had it all figured out. I don’t think so.
I think our dreams are deeply personal spaces. The same thing will have a vastly different impact on different individuals. A closed room can mean a different thing to me and you.
Ultimately, I honestly think that in today’s world of over-exposure, when everything is apparently out there, the only place where we can truly be ourselves is in our dreams.
Like Bill Watterson so wonderfully put it through Calvin,
“I think night time is dark so you can imagine your fears with less distraction.”
So, what do you dream about?