I have been registering my weird dreams on this blog for a while. So here’s another one that I had. I don’t ever have normal dreams, do I? I think this dream was around April 26th or 27th.

I dreamt that Benedict Cumberbatch and I went to save his baby (please note: not mine, neither his and mine) from the clutches of a gang. We are walking hand in hand to a building. It’s night and I am palpably afraid. There is a guard who blocks our way at the bottom of the building. Benedict is talking to him. But then the guard is called away for something. I just realise we don’t have backup nor have we informed anyone and we don’t have any means of contacting other people either. Our cellphones are not with us. I spot the guard’s dirty and bulky cellphone and swipe it so that when we are done rescuing we can contact the other people. Who they are, I don’t remember. 

We cross some hurdles: I don’t remember the exact details. There are lots of dark corridors like in an office building but at night. The only light is from the yellow street lights that filter in. The walls look dirty green in that light. 

I remember waiting for some kind of physical violence but that doesn’t happen. It’s more a sense of debilitating fear. We move up all the dark levels to the top of the building. We reach the top floor; the mastermind appears to have been waiting for us. I get the feeling he is the one behind it all. He talks and scowls a lot. There is hardly any light and he keeps referring to my crime of swiping the cellphone like it’s something unforgivable. He gives me a dirty stare and I am left feeling very bad about the cellphone.

I remember waking up with the lines ringing in my head, ‘But I intended to return it!’ and ‘I had only borrowed it for a short while!’ 

Usually known people appear in my dreams. This is the first appearance of a celebrity that I remember. Oh, Benedict Cumberbatch was appearing as himself here not as Sherlock. (I thought I should make that clear.) I think it is related to my high stress levels! Maybe the levels in the building are indicative of that.

Crocodile Dreams

Sometime mid last month, I had yet another weird dream. I don’t know anyone who has dreams like I do. I must be a psychologist’s delight! Then of course people don’t really share their dreams so I really don’t know. Again, I was puzzled by the end of it.  This is the dream.

A friend or neighbour of mine (not anyone I know in real life) has given me some food in a tiffin box. I am supposed to take it home. I get curious and open it and am shocked. It contains four baby albino crocodiles stuffed with something else. The crocodiles are floating in some yellow-ish white gravy. The neighbour also gives us a laddoo, the only vegetarian item and I cannot help eating it. I go home. My mom asks what did the neighbour give, and I reply, you won’t like it. Then I show her. I don’t remember my mom’s reaction but I am not interested in eating them. My brother says he will try and proceeds to take one.

What on earth does this dream mean? I do have a real-life neighbour who keeps sending food over. But they are snacks and sweets so nothing to be traumatised by. Also, I googled for baby albino crocodiles just to see if I have the description right. Finally, apologies to animal lovers who might be reading this.

A Stack of Post-its and Cats*

I woke up this morning with a feeling of dread. That’s because I had yet another weird dream.

I had been kidnapped in my dream. The kidnapper was a man. There are other people in the house where I have been taken but I get the feeling they are scared of him too. I certainly was scared. I was shown into a room which already had things in it -a bed, an almirah, a table: I realise it is someone’s home. Probably the kidnapper’s. The door to the room is never locked. I am so afraid that I don’t move from the room. He expected a ransom but none was forthcoming. (Seriously, who would pay ransom for me?) I looked around – there was a single bed with a filthy mattress. I was so scared I didn’t notice. No one spoke in the dream. Not the kidnapper or his women. At right angles to the bed is a long window.

A bit later, my mom joined me in the room. She too I think had been kidnapped but she adjusted quite easily. She touched the kidnapper’s feet which made him gloat. I was so zoned out I followed suit not knowing what was expected of me and I was scared.

Sometime later I find my brother too in the same room. He looks carefree like it’s a holiday. He walks in and sits down on a chair. I feel bad about this kidnapping situation so I try to find some reading material for my brother. I looked under the beds and tables and find cats! Yes cats which are stacked on top of each other like a brick wall or clothes in a closet. They look neat and like they are sleeping. I leave the cats alone. I do manage to find some comics for my brother to read.

I know I have to escape so I want to write a note. (When I think about this, I don’t know why I wanted paper. My post-dream analysis is that I wanted to drop it out of the window so that people can find it and read and rescue us.) So I look high and low in the same dark and dirty room. The next thing I know I am sitting on the grubby bed and a cork writing pad like the kind I used back in school for exams is in front of me and some comics too. But no paper. Suddenly I realise someone is peeping from the door held ajar. It’s a woman. She is silent and expressionless and wearing a grimy sari. She holds out a stack of opened post-its – a thin stack and narrow yellow post-its – like the ones I use to mark pages and quotes in books. I accept it gratefully. I was looking for a bigger piece of paper but this is still paper. So I take it and try to hide it under the cork writing pad. When I look up, she is shaking her head: no. It hits me that it will be found and I’d be in trouble. She is warning me. I take it out and tuck it into my bra. (In hindsight, so close to my heart.) She nods her head: yes, that is a safe place. I wonder how much I would sweat into the post-its and then wouldn’t be able to write on them.

That’s all I remember of the dream. I wake up full of dread.


*Note for grammar Nazis: The title is not a misplaced modifier as you will know after reading the post.

The Revolutions

Note: I had this dream on the night of 26 July 2010. I was rummaging through an old notebook and came across it.

I am at a writer’s retreat where authors from all over the world have come together. We are sitting in an open auditorium stage relaxed and chatting. It seems to be in between sessions or is a session by itself. The atmosphere is light, conversation easy, the laughter free and open. It feels like the rehearsal for a play. I am listening to an intense discussion about a book called The Revolutions written by an author who is also at the same workshop but not present in this group. Rumour has it that this book is dangerous. Nostradamus-like, the author has predicted many events all of which have come true including this writer’s retreat. The word on the street is that the clairvoyant author has predicted that all the attendee authors in this retreat will come to a bloody end. I am incredibly curious about the book and want to read it. I spot a copy lying in a corner peeping out from a bag. The cover of the book is red. It’s about three feet away. I go and pull it out. One of the authors discourages me from reading it. They say nothing less than catastrophe lies ahead if I do. I am holding the thick hardback in two minds whether to open it or not. Before I open the cover, the dream ends.

Dreaming Theatre

[This dream is dated 18 July 2010. I don’t have a dream diary. But I do note down dreams that are very vivid and/or disturbing.]

I meet a septuagenarian man exuding Marquez-ish gravitas, but who makes his living as a taxi driver. In reality, he is an award-winning theatre person, probably a playwright. I don’t remember his name other than the fact that it starts with S.  We become good friends instantly, making a unique connection or one artist recognising another. S moonlights with a theatre group. When he comes to know that I can act, he asks me to join his theatre group. I protest the way Japanese protest, part delighted part ashamed of not living up to such honour. S takes me to meet his talented theatre group. I am excited. The director is a woman in her late 20’s of part German part Indian ancestry. Her name strikes me as beautiful–Aditi Mueller. She is a strong woman with an air of a punk rock star. She says I am not welcome to join her group. S tries to ask her for a chance, an audition, if she pleases but he is brushed off. Aditi Mueller is adamant. She almost throws a tantrum. S throws up his hands in the air and apologises profusely to me. I feel somewhat insulted.

On the other side

[I dreamed this dream on the night of 18th January 2011]

I had gone over to the other side. I mean the spirit world. It was no big a deal. It was completely painless. One minute I was human; the next I was far away from it. I crossed the threshold like the way one crosses a room and enters another, at the same time and quite fluidly.

The other side is quite populated. Women — I could see only women — don’t  hesitate to tell me the rules. They ask me mostly not to do something. They have a surprisingly strict living ethic. There seem to be more rules in the spirit world than in the human world. Going to the other side is like getting in to the Witness Protection Program. I can’t reveal my identity to anyone. And I have to be quiet. Oh, by the way, one thing is a bit contradictory but who am I to question rules: I am invisible to humans but not inaudible. This just means I have to whisper. It’s very trying. And illogical. Just like life.

Many people try to cross the ‘border’. But not everyone is admitted in. At first, I have a faint sense of loss at having lost the human life, but nothing impacts me in a deep manner. I even remember thinking that this crossing would make for a great story.

I remember a profusion of doors, not one after another but rather like a house with many rooms. I keep moving through them. Finally, I realise that what I had suspected is indeed true. That spirits are all around us. We share the same space.

Dreams limited

I had the weirdest dream the other day. In my dream, on the way from work, I saw the earth split up leaving masses of humanity clinging to both edges trying to get across. I was travelling by auto rickshaw and was stunned to find a 100 meter gap in the middle of the way, where K’puram meets G. Nagar. A gap that was more like a bottomless abyss. People were surprised and angry causing them to behave like a mob. And lining up on the sides of the split earth were rows and rows of people pushing and prodding each other. People even tried to climb on each other’s backs. Confusion reigned. I turned left to see that with typical Indian ingenuity, someone has thrown a plank of wood across hoping that it that would bridge this gap. A man stepped on it and walked two steps before the plank collapsed. And he went hurling down the abyss along with a few others who were close to the edge. No one is bothered. I turned right to see a rickshaw fellow trying to leap over the gap. He collapsed into the abyss one quarter of the way in. All I can think of is he reminds me of Coyote, of the Roadrunner fame, the one who realizes that the cliff has finished two meters back, looks down and then falls. I am worried that my rickshaw driver might try to replicate this stunt. My other worry is getting home. A detour at this late hour would mean going across town. I watch people cling to the edges of the abyss like the refugees cling to the train in the film, Gandhi.

Suddenly, the dream dies.

P.S: Other weird dreams here and here.