Dreams of An Unquiet Mind

I am amused by peo­ple who say they have no dreams. When even ani­mals dream, how can peo­ple not? An evil thought comes about sub­ject­ing such peo­ple to dream depri­va­tion, if only to advance sci­en­tif­ic under­stand­ing.

I dream both in col­or as well as in black and white. As with most peo­ple, I have recur­rent dream top­ics – school/college jour­nal submission/examination, fly­ing, fast trains, accidents/disaster, etc. But most of my dreams are pret­ty straight­for­ward and pre­dictable. A col­lege friend of mine had dreams with dis­tort­ed meta­physics. Once he lived in a world where con­scious­ness and phys­i­cal bod­ies were ran­dom­ly exchanged and he spent dream­ing that his body was search­ing for his con­scious­ness and vice ver­sa.

I have often dreamt of my blog­ger friends. I once received Krish Ashok at Chen­nai when he was about to arrive from abroad. After he came, we had some inter­est­ing expe­ri­ences nego­ti­at­ing with rick­shaw dri­vers in Chen­nai. In anoth­er one, Ashok and I were at a con­fer­ence-cum-exhi­bi­tion, and we were dis­cussing the lat­est soft­ware web trends. I and Nita have once received a group of tourists from Chi­na, and we were their tour guides in the Mum­bai-Pune region. I remem­ber being amazed by how Nita was impress­ing them with sta­tis­tic after sta­tis­tic, fact after fact, about Indi­ans. More recent­ly, I was explain­ing to my wife how Ram­bodoc is going to mon­e­tize his Six­Pack­Doc blog by adding ads and sell­ing ser­vices. See? Straight­for­ward and pre­dictable. 🙂

Nita had once com­ment­ed, ‘Born to fly – these words seem to be entrenched in your heart’, and that shows. I have come very close to ful­fill­ing this dream when I para-glid­ed in the Himalayas. In my dreams, I don’t need no paraglid­er! An inter­est­ing obser­va­tion in my numer­ous fly­ing dreams is that if I hes­i­tate and doubt my abil­i­ty to fly, I can’t take off. It is only when I do so with full con­vic­tion, that I am able to suc­cess­ful­ly take off. I have flew sev­er­al times over sev­er­al areas of Mum­bai, Pune, San Diego, and San Fran­cis­co. 🙂

As dreams are con­nect­ed with long-term mem­o­ry, my ‘home’ in my dreams is still the place I grew up in Mum­bai, even though I left it 12 years back. Dream incor­po­ra­tion is also pret­ty com­mon with me, where door­bells or ring­tones become assim­i­lat­ed in the dream sequence. I’m a déjà vu addict — I always try to pre­dict what’s going to hap­pen next, but I fail every time. I used to talk a lot in my sleep when young, and there is only one report­ed inci­dent when I went sleep­walk­ing!

A cou­ple of unusu­al dreams come to mind. One was a night­mare. Dur­ing an exam­i­na­tion, my foun­tain pen began to leak. And sur­pris­ing­ly, it began to leak in red (I always wrote in black)! Aghast, I got up and the red trail began fol­low­ing me all around. I ran out of the class­room, out­side on the roads, where I real­ized that the trail of red was not ink but blood. Gasp­ing for water, I reached for my water bot­tle, only to find it con­tained blood. Pan­icked, I decid­ed to rush home, man­aged to reach VT sta­tion in Mum­bai (it will always remain VT for me), where there were many oth­er peo­ple all drenched in blood to vary­ing degree.

In an oth­er recent dream, I was telling my wife that I thought that I was not real­ly myself. Me, as I am today, was just a con­coc­tion, an illu­sion, role-play­ing a script writ­ten by some­one else, Matrix-style. And being aware of this made me feel very lighter, since there was noth­ing I need­ed to take seri­ous­ly in life. 🙂 I was wait­ing for the day when the direc­tor says “Cut”, and I snap back to my real, orig­i­nal, self.

But the best part of my dream­ing is that I am for­tu­nate to be a lucid dream­er. Though not as suc­cess­ful­ly as in my younger days, I am still able to do it some­times. Con­trol­ling your dream script is a fan­ta­sy come true. Now don’t ask me what I write in that script!

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  • More recent­ly, I was explain­ing to my wife how Ram­bodoc is going to mon­e­tize his Six­Pack­Doc blog by adding ads and sell­ing ser­vices. See?”
    No, I don’t. This was a dream, or your hypoth­e­sis?
    If I think in terms of mon­etis­ing my blog, it wouldn’t be with Google ads. There would be far bet­ter ways. But, no, I am not think­ing of such things.
    As for my dreams, most of these days, I am lift­ing weights. I actu­al­ly grabbed some­one by a limb and lift­ed. Awoke to a scream. 🙂

  • In this case I’m afraid the dream involv­ing was not very pre­scient, because I don’t nego­ti­ate with auto dri­vers. I pay them what­ev­er they ask for 🙂

  • She­faly:
    I did add “NO” after that. Mon­etis­ing would mean sell­ing books, inter­net based train­ing, diet ‘secrets’, ‘mag­i­cal tips’ to burn fat ‘like a blow­torch’, etc, in a fit­ness blog. Peo­ple do it and mak­ing six fig­ure dol­lar incomes, too.

  • There was some­thing about this write up that gripped me from the begin­ning to the end, it read so well! And you sure do have some dra­ma in your dreams, I have very few dreams like that. My dreams seem to be about mun­dane things most­ly but I used to dream about fly­ing almost every­day when I was a teen, but these kind of dreams have got rar­er. I too am a lucid dream­er but again now it’s like once a month, and ear­li­er it was almost every day. The dream I used to get in the morn­ing I could con­trol! It was nice because I could eat that ice-cream I want­ed, or not miss the bus! 🙂 And if some­thing unpleas­ant hap­pened then I could re-wind and start dream­ing it again, delib­er­ate­ly! I do that at times.

  • feels nice to meet some­one who dreams as vivid­ly and enjoys ‘the show’.. but my one grouse with dreams is that i get so indul­gent in my dreams that often i wake up late, just because a par­tic­u­lar dream was too good to miss out half way, and in semi-con­scious, semi-dead state you just wish the images from this strange world do not cease.. has that ever hap­pened with you?

  • Mahen­dra,

    I always dream a lot and even claim to remem­ber them after I am awake. I can usu­al­ly recall details like num­ber of screws on the hinge, because these are the things I notice in real life too.

    Fly­ing dreams are very com­mon, that’s where I get my inspi­ra­tional quote from (and R. Kel­ly stole it). A beau­ti­ful one was when I was fly­ing in the solar sys­tem. (sim­i­lar to shown in Taare-Zameen-Par)

    cheers, Priyank

  • I have spent the occa­sion­al night try­ing to solve the tech­ni­cal prob­lem that i am work­ing on at that time. (in my dream, that is)

    By doing this i can fol­low the out­sourc­ing mod­el of ‘work­ing with the sun’. I out­source my work to myself! 😉

    Dif­fer­ent mat­ter alto­geth­er that i haven’t real­ly solved any prob­lem this way. But at least i try! 😉

  • I don’t get dreams at all. Or I don’t remem­ber them. One thing I like about my life is — Sleep. I can sleep at any time, any­where and usu­al­ly it is a deep sleep with no dis­tur­bances (Like dreams, alarms etc). I think it is a gift to sleep like that and I cher­ish it so much! On the oth­er hand, I dream when I am awake. Dou­ble bliss 🙂

    Des­ti­na­tion Infin­i­ty

  • I think dreams are gen­er­al­ly influ­enced by ones day to day life
    and what peo­ple think about!

    I would dream a lot when i was a kid.. most influ­enced by my dads sto­rys and cin­e­ma and peo­ple around me
    ive always been a rest­less sleep­er , and the dreams were a plen­ty — from trav­el­ing with the absent mind­ed prof on his car to being luke sky­wak­er to swim­ming with sharks -jaws to night­mares from the house of wax and evil dead . these days i sel­dom dream and if i do they are more mun­dane.

  • I dream very very rarely these days, in my sleep, I tend to dream more while am awake, more like a vision inside the head thats so real that some­times at a Mall or pub­lic place, for a nano sec­ond I get lost, “What? Where is this place?” Peo­ple stare and I stare back, per­plexed. I enjoy it AFTERWARDS, when I real­ize what hap­pened. No, I do not drink or take drugs at all 🙂

  • does this hap­pen because am grow­ing old and weak­en­ing and los­ing brain cells?

  • day dream doesn’t con­note dream, prob­a­bly it implies will­ing sus­pen­sion and the oth­er unwill­ing sub­mis­sion to sub­con­scious, mine woud fall under the lat­ter although it hap­pens in a wak­ing state, the pathol­o­gy (is it the word I shd use?) sim­i­lar to night dreams that occur while a per­son sleeps.