Dream or a nightmare that come true – In general, I don’t believe in this. I don’t correlate dreams with reality. Dreams are dreams. Irrational, incoherent, and random. Anything can happen in dreams. You can fly like birds. Swim like fishes. Do things which you won’t ever do while awake. That’s the nature of dreams. And trying to connect dreams with reality is trying to find meaning out of shapes of clouds. Both have no bearing on reality. But this one time, I had a dream, a nightmare that come true.
This nightmare was so real, so vivid, that I still shudder remembering that. And what is even scarier is what happened after that. I don’t believe that I had a vision of future. That I saw in advance something that was about to happen in the future. But the fact that the two events happened on the same day, is something that I’ll not be able to forget, ever.
So, this story is from six months back. It was Saturday morning. Calm and peaceful as ever. I usually get up late on Saturdays. But, I woke up early that day. And however hard I tried, I couldn’t get to sleep again. After turning from side to side a few times, I got out of the bed and decided to drink water. While drinking water, I looked outsides and found a beautiful early morning sky. With a feeling that I might not get any sleep, I decided to go for a swim.
I swam for thirty minutes. Got tired and returned. Took a hot shower. And then the sleep which had escaped me the entire morning came rushing upon me like the full downpour of the Indian Monsoon – quick and with full force. And soon I found myself dissolving into a very deep sleep.
In my dream, I was in a car. It was an SUV. We were driving downhill. I don’t remember how many of us were there in that car, but it was certainly full to its capacity. So seven or eight should have been there. I know it was a good trip for I felt happy in that moment. People were laughing. I guess somebody had told a joke just before I landed up in my dream.
Slowly I started recognizing some of the faces. There was Sooraj, my childhood friend. There was also Zohra. She too an old friend of mine. They were sitting beside me. So I recognized them first. Others too were my friends – some old, some new.
After some time the laugh drowned out and was replaced by a friendly silence. Everyone was lost in their own thoughts. It was then I realized the force of the wind on my face. I was sitting in the window seat of the middle row. It got stronger and stronger until I could no longer stare outside. I rolled the windows upwards and looked at others. Sooraj was looking at me, and I realized he too was feeling the same thing. That we were going too fast.
It was then I realized who was driving. It was my cousin Rishab.
‘Slow down Rishab,’ a girl’s voice came from behind. It wasn’t Zohra. Someone else sitting on the back row. But Rishab kept on driving fast as if he wasn’t listening to us. Then I looked out of the windscreen. The speed with which the scene forward was rushing towards us was unsettling. I thought of giving a tab on Rishab’s shoulder, ask him to slow down. But before I could do that, my body was thrown to the left.
As I was falling on my side, I saw what happened. The road ahead turned into an abrupt right. Rishab followed suit, rolling the steering wheel quickly to the right. But the turn being too sharp for the quick speed at which SUV was cruising, the SUV started slipping sideways as the car moved right. The more the car turned, the more wheels slipped and the car slipped closer and closer to the edge of the road. We could feel the dragging of wheels on the tarmac below our feet. Its jeering sound real to my ears. Until it all stopped, and the SUV flew out of the road into the thin air.
Then began a long fall to the bottom. The SUV, in my dreams, didn’t tumble as it should have been if was a reality. But it fell in one position. The windshield always staring down at the green brown earth as it slowly grew bigger and bigger. The scene was green-brown patch at first. Then barely recognizable small shapes. Until it grew into trees and road and houses, which were growing in size at a rate of ten meters per second square.
Now was the time when I generally get up. In my dreams when something bad is about to happen, I get this sense that it is not a dream. I can’t explain it how and why. But it is how I feel. I have always had vivid and clear dreams. So I could tell that whether the things I’m seeing are a part of a dream or not. And almost always, I am able to spot the dream, and hence, I would get up.
But not this time. As I saw from the windshield, earth growing larger and larger into a hard surface, I prayed hard it to be a dream. But such was the vividness, such was the detail in the dream that it never felt like one. And a panic, like I’ve never felt before filled inside my body.
My life did flash back in front of my eyes. Mostly about what I didn’t do all these years. And before I could make a clear sense out of my life, the SUV crashed into the earth. The last scene I remembered was Rishab looking back, trying to look away from the impending death.
A darkness cold and dank spread before my eyes. I got up. I was in my room again.
It took me some time to get my bearing right. It was a dream. I confirmed. It was all dream. The drive, the fall, the crash. Every bit of it. But the vividness with which I remembered every detail and each emotion took me off guard.
A sticky feeling stayed with me throughout the day. A bad taste in the mouth.
In the evening I got a call from my mother, that Rishab, my cousin, had been diagnosed with cancer, and is in a very advanced stage. I booked flights ticket to Delhi for the next day.
This was a sad dream that became a sadder reality.
. . .