“Do you think Neppo is dreaming?” My brother asked me.
Sanjeev George has never been interested in sports, but what am I complaining about? At that time, even I wasn’t into soccer.
Every now and then though, some things happen that make the whole world pause and take notice. South Korea’s dream run at the FIFA world cup of 2002 was one such event, and we were glued to our television screen with millions of other people when they took on Spain in the quarter finals that year.
The game went down to the wire, ending with a controversial 5-3 win in penalties for the hosts.
But here, my brother was busy carefully observing our pet dachshund's unusual body movements.
“Are you listening man”? He asked me, visibly annoyed by my apathetic response to his canine sleep analysis.
I turned my gaze for a second from the television to look at the 8th wonder of the world Napoleon 'Born-Apart' Senior lying on the verandah of our home in Kerala.
His eyes were closed tightly, and yet he was wagging his tail. Interestingly every few seconds he would shake all four legs too.
Now that Sanjeev had my attention, he delved deeper into the topic.
“What do you think he is dreaming of"? He asks.
“Wait, how did we conclude that he was dreaming”? I replied.
“It seems to be a good dream and a nightmare at the same time” He continued to explain looking more closely at Neppo, completely ignoring my question.
There is silence for a few seconds, and I slowly start to look away hoping this discussion was done and over with.
“Maybe it’s a giant chicken leg”. He says.
“Maybe the good part of the dream is when he sees the leg just lying there doing nothing, and the nightmare is where it comes to life and chases him down the street”.
I laugh loud enough to wake Neppo from his sleep.
Neppo first stares at me and then at my brother before walking out of the room looking disdainful. If he could talk I’m sure he would have said “Where can a dog go to get some sleep in this house”.
I have always been fascinated by dreams.
It is the one of the few things very unique to our species.
And I am not talking about daydreaming in the middle of a lecture.
That aspect of being a human I don’t particularly find fascinating, it has in fact gotten me into a lot of trouble over the years.
But rather, I’m talking about the technicolor cinemascope short films that just appear all of a sudden in the middle of our sleep, starring you and me in it.
Which reminds me of the modern day classic Christopher Nolan film Inception, the only movie till date that I have watched 3 times on the big screen.
I have always felt Chris and his brother did a much better job with their analysis of dreams than Sanjeev and I did in 2002.
At one point in the movie we see Joseph Gordon-Levitt try and explain to Ellen Page how dreams work, he reminds her about how we always end up starting somewhere in the middle of a dream.
And when you think of it, it’s very true. We normally can’t figure out how we got to where we are in a dream, there is usually no beginning, and usually the dream ends abruptly.
Even though it’s kind of obvious I had never thought of that before.
That being said, you aren’t always merely a passive audience in your dream, on occasion you even participate, trying to alter the outcome.
It is dreams like those that I live for.
I had a very interesting dream about 2 months ago.
In this dream I found myself in the middle of a very poorly lit room.
I wandered about in the darkness for a short while before moving towards the lights I saw in the distance.
I couldn’t see clearly without my glasses on so I couldn’t make out anything till I got a lot closer.
What I saw before my eyes intrigued me.
The light was coming from two lamps that hung from the ceiling.
And there appeared to be people standing underneath them.
It was a little disconcerting that they seemed to be looking straight at me and so I decided to be a little more cautious than just blindly walking into them.
They weren’t moving and I was curious to know more so I took measured steps and approached them.
The details got finer.
I could now see that there was one man standing under the lamp on the left and what looked like a small family under the lamp on the right.
When in doubt go right, right?
So I went to my right first.
I was correct.
It was indeed a cute little family.
The best part was that I seemed to recognize these people, but I just wasn't sure.
Never before have I missed my spectacles as much as I did in that dream.
All of them were smiling, so I assumed they were happy, the wife had red ribbons on her hair which didn’t make sense to me but who was I to pass comments on how someone chose to wear their hair, in 30 years I have barely mastered the task of using a comb.
I couldn’t make much of the faces of the children but I could bet there were incredibly cute.
It was however the man I spent most time trying to place in my head.
He was as tall as me, much bigger in size, had a round face and a neat appearance in general, and the more I looked at him the more familiar he seemed.
Sensing my attempts to identify him were getting futile by the second I decided to turn my attention to the man under the lamp to my side.
He looked very different from the man and his family on the right.
He was slouched over so I couldn’t see his face completely, but from the looks of it he seemed tired, and mostly disheveled.
Maybe if I could move the light a little closer to him I would be able to see more clearly I thought to myself.
I approached him carefully keeping an eye out for any sudden movements.
The lamp wouldn’t budge from its position.
Up close he looked tired and disheveled alright, there were scars and marks on his face that I didn’t see in the other guy, he was smiling nonetheless, but again, I couldn’t recognize him.
I was disappointed; this was turning out to be a frustrating experience.
When all hopes seemed lost, the man under the left side of the lamp spoke.
Don't you know who I am? He said in a voice i have known all my life.
I didn't have to see him again to recognize him.
It was me.
Siri kept her word to me and woke me up on time.
The dream had ended.
To Be Continued.........