Contest 16: Dreams That Don’t Let Go

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Contest CLOSED. Last date for entries was Wednesday, 27th May, 2015. If you missed this, don’t worry! Contest 17 will be on its way shortly.

So just like that, we’ve stumbled onto Contest 16. We had some great writing in Contest 15. If you missed it, please head on over there and sample some of the entries. You may also want to look at the results to see who won, what they got and so on.

The topic for this time is: Dreams that don’t let go.

We all dream, both in sleep and in waking. Some dreams come to us again and again, and don’t let go for years at a time. Some dreams come true, but they get replaced by others that tease and tantalize. This process repeats itself over and over, and one could argue that the cycle breaks only with our deaths.

Here are some ideas

1. I don’t mind whether you want to make this fiction or nonfiction. If it’s fiction, you will talk about the one dream that does not let go of your character, and changes him. If it’s nonfiction, you will talk about the one dream that has taken hold of you, either now or sometime in the past.

2. Dreams could be sleeping dreams or daydreams. Daydreams tell us about the deepest conscious wishes of a person, whereas sleeping dreams (some say) give us a glimpse of a person’s subconscious. Choose what you’d rather explore in your writing.

3. The topic lends itself beautifully to poetry. It is also a great subject to write essays on. Dreams make for great mood pieces too, and also good stream-of-consciousness pieces. Choose a form that you want. There are no restrictions.

4. What I would like to see is some exploration of the dream-reality concept. Our dreams are always in some fundamental manner different from our real lives. Our real lives, sometimes, take on the characteristics of a dream. Dreams and reality are opposites, but they’re connected together by invisible threads in our minds. Can you tell me your thoughts about this through your writing?

5. A lot of speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy and horror) has been written about dreams. What would you do if you could control your dreams? What if your dreams told you about the future? What if you dream about your past life? What if dreams allowed you to talk to dead people? What if, what if. Ask the what-if question about your own dreams – or your character’s – and see where it leads you.

Form

As always, you can write in any form that you’re comfortable with, be it fiction, nonfiction, memoir or poem. The only ‘rule’ is that you use two of the prompts in the list to spin a story that the rest of us would enjoy reading. The word limit is 500 words.

How do you enter the contest?

You have to be a member of my email list to post a valid entry to the contest. If you’re not, please click on the button below to join. This is to make sure that I can contact you if and when you win. Of course, you have my word that I won’t do anything shady with your email address.

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Once you’ve joined the list, entering the contest is child’s play.

  • Leave a comment to this post with your entry.
  • If you leave two comments, they will count as two separate entries. The maximum number of entries you can submit is three. If you leave more than three comments, I won’t tell you off (I’m too nice for that) but I will only pick the first three.
  • If this is your first time here and you’re wondering how this whole thing works, please take a look at previous contests for an idea.

What’s the prize?

The best two entries of the contest will be given Amazon vouchers of 500 rupees each. It looks like this:

Amazon-gift-card
No, you can’t touch it, but you can buy things – especially books! – with it. If you live outside of India, your choices are limited to e-books because Amazon India doesn’t deliver internationally.

How is the winner selected?

Each comment will be rated on three things:

1. Clarity: We should understand what you’re trying to say. Good grammar and punctuation will help. So will a reasonable structure to your entry. Beginning, middle and end.

2. Personal Touch: We’re interested in getting to know you better. So go for depth, specificity and honesty. In narrative pieces, the deeper you take us with you into the scene, the better it is.

3. Beauty of the writing: Make your words sing. Give rich sensory detail. Describe well. Transport us to to your world. Be cogent, crisp and clear.

The above three criteria are ranked in the order of importance. So clarity is more important than personal touch. And personal touch is more important than evocative writing.

Rules/Guidelines/Suggestions

1. The closing date for comments/entries is Wednesday, the 27th of May, 2015. The winner will be announced on Saturday, the 30th of May, 2015. (Allow a day or two as ‘grace period’ in case there are too many entries.)

2. Sexually explicit or offensive material will be deleted at my discretion.

3. Avoid plagiarism. I will check for it, and remove entries that I think are lifted from elsewhere.

And finally…

Have fun! If you think this is the sort of thing your friends would enjoy, share this post with them and invite them to participate. You can share it with just a click on the sharing buttons below.

Image Courtesy: 1

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on The Perfect Phoenix and commented:
    Participate if you want to!

    *And may the odds be ever in your favour.

    Like

  2. Anantalakshmi Prasad says:

    Dreams that don’t let go
    Would you let go, leaving your assigned tasks incomplete? If you worked for the biggest enterprise in the Universe, and the orders came directly from the top-most Guy? The Guy people talk in whispers about, the Guy who has almost everything anyone can ever want?

    Neither will I.

    Yet, it is frustrating, for I am not allowed to give unnecessary hints. Free will, they say. All I know is that my tasks are incomplete as the person I am assigned to does not do her part.

    OK, done venting. From the beginning; then—

    There is a lady I am assigned to, and two of my dreams give her sleepless nights.

    The first dream: There is an examination, and she is totally unprepared. Dream repeats, with minor variations in date, time and place. At times she wakes up very quickly, thankful it is just a dream. More often than not, it is only past the panicking, heart racing, adrenaline flowing stage that reprieve comes. What astounds me is that her reaction is just the same- thankful.

    When will she wake up? And realize that something has to done about it, especially if repeating for decades? And hey, I don’t have answers. My job is to slip in, play the given version and disappear like quicksand.

    Perhaps life itself is an examination, and if you are preparing all the time, where is the time to live it?

    Just go with the flow; with what you know at that point in life? Stop procrastinating?

    Jeez, I am going way beyond my brief. Backing off–

    The Second dream: A spoiler alert. Bring out your handkerchiefs if you must—

    To put it mildly, the dream is crap. Or should I say, it is about human crap, literally. In all forms and shapes and sizes. In all quantities–

    No need to wrinkle your nose if you heeded my warning. And I don’t like it any more than you do, any more than she does.

    Again, if this dream too has been coming for decades, she should have done something by now!! Trust me, taking an anti laxative does not help. Been there, done that.

    How on earth does one reflect on the meaning of crap, when one of the definitions itself is that it has no meaning?
    I don’t know- Excess baggage to get rid of? Physically as well as metaphorically?

    Know what? This contest has given me a silver lining. That of using her mind to come up with solutions. Tweaking a bit with the free will–

    End of the day, bottom line, she has to act with what she knows. Move it from theory to practice. Practise as a verb, in present continuing tense.

    I don’t need bouquets. A job well done, is all I ask. Then I will move to the next person assigned.

    Say, do you think that person will like reading? And writing? And will she subscribe to your contests?
    Just asking

    Like

    • Hey Anantalakshmi! I think this is your first time at my contests, so welcome. Your piece reinforced to me the importance of doing versus talking. There is a wonderful book that I’ve been reading recently called The Power of Habit, where by doing things in the present continuous tense, like you mentioned, will achieve more success (materially and spiritually) than all the philosophy in the world. Do read it if you can get your hands on it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Like

  3. Dharini.B says:

    Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

    “Ram, if you go this way, you’ll get sacked in no time.”

    “Yeah, man. Get some sleep. You look god-awful. Keep the partying for the weekend.”

    I fake a smile at my winking colleagues and get off the bus. What do they know? Those little… Whoa. I’m pulled back by a pedestrian from walking right into a gory death. “Sir, don’t be so careless.”

    My eyes are drooping shut, as if weighed down by a pair of anchors.

    It’s been five days since I slept.

    The clock reads four a.m. My tongue writhes, rejecting the overload of caffeine. I sit on a disarray of scrabble tiles, out on my balcony. I’m fighting sleep. No, not sleep. Just the act of falling asleep. I would love to sleep.

    Inevitably, I watch the coffee pool around me on the cold parquet floor as my eyes lull shut.

    My eyes fly open to the emerald sun peeking over the new horizon. Zikah, my comrade, is already up and ready, woefully gazing at the green expanse of ocean overlooking the cliff. I slide my swords into the sheaths hugging my waist, and join him. Thousands of us, the last of our kind, stand peppered all over on the length of the surrounding cliff.

    “Ramone, I’ve got a feeling about today,” he says.

    Before I can open my mouth, the distant war cry goes off, and we jump off the cliff.

    The water stings my skin. I swim away from everyone, looking for cover. The ocean churns around us, trembling to the turmoil underwater.

    Is that a rock? Yes. Wading to the moss-covered rock, I squirm my body into the groove. The water seeps into my skin, right down to my tired bones.

    Suddenly, the water around me undulates.

    I can see it from the crevice in the stone. Even in the darkest corners of the ocean, its ruddy eyes cannot be mistaken. Dark, glistening scales, and silver fangs dipped in venom. It’s just a blip in the distance, but I can tell that it has already sniffed me out. Breaking away from underneath, I fling my swords to take down the Basilisk.

    The fiery flame roars to life at the surface as the snake’s severed body burns in sunlight.

    Night falls after an eternity, and the survivors slowly crawl out onto the sand. It’s going to be a long walk to the cliff. I look around for Zikah. He’s nowhere.

    I walk to our corner by myself, rest my head on a patch of dry grass, and wait for sleep to descend on my mind. Lord, I’m exhausted. I can fight no more. I cannot possibly go on this way. What happens if I die in the war? Does my existence just dissolve into nothingness? What is reality? Which one’s the dream? Who am I?

    What is it like to just sleep? What is it like to be deep in an undisturbed slumber?

    “Look at you, living your dreams,” I said, laughing. Am I? Darn it, I’m crying.

    “Do not go gentle into that good night,” I tell myself.

    My eyes seal shut to the sight of Zikah’s empty spot next to me.

    I wake up breathlessly on the balcony, to the blazing sun of a Friday morning.

    ————————–

    I really enjoyed writing this. It was pretty difficult to convey the entire idea in just 500 words. Hoping to expand and write more on this 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Dharini. I loved this piece. Not just the idea of someone oscillating between one reality and the next without sleep or rest, but also the strength of your narrative. I especially like your use of verbs. I found myself picturing the whole scene rather vividly, especially the ‘high fantasy’ one. If you do write this as a longer story and would like me to take a look at it, do send it over. Have fun! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The wind stirs and the old rocking chair creaks on, back and forth, back and forth. She watches its movement in the porch, from her perch on thw windowsill, as it exchanges a strange medley of sounds with the wooden slats in the floor. Not so long ago, Grandpa Aron sat there with her balanced on his bony knees, while he told her tales both factual and fictional.
    Her favorite had been the one where he, when pressured, had tirelessly recounted a journey by train. The train pulled out of a quaint, small village in the country and carried the passengers through verdant greens and over hills and dales in the countryside, until it crosses a bridge which spans two peaks over a deeply plunging ravine. It seemed that it gathered spees instead of slowing down and as it rattled and thundered its way across the passengers feared that the brakes had failed and they would be derailed and crash! Then just as they thought it was hopeless, the wheels squeal in protest as the pressured air beeak system kicked in and the train came to a screeching halt just outside the next station. The passengers cheered with rampant relief at their narrow escape from what they thought was sure doom.
    She loved this story not only for its detail, but also because of the way in which Grandpa Aron told it. It made her feel the pressure of the situation as the passengers emotions and worries soared, then abated as they realized tnat a possible tragedy had been averted from their lives. She felt their palpable relief- it was totally tangible!
    The rocking chair rocked on alone in the gathering dusk, urged in by the brisk beeeze which swirled the fallen leaves in the dust and left whisps and trails on the wooden porch’s planked floor.
    She slowly climbed off the windowsill and went out the front door to the chair. It stopped its movement. She climbed on and it resumed its slow rock as if it had never ceased its motion.
    She wrapped herself in Grandpa Aron’s coat and rocked. Till last night she hadn’t really realized that he had been there, on that speeding train. Now she knew better. She had seen it for herself- a small adventurous boy, who had grown increasingly terrified as his train spun out of control on those tracks. No wonder it had seemed so real when he talked about it. It was no dream for he had been there.

    Like

    • Hi Vinisha. This is very nice. A common horror story trope is to use an empty rocking chair that begins swiveling on its own at midnight. Your story reminded me of that. I liked the metaphorical significance of the dream in Grandpa Aron’s life too. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. They meet at the pier, as they always did. Yet, he knows that this is not real and but a dream, for she is long dead. Still, it feels real enough since the dream reinforces his memories in vivid scent, sound and color. He really can’t tell the difference between the dreamworld and reality until his pounding heart wakes him and his sleep break with him waking up drenched to the bone in sweat. He doesn’t remember the differences in between, just the good times: the shared laughter and love of travel and adventure. The dream theme never varies: they’re returning from yet another boat trip when he turns to say something and sees her plummeting off the rail into the depths of the sea. Someone screams for the boat to halt-he can never ascertain if it’s him. As the boat’s engines wind down and folk get busy trying to locate her, he collapses, knowing she has gone. They never even aee her body, never mind finding it. They call out the coast guards hoping, always hoping, but she’s gone.
    He absently rubs away the wet tracks on his cheeks in his sleep, as he’s done a thousand times before… before he feels a gentle hand on his fevered forehead, and then, like magic, there she is before him, allying his worst fears.. and he cries even more, for he never knows anymore what the truth is…

    Like

    • Interesting mood piece. I liked the images of the boat trip and the woman plummeting off the rail. Some more atmosphere of the dreamscape would have been better, I think. More description and less character-thoughts. I thought the balance leans way more toward the latter than necessary in this scene. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Like

  6. Ever since I first accidentally fell down that flight of stairs on the wooden staircase of my childhood home, during the summwr vacations, I have wanted to fly. Perhaps I was too young to realize how badly it may have ended, or, perhaps it was a lack of any major injury other than minor scrapes on my knee, which led me to analyze that amazing stomach-in-my-mouth feeling foe the nano, split-seconds that I was airborne. My first semi-lucid thought as I came out of shock and shook off the fright, was, “Oh my gosh! So, that’s how birds feel!”
    Needless to say, the day’s excitement must have captivated my subconscious mind enough to prompt me to dream about flight.
    And not just any kind of flight, but of me, soaring and floating along, freely, and at a pretty good pace I might add!
    I have no wings but I’m gliding, parallel to a long undulating, winding road, then, I swerve and glide off into no man’s land. I feel energized and totally awesome.
    I woke up and remembered the dream. It had me smiling. Foe I love to fly.
    I never forgot it.
    Here’s where it gets interesting for me. I’ve had the same dream thrice since then, but I can’t really remember or figure out what may have triggered it to stop by and visit with me in subsequent ages.
    Nevertheless, it always cheers me up and leaves me feeling bright and hopeful.

    Like

    • Hi Vinisha. I used to have a dream of falling down a flight of stairs as well. Apparently it’s one of those common dreams that many people have, with variations. I would be at the top of a staircase, and I would start walking down. One step. Two steps. Then I become lighter and find it difficult to land my foot on the next step. In panic, I try to jump onto the step after that to keep my balance, and I take wing. I am about to hit the ground at the bottom of the stairs, arms and legs flailing all over the place. Then I wake up. Always afraid, never happy or cheerful. Same dream as yours, almost, but we remember them for different reasons 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I will dare to dream and think beyond,

    Think beyond, the boundaries that have been drawn.

    I will aim for the stars-set my sights high,

    I will tell myself that the world is mine.

    I will give my best to scale, soar and fly,

    And believe that I’ll someday touch the sky.

    I’ll see more than what is shown,

    I’ll take risks and walk the unknown;

    I’ll listen, listen beyond what can be heard,

    Look past what is taught-and see what can be learnt.

    And a winner shall I be at every given chance

    All in the spirit of a new renaissance!

    I’ll go where there is no path and leave a trail behind,

    I’ll search for answers beyond what can I find.

    I’ll stumble, I’ll fall…

    I’ll get up just as quickly at the end of it all.

    In the dark eons, a warrior of light shall I be,

    Riding on divine horses, a knight you will see!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Smriti. This is a good poem. It has a nice positive message to it, and I found myself being swept by the words. What I would suggest as a facet of improvement in your poetry – if you choose to pursue writing poems – is to gain a decent handle of meter. At the moment, the words are good, and the rhymes are working well, but the meter is not quite there yet. I tell this to every poet that I come across – that you should make your poem ‘scan’ first before anything else. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. I was an odd-ball since childhood, preferring to spend hours sharpening a pencil or imagining a tree talking back to me, or wondering if the ant I accidentally squished would have cursed me, so that someone squishes the life out of me as well. Of course, I could not speak these thoughts out loud, because when on certain occasions I did, I was given weird looks. As if I was saying something that normal people should not speak of.

    I remember most of my dreams, because either they are dark and vivid or bear such an uncanny resemblance to real events that I wonder if I was a psychopath in the making. But what if they were not dreams at all? One morning, years ago, I recall that I saw a house, where I was seated before a television watching news. I was 12 or 13 then, when I see the reporter saying, “Yash Johar has passed away this morning. The film industry grieves this tragic loss.” I had no idea who he was or what I was seeing – except that he was an old man whose face that bore resemblance to a soft peach with white fuzz. I woke up hours later and saw my father watching the news – Yash Johar has passed away. I remember staring at the television, watching the funeral procession proceed, and a white clad Karan Johar grieving his father’s loss.

    Today I think that may be, it was just a bizarre co-incidence or that my subconscious decided to play a trick on me by picking the news bits and playing like a ticker in my head. Who knows?

    As a law student, later in life, I learned to be dry in diction as well as thoughts. After all, I was 21, old enough to distinguish between dream and reality, maybe. Dreams, I could not remember them much these days. One such day that promised rain, and sleep evaded me; at 2 AM, I was watching Youtube videos of Nick Vujicic, hoping to steal some gems of wisdom from the miracle man. I could not sleep because of the worry that had lodged itself in my mind. Rs. 500/- were missing from the rent money I had collected from my room mates to give to the landlord, since the others were out of station. After overhauling the entire house at least thrice, I had decided to add the amount from my wallet. Shuddering at the loss of money, I was staring at the screen, when I heard Nick Vujicic say, “If you never give up on the Lord, he will never give up on you.” This statement had no relevance to my financial status, but something in my head asked me to turn around, and I did.

    The 500/- note lay flat on the floor behind me.

    Now the sleep was truly gone. Only my mother knows of this story. She says maybe the money was there all the time, and I might have missed it. Maybe she is right. Maybe she is not. Who knows?

    Dreams to me are images from the reality that is obscured from our naked eyes. They have helped me write, and have shown me people in flesh and blood, whom I have never met in reality. I see them talking to me, their behavioural quirks evident in their movements. I have woken up recalling every detail and confirmed in reality how they are. Maybe once again, my subconscious is smarter than I am. Who knows?

    http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/about-nick/bio/ (Read about Nick Vujicic here)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Pradeeta! Lucky for you that you remember your dreams with such clarity. I dream rarely, and I don’t remember many of my dreams. When I sleep, I sleep like a log, out until the next morning. So I guess my conscious mind is smarter than my subconscious? Who knows? 🙂

      Like

  9. Manjula Moorthy says:

    The Spirit of the beloved.

    Maya always loved prithvi from the core of her heart…Prithvi was a free spirit..No one could stop him.He loved falling in love with every other girl he met, but Maya truly loved Prithvi.Baaku as he was known in his friend circle was everyone’s favourite.Destiny had its own turn of events..Maya broke down when her worst nightmare came true..She always had a nightmare that one fine day she would wake up and he wud be no more..It was one unfaithful Saturday morning, 5.00 AM at the clock..Her friend Amra texted her ” Baaku no more. Passed Away Friday Afternoon. He drowned. ” What??? How could that happen.. He was an ace swimmer, the best..She wished she was hallucinating, wish she could turn back time and change something.. To verify herself she checked Facebook and found everyone posting RIP Baaku…we miss you.. On her bed, she herself paid a funeral to him,crying like a mad girl..Calling his name.Hugging her pillow tightly thinking it to be him.’ I should have met you that time Baku’.
    She couldn’t go to office, nor could she stay at home..She was walking on the streets,vlost in her own memories..Suddenly she felt a pat on her shoulder..She found no one..Again a hit in her forehead.. There still was no one but it dent take her time to realise who it was..No one touched her this way..It was him..She got scared..She called up Ani..Told her about Baaku..cried…but also mentioned about the sensation she felt..’You have been thinking too much about him lately yaar, Please go home and give me a ring.I don’t want you to roam around like this’.
    It was late night. She couldn’t sleep. She could sense it..something was around her, trying to talk to her, tel her something,but she coudnt understand it. They say spirits always find a medium to communicate with us, it was true in case of Maya..That night she had a dream. The green grass, the sunny day, and the beautiful field Maya always loved..she was walking on it happily..So peaceful.. So calm..Over a distant place she saw the tree she always used to swing in..every thing was the same..Beside it stood someone facing his behind..he seemed familiar.when she reached nearer he turned..those same eyes, white shirt.It was Baaku. He smiled so did Maya..She could feel the Magic al over again.no one spoke.They kept looking at each other.suddenly Baaku started walking…as if trying to tel her something.. She followed..he walked till he reached his house..nd turned again nd touched the wall of his house near the back door and BOOM..He vanished..Maya woke up from her sleep.
    Next morning she dent waste anytime.. She immediately paid a visit to his place..met his mother and father who lost their only son..they felt happy..Before leaving she went to the place where Baaku took her in her dreams..She touched those walls, as if trying to feel the wall which once had baaku’s touch in it..Suddenly, that moved..She got scared, but inquisitive as she is, she touched it again..the brick moved and there was a secret hiding place..It had 3 gifts..she took it out and opened it..there were one photo frame of Baaku with his parents, second a photo book of Baaku from his childhood till adulthood with his parents, third a card saying Happy 25th Anniversary AMMA & Appa..I hope I win and you people don’t find this before you anniversary.. She immediately took it to Baaku’s parents..Baaku being the Mysterious guy that he is had places this gift at a hidden place at his house and asked his parents to find it..But before that day could come, he was no more..
    Basku’s parents cried out of joy. It was their Anniversary and Baaku never failed to be there with them..Maya left their place..but just as she neared his gate,she felt the sensation again..she turned around..It was Baaku..standing there looking at her with folded hands..There are moments in life when eyes speak more then words, she was experiencing it.He smiled at her..The very next second BOOM..He was gone..Forever..

    Like

    • Hi Manjula. Thanks for sharing this story with us. You have the skeleton of the story set in place. The theme of a dead person returning in a dream is a solid one. What you need to do is to organize your thoughts into paragraphs so that they’re more readable, and pay attention to the flow of thoughts in your mind so that they can be translated well into words. Often what happens is that our minds move at a much faster pace than our fingers can keep up, so there is a dual task of slowing down the mind, and at the same time speeding up the fingers. All the best 🙂

      Like

  10. Dr. Tanu Kathuria says:

    Dreams That Don’t Let Go

    A Past to my present is what I call a DREAM.

    Sometimes you cannot let go your character just because of your dreams but sometimes exactly opposite of this happens that is you cannot let go your dream rather get your character conform to your dream. You just want to bring your character into correspondence with your dream.

    In the first case, our character plays a stronger role or our dream is a bad dream, which we do not want to live. But the second case is when our dream becomes our inspiration and a reason to live. That is exactly when we are motivated, pushed and propelled towards doing something which makes our dream a reality. A beautiful, more meaningful and a reality which we always wanted to live.

    This clearly means that dream is different from reality. Today I have earned a doctorate degree from one of the best universities of India, is the reality I am living with. But this achievement is, back then, driven by a force called DREAM. My parents wanted both of their children to have Dr. as a title to their name. Although we were never forced, but it just happened automatically, much before when we could have realized, that we (me and my younger sister) started living our parent’s dream. And then I realized that it is not only your own dreams which plays a role in building your future rather dreams of your loved ones also becomes a reason for your achievements.

    Dreams have another very peculiar, an idiomatic and a unique character of their own which I like the most about them and that is when your reality doesn’t allow you to live what you want to or love to; and then dream becomes your saviours, the only rescuer.

    My mom who lives in heaver now, cannot receive a letter nor a last phone call. She is a star shining bright in the sky that can only be looked at that too only during clear nights. Moreover, there is no highway, no ship; neither flight nor anything else is available which can take us there to meet her with a pre-condition to bring us back. But dreams can; rather only dreams can. My dreams being the most powerful, the saviour allows me to meet her occasionally. She really cooks well in my dreams too and those are the only mornings when I do not wake up starving. She still has the solutions to my problems in my dreams. And this is why I always say, I LOVE DREAMING.

    Here I want to conclude that my dreams are what I really live for and although not very real, but still give me pleasure, satisfaction and affection of their own. I really want to dream on and on and on……..

    Like

    • Hi Tanu. Thanks for writing this piece. I know what you mean, the people we lose continue to stay alive only in our memories and dreams. I like the way you made a distinction between how dreams function both as motivating factors for achieving things, and also as assuaging elements for situations we cannot help or rectify. Thank you.

      Like

  11. Ashish Mishra says:

    I am Ashish Mishra.
    Newbie.
    Finally free time.
    Here is my first post here.
    My Poem on Dreams.
    Here goes.

    “Slumber creeps to your shut eyelids, and you…
    Enter a world, Fascinating and new…

    Showing our desires,
    Our worries, memories,
    Our fears…
    Our experiences,
    All the tenses,
    They’re like mirrors…

    Dreams are many, you select one…
    One that’s to you special, that one…
    Pursue it, make it real and get it done…

    But when they shatter,
    Or just may crack…
    Hope is something you ought not lack…
    Or Despair will nail…
    Their pieces through, until you fail…

    Then Then Then Then Then Then Then
    Then what to do…
    Start afresh, anew…
    Just close your eyes,
    Then you’ll enter the world where lies…
    The Reason for your life, it’s your Prize…

    Race for it,
    Go and Sieze it…
    Materialize it…
    And keep Dreaming…
    They will give your Life Meaning…
    You’ll see that Dreaming…
    Keeps your Life Going…”

    I’ve just started a year ago,
    This writing stuff.
    I’m liking it.
    And to be honest, I had written this song in those beginning days.
    My point being that,
    I would really appreciate if you, yes you- the reader, reviews my work,
    Like point out flaws, what’s missing, what more can I do, et cetera ;
    So that,
    I could Improve…,
    hone this art of words,
    become nothing less than adept, at crafting beautiful pieces of literature,
    only to indulge satisfactorily, readers like you, as also for the edification of my own conscience.
    Phew, now that was a Big sentence,
    And I feel like I am talking way too much, rather blabbering.
    First post, So…
    Just to notify that I’m there, and need help, that’s all.
    Won’t do it next time.
    I swear it.
    Okay then, Bye.
    (And Do leave a message!)

    Like

    • Hi Ashish! Welcome to the blog. You didn’t have to give such a long introduction really. Maybe one line of introduction and your piece would have sufficed. Either way, as feedback, I would tell you the same thing I suggested to an earlier post: when you write poems or songs, the most important thing is that it should scan. And it should be in meter. So if I were you, I would first study meter as deeply as I can and begin writing poems that are in step. Then, slowly, over time, you will learn to rhyme while being in rhythm, but it’s a process. Good luck.

      Like

      • Ashish Mishra says:

        Hi Sharath! Thanks for the review.
        God, that introduction really is so embarassing and immature.
        Seems like enthusiasm got the better of me.
        Enthusiasm of finally finding the right crowd, the dream audience to be precise, my fellow wordsmiths, to present my stuff and get reviewed!
        Or maybe it was the nervousness of getting reviewed that made me clumsy.Yikes!
        Alright, coming to my point of interest, Sharath,
        What do you mean, when you say,
        “the most important thing is that it should scan. And it should be in meter. So if I were you, I would first study meter as deeply as I can and begin writing poems that are in step”?
        I am sorry that I didn’t get it, and that I’m such a dimwit.
        Would you care to elaborate, in simpler words, please?
        I would really like some help, rather appreciate it. 😉

        Like

      • Hi Ashish. Start with the following links and study ‘meter’ deeply as you can, and then start practicing it in your poetry. It will be hard to begin with, but I think the rewards will be worth it.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metre_(poetry)
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iambic_pentameter

        Like

      • Ashish Mishra says:

        Thankyou.I am profoundly grateful, Sharath.Got to start working now. 😉

        Like

  12. Anantalakshmi Prasad says:

    Dreams that don’t let go

    A chronological dream sequence for Tanu Weds Manu, part 1 and 2.
    Spoiler Alerts!! Read this only after you have watched the movies, laughed, cried and clapped–

    2011 to 2014:

    Manu: Tanu, Tanu, TANNU!!

    Tanu: Manuji, Manuji, MANNUJI !!

    Raja Awasthi: Tanu, Tanu Tanu—

    Aanand L Rai: Sequel when? Sequel how?

    2015:
    Raja Awasthi: Maan, this is too *&%$ too much. Goondagiri almost gone, guns going rusty, reading Ramayana hard copy for God’s sake!! Had even agreed to marriage, just because she looks like my beloved Tanu. And now the “Manu Sharma Returns” blitzkrieg is upon me. Dream versions1 and 2, where are you??

    Kusum: State level athlete se sharma ti hui bindani/Sharma ki hui bindani ke sapne dekhna shobha dau kona—

    Tanu: Tede mede phaila hain, par mere adrak ka tudka hai. Hands off, he’s my splayed out piece of ginger.
    Kabhi ladoon, kabhi payaar jatooon—aap jaake picture vekho na–

    Manu: Dream 2 was a balm when dream 1 became a nightmare. And yet—and yet. Dreams don’t go easy-
    Tanuji, Tanuji–
    Aanand L Rai: Smiles, tears, smiles, all in one direction. Heavenward —
    Pappi: Kya Hai? Kya Hai? Kya soch rahe ho ? Woh Tanu nahi hai, nahi hai—Par picture box office hit hai, hit hai !!
    Public: Nailed it!! Hat trick!!

    Late 2015:
    Aanand L Rai: Sequel?? Or How about a prequel??

    Public: Dream On!!

    Raja Awasthi: Main na bhooloonga. Sad version, angry version.

    Kangana: For this year’s awards, the new twin cabinets should do. Should I pre order that spectacular new showcase, just in case the national award for best actor award comes through??

    Madhavan: Ab toh dieting shiting karna padega–

    Like

    • Hi Anantalakshmi. I haven’t seen either of the two Tanu Weds Manu movies, so I didn’t get much of this piece. I guess it’s better if someone who has seen the movies comments on this. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Like

  13. Dream of Death..

    Born in the depths of a conscious mind,
    Of Life, with life, she walks behind.
    Like a shadow with darkness, with fear she grows,
    Adorned in misery, feasting on life’s sorrows.
    In sickness, with age, her power she gains,
    From Life, her fair twin, all joy she drains.
    In the mind that gave her birth she fills,
    Absolute chaos, of dark thoughts that kill
    The happiness created by her angelic twin.
    Turning music of sanity into a dreary din.
    This possessed mind, a beautiful man did own,
    His health and intellect, among his race, well known.
    Life her twin, in shackles of doubt she chained,
    That great body of all strength she drained,
    All power of mind to heal she claimed,
    That intellect, her vicious claws of chaos maimed.
    And once the great healer, destroyer of pain,
    Lay weak and helpless, all reasons slain.
    His once radiant eyes, an empty gaze,
    His bright handsome features, morphed to an eternal daze
    Of Life, with Life, she created an endless night,
    Thus fell the kingdom, of mind to her might.

    Like

    • Hi Iris. I read this a couple of times, and liked it as much on the second reading as I did on the first. I especially liked the last two lines. I also thought looking at death as a long, unending dream is a novel idea. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Like

  14. A Camaraderie of Cold Noses

    In my dream today there was a big white wolf
    and a camaraderie of cold noses.

    He stood tall, fiercely white,
    infinitely curious and utterly alert,
    in a field of ice rendered blue by the moonlight.
    At one point, he pressed his nose to mine
    and then sniffed my left cheek
    as though testing the substance of me.
    Then, once he was sure of me, we ran together.

    He led me through fields of icy blue
    across mountains and boulders and
    the reckless landscape.
    we rolled around on the blue earth
    and he rested on my chest with his
    nose against my chin.
    (And for a moment there was a memory
    of a softer, fluffier dog who liked
    to lie on my chest and wake me
    by pressing his nose to my chin.)

    Through this harsh realm we ran, finally reaching
    where many others had gathered.
    Maybe we were a kind of tribe, an ancient family
    that ran with wolves in blue ice and
    sometimes met for a while to
    sit around orange flames,
    and sing stories about sunsets and
    long forgotten things.

    For a while we were all together, and then,
    one by one, they all disappeared,
    until all that was left was him and me,
    alone, together, in our patch of
    the collective unconscious.

    Like

    • Hi Manasi. Good effort. I read this not as a poem (though your structured it as one) but as a continuous mood piece, with each stanza becoming a paragraph. It reads better that way, I think. Your description is good, though I would suggest that you pay attention to other senses as well to go deeper into the scene. There is a bit of repetition of ‘blue’ in the whole thing (ice, earth etc). But overall, it’s an enjoyable poem. Thanks for sharing.

      Like

  15. Atika Srivastava says:

    *Alice in Dreamland*
    You know Alice, no? She’d penned down her strange adventures to the Wonderland which gained praised from every one. It was nothing but a dream. Though it had been more than a week that she had come out of the Wonderland but she was still unable to free herself from the scores of thought that hit her head. Curious girl that she was, she often wondered the reason behind these dreams. Her elder sister had told Alice that she dreamed to become the Cheer Leader in her high school. She longed to unravel the mystery behind dreams. You can say it was her dream to know all about dreams! Sitting idly in her garden, Alice thought aloud, “Do dreams ever come true? If yes, then what’s the procedure? No, no. Dreams don’t always come true. Her mother often told Alice that it she dreamt to win the basketball competition in her school days but didn’t.”
    “Alice!” The voice came from behind. She looked behind to find her mother fuming. She ordered Alice to clean the mess in her room. Ugh! She languidly walked towards her room. Up, up, up. She scuttled onto the endless flight of stairs. Would the stair never come to an end, she thought. As soon as she opened the door of her room, her jaw dropped in utter astonishment. The floor of her room, her bed, her cupboard, her books- everything had vanished. In front of her stood a faint wizardly body who Alice can bet, was not a human. She lifted her left foot to enter her ‘room’ but her foot went through the ground! The spirit informed her that it was a dreamland and he was someone’s dream. He offered her a tablet that would help her to stand up upon the ground. Reminded but she succumbed her mother’s repeated warnings of not talking to strangers, let alone taking something to eat or drink, Alice swallowed the magical tablet. He ushered Alice to an open awash land. Legions of such bright light were present there.
    “She’s the dream of a girl named Lauren. She’s a dancer, as per Lauren’s dream. “Alex pointed to a faint girl-like structure. Alice moved her eyes all around. Some shadows were very light, while some were dark. She put forth her confusion in front of Alex.
    He explained it to her, “We’re abstract ideas of a person. Those light ones are dead dreams. Just as a person needs air, water and food for his existence, dreams need hard work, dedication and confidence. They died because their owners squandered time instead of working for them. The darker the shadow is, the nearer the person is to his dream. The darkest shade implies the dream is established.”
    Alice grimaced. Alex went on, “See, this is a dream of a man called Thomas Edison. He’s infamous as ‘mad’ in his locality for he dreams to invent something that would keep rooms and streets enlightened even in a windy night.
    “Will it happen in real?” She asked curiously.
    “Depends. On his dedication and hard work.” Alex smiled. He further went on to introduce Alice to dream of Charles Darwin. H.G. Wells is trying his hands on his first sci-fi The Time Machine.
    “I must go and begin my research about dreams else my dream to write about dreams shall never come true!” No sooner did she think of her dream than she ejaculated the tablet at once. She rubbed her eyes. She’s woken up to tell her story to the world again.

    Like

    • Hi Atika. Good imagination. I liked the idea of dreams being abstract ideas and so on. What I found jarring about the piece was the abrupt introduction of ‘Alex’. I could guess he was the wizard-like fellow who appeared in Alice’s room, but his name should have been introduced better. Also, I found the whole writing a little loose, as though it was just first draft or notes. I think a rewrite will help bring out the themes that you wish to talk about here.

      Like

  16. Lavanya Gopalkrishnan says:

    Dream Dream why are you so rude to us

    ‘Shut up Lavz’ I say .There are no such dreams that they cannot let gone .Please stop telling me the crap dreams that you get otherwise I will have to take harsh some steps against you .Chintan said in matter of fact tone. My dreams are crap for him ‘Hey Bhagwan ‘What sort of friend is this you does not trust anyone expect Vanya.Vanya is a mother 2 year old Shruti who has a extraordinary capacity of playing with families emotions.He being Vanya’s husband as no control over her.Lavanya could not understand one thing “How come he believes whatever Vanya says”.
    To forget the morning conversation Lavanya shaking her head in’ No ‘and goes for jog in joggers park.The jogger park in her colony comprises of old people coming with their grand children .How rude is life towards me Lavanya wonders .With no job in hand she finds it odd to come jogger park as some people here always tag their smart phone along with them and some take their selfie with their face perspiring with sweat..This sight of sea of different individuals makes her laugh .
    Suddenly somebody pats on her back .Turning her heads she sees Chitan standing his faced closed with his arms.’Chintan’ Lavanya softly whispers.Removing his hands that are covered around his face .Errrrrrr..Grrrhhh…………….she shouts pressing her hand on her mouth .Chintan what happened to you she enquires slowly .
    Without uttering words he sitting on the bench staring at a couple by making them feel awkward.After a while I am in verge of separation from Vanya as she has looted me a lot and I did not believe you or your dreams as I believed that all the dreams can let go. As I used wonder what capacity did dream have to make a person loser but see what it has made me in my case everyday living Vanya is like a bad dream that don’t let go that easily .I accepted this dream with open eyes without arguing with my parents and I let go Lavanya .
    You are my soul mate So I am telling you regarding this .Finally he left huge sign and kissed her passionately as if she is his dream girl that do not let go the passion which she arouses in him .

    Like

    • Hi Lavanya. Thanks for sharing this. I would suggest that for future contests, you use a Word document to type out your story so that you can correct obvious spelling and grammatical errors before you post here. It will help in making the meaning of your piece clearer. I was not able to understand much of your comment; perhaps I will if it were written with better punctuation, grammar and paragraphing.

      Like

  17. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word: Dream ?

    Thrilling? Amusing? Terrifying? Confusing? Sleep? Pillow?

    Hang on to that word while I ask you another question.

    What is a dream?

    I can see the frowns and pauses. Because really. What are dreams?

    A website just told me that dreams are “images and imagery, thoughts, sounds and voices, and subjective sensations experienced when we sleep.”

    But think about it for a moment. Can the sheer, unadulterated power of dreams be contained in this puny scientific string of words? I think not.

    Dreams are, quite literally, omnipotent. All-powerful. When you’re dreaming a dream, you are utterly, irrevocably under its magnetic hold.

    If it’s a happy dream, it will curve your lips into a tiny smile. Make you sigh in content, hug the pillow a little tighter. Leave you waking up with a grin on your face, ready to take on whatever the world has to offer. Transform your dull, boring day into a day filled with charm and positivity.

    If it’s a sad dream, it will crinkle your forehead. Make you squirm uncomfortably in bed. Leave you waking up with a vague bout of lypophrenia, wondering what the hell just happened. Cause you to walk through the day with a perpetual gloom cloud hovering over you, bombarding you with bad vibes.

    If it’s a scary dream, aha, you’re done for it, mister. It will make you break into a cold sweat, mumble, whisper, or maybe even yell for your mommy. Speed up your heart until you think it will leap out of your chest and run away, screaming. Leave you waking up with an impending sense of doom, glancing around to make sure it wasn’t real. Or was it?

    If it’s a perplexing dream, it will make you stop. Think. Look around you, assess your life. What could the dream possibly mean? Do you need to get a new job, new friends, or maybe a new haircut? Figure it out. Change things.

    Do you see the amazing puissance of dreams now? These little sequences of images and sounds mould your entire lives, one night at a time.

    Nobody knows why we dream what we dream, even after centuries of research and debate. Some say it’s our subconscious trying to reach out to us. Others say it’s merely our brain trying to make sense of things it doesn’t comprehend. Yet others dismiss the idea completely, stating that dreams don’t mean anything; they’re absolutely random. I think, maybe nobody is meant to know why we dream what we dream.

    Good old Sigmund Freud believed that dreams are poetry. He said and I quote, whether we intend it or not, we are all poets. And boy, do I agree with the man.

    Because every time we dream, we weave ethereal stories; we harness our powers of imagination; we invoke raw emotion; we enter into vividly detailed worlds of our very own making. Quite simply, we create magic.

    And if dreams are magic, that makes each one of us, a magician. And that, my friends, is a very beautiful idea, indeed.

    Like

    • Hi Zinnia. An essay this time 🙂 Found it well-written as usual, but with nonfiction, the focus of the reader always shifts from style to substance, and I felt this was low on substance. While with fiction the focus is on story and how we’re telling it, with essays the most important thing is ‘what’ we’re saying. I think you should take this essay, remove the two or three things you want to say (1. Dreams are poems. 2. We all become magicians in our sleep) and structure your piece around those two things only. Get rid of everything that doesn’t have anything to do with those two ideas. I think you will find that the essay will become sharper then. Thanks for sharing!

      Like

  18. “Here, have one last mouthful,” pleaded his mother. He shook his head, wailing.

    But she knew what to do. She opened up the window and scouted the night sky, and sure enough, there it was! Gleaming amidst thin clouds, the full moon adorned the sky like a pearl does an oyster. “There, see! Look at Chandamama, and how beautiful and bright he is!!”

    The child was suddenly in a rapture and opened his mouth wide. She smiled. The trick always worked.

    *******
    Seven years later. It was the start of a new school year and students eagerly hurried across the courtyard to find out their new classrooms. Inside classroom 6-B, the class teacher was having student introductions. He asked every pupil to tell his/her name, hobbies, and ambition in life.

    A scrawny kid who had dashed earlier to sit in the front row shot up from his seat. His freshly oiled hair shone in the sunlight, and the thick rimmed glasses added some volume to his otherwise shrunken face. The wrinkles on his shirt stood out in the sea of neatly pressed ones.

    “My name is M. Anil,” he said proudly, “and my hobbies are reading newspapers and listening to music. My ambition is to become an astronaut and go the moon!” A couple of girls to his right giggled but he didn’t flinch.

    An astronaut!!” mocked the teacher. “And why do you want to go the moon? To play marbles!?” he sniggered.

    Anil was used to comments such as these by now so he simply replied, “It’s my dream, sir!”

    ********

    Twenty years later. It was thundering and pouring heavily outside. The radio in the almost dilapidated house on the edge of the village sprung to life. After blaring with a lot of static, a thick male voice suddenly comes into focus.

    …and today America has created history by making its first successful manned mission to the Moon. Neil Armstrong became the first man ever to set foot on the moon, followed by…

    Anil listened intently to the news, wiping his spectacles. He’d been following the developments of the Apollo-11 mission for the past year and it excited him that someone has achieved what his dream had always been. Though the undeniable truth is that thinking about it never failed to make him wistful. About the life he would never have.

    His wife suddenly appeared at the door with a worried expression. “I heard someone say that excess rain water is flowing into our rice field! Please go and look urgently!”. He heaved a groan, and hurried to the farm with an umbrella in hand.

    He never regretted the choices he had to make in his life, because more often than not, life happens. He just was not living out his dream.

    Like

    • Hi Uday! Yes, you’re right in saying ‘life happens’. It doesn’t care about us or our dreams. For instance, being a writer was never my dream when I was growing up. It never even figured on the radar. But a few things that I could not plan for happened in sequence, and here I am now. Someone else said, ‘Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans’. That’s true too. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I am sleeping peacefully on the comfy bed, lost in a dream. But slowly I start to come to my senses. There is movement alongside me, and people are murmuring all around. These people! They won’t let a bloke sleep. I don’t want to open my eyes lest they think I have woken up. They won’t let me cuddle back to sleep for sure. Suddenly, I sense something different. It feels like I am floating in the air. What is happening? Maybe it’s my brain playing tricks. The murmuring has stopped now, I decide I can safely open my eyes. My eyes are still blurry but I see a lot of people around, standing in silence. Then I see something big coming towards me.

    I suddenly realize that whatever that was, it’s not coming but closing on me! I quickly look around. I’m not on my bed…it seems to be wooden box of sorts. Wait, I’m inside a damn coffin!! I try to yell, but nothing comes out of my mouth. The lid closes and everything turns dark as I grapple for breath. No!! My mind goes numb and I start to die a suffocating death…

    I wake up with a start, my mind still reeling from the nightmare, the same one I’ve had thrice now. Your fears always have a way of creeping up into your dreams.

    Like

    • I have two recurring dreams: one, that I’m falling off a flight of stairs, and two, that I’m sitting in an exam hall where everyone else knows all the answers but me. I dislike closed spaces, but I’ve never dreamed of being locked inside a coffin. Must be a horrible dream, if you get it often.

      I’m not sure what to make of dreams. Rational mind says that it’s just random scribbles of the brain, but emotional mind wonders if there isn’t some connection between our mood and our dreams. Who knows, really?

      Like

      • Yea the fact that dreams still elude our comprehension is intriguing. My dreams are often very weird and lack logic. I did dream once though that I’m in an exam hall and my pen stops writing!

        My mortal fear is being locked inside cramped spaces and I guess it projects in my dreams this way once in a while. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!

        Like

  20. They say, in the olden days, when the sky still changed colours with the dark never being truly dark, people used to see even when they were sleeping. ‘A load of crap.’ My grandfather used to say. ‘When ye sleep, ye sleep. I’ll have none o’ this old nut-job nonsense in my house. Ye hear?’ But he’s gone now. Cryo-freezed. So it doesn’t make a difference.
    I knock on the door, barely registering it’s peeling paint and rust-eaten hinges. A woman clad in red opens it. A long hood droops over her eyes but I have a feeling they are red too.
    “Ah. A kid at the door of a soothsayer. Why is he here she wonders?” She says and her lips curl up in a smile.
    “I’m not a kid. I’m here because of the visions.” I reply crossing my arms across my chest, defiantly.
    “The kid says he has visions. Maybe he should see the men in white cloaks. Maybe he should drink the juice of veera. The kid has no business here.”
    She steps back.
    “No, wait! It’s not those visions. It’s the…other visions.”
    The soothsayer opens the door wider.
    “The kid talks in riddles. The kid shall speak freely.”
    She leaves the door open and strides inside. I follow her meekly, all my gathered strength disintegrating as I cross the threshold.
    The room she leads me into is bare. A wooden table stands in the middle, along with two chairs. There are no windows, no paint on the walls, no magical glowing balls, no fluff. I can’t help but wonder if I am at the right place.
    “The kid shall speak.” She says, sitting on one of the chairs.
    “It’s when I…when I sleep.” There. I said it. Ordinarily even the mention of this would send me straight to a mental asylum. Normal people don’t see with their eyes closed. But the soothsayer fixes me with a piercing stare. She folds her hands in front of her. I spy the edge of a tattoo that disappears up her sleeve. A dragon maybe.
    “The kid must not lie. The kid is not aware of the severity of his words.” She says.
    “I am! And I’m not a kid! I read the lore okay. People in the ancient days had these visions and then and after the war, the survivors, all of them stopped having them. But I know what I am saying. I dream.” I shout. She rises suddenly and her hand flies across the table to cover my mouth.
    “The walls have ears. The kid must know that. The regime has eyes everywhere. The kid says he sees with his eyes closed. Yet the regime makes sure that no one is able to do that. The kid claims something that the regime has made impossible. The kid is in danger.”
    I look at her wide-eyed. Everyone knew the regime was a bit too strict. But they wouldn’t harm anyone surely.
    “The kid must leave.” She slips a piece of paper in my hand and pushes me out of the room.
    Back outside, I open it. It’s an ancient scroll and I can’t understand most of it. But at the bottom, I see a scribble in New English.
    “When the people see again, the darkness will turn to light and the light to darkness. The strong will fall and the weak will rise. The new will fall apart and the old will reign supreme.”
    I shudder as I walk back. Whatever shall I do?

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Atika Srivastava says:

    ‘Dreamy’ Love

    “Here is the file!” I exclaim, keeping the file on his bed.

    “Thank you.” He picks it up and reads it. Though we’re married for about six months but we still are formal. We’re poles apart. Yes, you guessed it right. It’s an arranged marriage. I don’t love him. I loved a guy called Mishkrit who promised me stars and at the end ditched me. It wasn’t his fault completely. It was me who believed into his sugary words and cheesy actions. Like, come on, he would bring me ice cream at eleven in the night. Now which girl would ever deny loving a guy like that? Of course, none. When I found the truth, I was shattered. I was glad I wasn’t physically intimate with him. A few days later, my parents asked me to meet a guy of their choice. I half-heartedly agreed. That’s when I met Aniket. A perfectly built body, Roman nose, well chiseled jaw- well, this is exactly what Mishkrit looked like and Aniket was his juxtaposition. Physical appearance is deceptive, I’ve had learned. The only reason I agreed to marry him was this conversation that we shared one week before our engagement.

    “I won’t be able to love you. Ever.” I’d mustered up courage to tell him the truth. I can’t ruin any guy’s life just for the sake of my happiness! My mom said that this marriage would bring happiness in life and whatever!

    “I expect nothing from you.” Adjusting his nerdy glasses on his nose, he’d said. Without looking up at me. Even once.

    “Why would anyone want a girl who doesn’t love him?” I shot my question at him.

    “He loves the girl, maybe, that’s why.” And that shut me up. He’d touched my soul with these words. I’d decided to move on with Aniket. A capital fellow, he’s.

    “Anjali!” His voice brought me back to the present. It’s been six months and he didn’t even try to touch me. He even separated the double bed on our very first night. Being a Delhite, I’ve never had seen any gentleman before this- not even in movies or novels. Anyway, he told me that he needed to go to Mumbai for an urgent work next morning. I nodded. While packing his bag, I wondered how I am supposed to live without him! I’ve never lived alone. Only two of us live here and if he goes, I shall all be alone. That night I couldn’t even sleep properly. I rub my eyes and look at the clock. It’s five. He shall be leaving within an hour. I stealthily look at him. He’s wearing a purple shirt. I guess I have begun liking him. His cell phone rings and he murmurs something over phone. He thinks I’m asleep as yet. He’s writing a note for me. Keeping the duplicate key of the house upon the paper, he gets up to leave. I want to get up and see him off but then he would feel strange- I’ve never done this so he may feel that I’ve begun liking him. Though I’m but I still am not sure. At least, he must not know about this still. It’s been four hours that he’s left for the Delhi airport. After flipping through the pages of my favorite novel, I switched on the television. I’m not feeling good. There’s an empty feeling inside me. The news channel caught me eyes! “PLANE CRASH.” The aeroplane of Aniket was only this. I sat on the sofa, my jaw dropped and eyes- wet. I wanted to scream aloud but I’d lost my power of speech. I’ve just begun liking him and this-? My lifeless hands fell on the sofa-it has lost its softness. I open my eyes and see it’s a bag underneath my hand. I look at the clock. It’s five! Was that a dream? Not the reality? Nightmare. I feel the sweat over my forehead. I silently mumble a few prayers for him. From the corner of my eyes, I look at him. He is wearing a purple shirt! His phone rings and similar events follow. I’ve read a little about déjà vu. My heart sinks thinking about losing him. I cannot afford to lose him. He’s near the door. This can’t happen. Just the mere thought of losing him gives me shudders. I can’t let him go. I rush to him and hug him from behind. I hold his hand tightly. Astound, he looks at me questioningly. I’m unable to say anything. He asks me what had happened. I murmur something into my mouth and hug him again. He pacifies me.

    “Don’t leave today. Please.” I ask him. He squeezes me hand and nods. I’m relieved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Atika. Thanks for sharing this. The second-to-last paragraph is too long and windy, I thought. I get the feeling that you lost yourself writing it, and it all just came out in a torrent. That’s good, but it’s always advisable to go back and take another look at it, to see how it reads. I think it would have done with a bit of breaking down, into three or four paragraphs. There are a few grammatical errors in the writing, but apart from that, the story’s good. Keep writing 🙂

      Like

  22. Varun Shetty says:

    In 1956, I got six months in the can for trying to knick a pack of cigarettes from a pocket in the bus stand. The magic of cleaning out a pocket, they’ll tell you, lies in the fingers. Me?
    “It’s in the tongue. The old gift of the gab. Because your fingers sure can’t knick a man’s mind.”
    “Then how did you end up in Montgomery County?” he asked.
    “You see that kid by the desk, Jay? Officer Brookes. Turns out he wanted to take the bus that day.”
    “He saw you?”
    “Sure did. Heck, he saw straight through me. Had me by the arm. Wouldn’t make much of a cop if any randy could take a quick tour in his pockets, would he?”
    He laughed like I had heard no man laugh in prison. Heck, I wasn’t sure if it was allowed in there. But I wasn’t complaining; four months and eight men later, I had finally finished my story without having to repeat it. The world didn’t throw many bright ones in prison. No, sir. The bright ones played rainbow outside; in here, we got bits of grey backdrop.
    Jay was sharp and he was important on the outside. I figured after I was out that he’d done college. Socieitologics or some junk of the sort I can’t care about. But I could tell with him from the start. He wasn’t your average monkey mouth. He had a nettling politeness about him. And man was he a thinker. He wasn’t a goddamned river. And he sure as heck wasn’t a mirror. But this kid sure liked to reflect.
    What really gave it away, though, was the number of ‘meetings’ he took at the hands of the Lieutenant.
    In Montgomery County Jail, any thief worth his nickel was up on the first floor. Second tier got murderers, and up top, ‘The Penthouse’, was reserved for the special departments – arson, genocide, necrophilia.
    We were on ground floor. On the MCJ hierarchy, we were considered so petty and incompetent that they practically put us in the vicinity of every exit. So why did the Lieutenant have any business with Jay in the interrogation room? I was willing to bet it had nothing to do with the reason he was inside in the first place: driving 30 miles an hour in a 25 zone.
    I couldn’t put my finger on it. So I trusted my magic maker again.
    “The Lyoot really loves you, huh?”
    He donated a half-smile to my jibe. A smile that – our well-lit floor showed – was damaged at the edges.
    He said, “My father never let love get in the way of a beating. So it’s not out of the question.”
    “Well, that’s a start. I’ve been meaning to ask you what your story is.”
    This time the expression was much more in character.
    “I’m not sure it’s different from yours in any way, my friend.”
    “Bullshit.”
    “I’m in for overspeeding. You got 6 months for petty pick-pocketing. We are in an isolated cell. It’s no coincidence, my friend, that even in here we are the unmentionables. Our stories are the same, in here as well as out there. The only difference is that they don’t go out of their way to call us African-American.”
    There was truth in what he was saying, but there was more to it than this. There was more to him than me.
    “Heck, then why don’t I have special appointments with the Lyoot? You have something he wants?”
    Brookes interrupted us from outside.
    “Jay! In the IR — now! You know the way.”
    Jay responded to me.
    “Ah, I doubt if I can add to his repertoire. I have things he has. Things his boss has – and his boss. They probably have more of it –“
    “You hear me Jay Arrrrrr?”
    “- than I do. The reason I have special appointments is because they don’t think I’m entitled –“
    “Get out here!” There were footsteps.
    “- to it. They can’t imagine such a thing! I have an education! I have a cause and I have support –“
    The door flew inwards with the words, “Martin f*cking Luther!”
    “- I have a dream!”

    Then they took him.

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  23. Bhavesh Jeewani says:

    He yearned for the company of fellow beings. He had lived his dream and now felt he needed to share it with the world. He had resolved to set forth on his subsequent dream – to write a book chronicling his travels. He would have to abandon this one to be able to stoke the other.

    One could say his decision was borne out of compulsion. Three months of staying in the wild showed on him. He was now thinner than ever before. He depended on tracking down and killing small creatures for food. But it was tough and sometimes he went for days without proper meals. His face hidden under thick adolescent hair bore sunken cheeks. His forehead had creases reserved for the old folk. At times he felt sapped of energy and could barely walk before waiting to rest. His immobile frame had served him well though when he came face to face with a grizzly bear who passed by his bus.

    He had stumbled upon the bus on day one. It had helped him brave Nature’s treachery and survive thus far. The Magic Bus – as he christened it – seemed completely alien to its surroundings much like himself. They found solace in each other’s company. For three months thereafter, he stayed in, barbequed his kill, read books by London and Thoreau and made notes maintaining a daily log of his adventures. He was planning for the other dream, while living the first.

    When the snow first started to melt, he did not realize its effects on the region. He found himself ill-prepared, trapped in the wild. There was no kill to be had. He sat at the bank staring blankly at the mass of flowing water. The stream which was but a rivulet three full moons ago now flowed like a torrent. It seemed to mock him, daring him to conquer it and reach the side with the bush topped by his woollen hat – the one gifted to him by his sister who was his confidante and knew and understood his desire for this perilous sojourn. He checked his back-pack – ‘a day, two days at best’ – he said to himself, and then he will not have any of the raw flesh he had preserved from his last kill a fortnight ago.

    It was almost strange that what was till yesterday a life of fulfilment now threatened to chain him down. Perhaps, this life was alluring until he knew he could exit anytime. The moment the umbilical cord was cut and he realized that he could not leave at the time of his choice, he succumbed to its vagaries. We all need the option of turning back, starting afresh. He was no different.

    He returned to the Magic Bus devoid of hope of ever making it back to humanity. Days later, he became one with the wild. His dream did not let go of him. They found his journal and its entries formed the basis of a book, on his life in the Alaskan wilderness. After all, he did not let go of his subsequent dream.

    ——————————————————————————————————————————-
    Inspired from the movie ‘Into the Wild’, based on the life of Christopher Johnson McCandless, fondly known as ‘Alexander Supertramp’.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Bhavesh. I looked up McCandles and read the Wikipedia entry on him after reading your story. I think you paid him a good tribute with your piece. I did not get the context until I’d read up on McCandles, so perhaps more (or more suitable) detail needs to be put into what you wrote, so that people will understand the ‘arc’ better. Maybe it would have been better if you had chosen to write about one scene – maybe his last few minutes? – given that you had only 500 words to write in. Thanks for sharing, nevertheless.

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      • Bhavesh Jeewani says:

        Thanks for the feedback Sharath. I will try to adhere to it.

        Thanks Vinisha and Pradeeta.

        Like

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