Dreams & Dragons - Excerpt From An Upcoming Book
6 April 2019
She was like me and unlike me. I was not very different then. I was still a dreamer. I don’t know since when I have been dreaming. When was it, fourteen, fifteen. I don’t remember. Those were the hours, the days, the months when you just dream. Beji encouraged me to dream. She didn’t teach me to dream, that’s what my parents thought. They said she had spoiled me. I would rock for hours on an easychair with my feet up on the table. Once my mother stopped me and asked what I was doing. I told her I was unhappy with the way Ivanhoe ended. I liked Rebecca more than Rowena. Ivanhoe should have loved Rebecca. He was an idiot, so I was trying to think of a better ending. Make him act more sanely. My mother screamed it was time for me to act more sanely. You should have seen the scene. It was damn funny. They blamed it all on Beji. But she was unperturbed. All they said slipped off her as if she was bathed in oil. She told them why the hell were they worrying about my idleness, anyway she was going to give me her money. And she would smirk at me from the sides when they were scolding me, didn’t give a damn what they thought.
That’s what I liked about her too. She also didn’t seem to give a damn what others thought as long as she was sure wasn’t hurting anybody. They could beat their heads to pulp and she could just sit there, grinning at them. I couldn’t do that. I would get excited, troubled, lose myself. And then she would take me to the sides and calm me down. It was funny sometimes. Women are supposed to be more emotional.
At other times she was like me. Dreaming strange things and feeling proud about it. She dreamed of a curve once. It was a white curve to begin with, but every time it looped up, it changed colors. When you touched it drops of colors fell on you. She was not very tall and in a single loop the curve outgrew her. All she could touch was the orange colored loop lying just above the white one. She played with the loop and before long she was an orange girl. She wasn’t happy with her color, so she tried to climb the curve. But the curve suddenly came to life. Shook like crazy and threw her down. Then she discovered it was the tail of a multicolored dragon. In the sky far above appeared a scary mouth breathing flames and bore down upon her. She screamed and tried to run, but before she could have taken three steps, the dragon cut her off. She closed her eyes and braced herself waiting to be burned to ashes. But nothing happened. She slowly opened one eye and saw the dragon grinning at her. Don’t ask me how do dragons grin, that’s what she saw. I like you, the dragon said to her. You are an orange girl, and I like orange girls. I don’t like black girls, and I hate blue girls, but I like orange girls. Saying that he blew a large flame at her scaring her again, but the flame didn’t burn her. It was a cool flame and it smelled nice. That’s how I greet the people I like, he told her. She said good afternoon to him, and told him that’s how she greeted the people she liked, and didn’t know how to do better than that. Apparently he was in a mood for a chat, but suddenly there came a meteor shooting across the sky and fell with a loud boom where they were standing. All around there was blackness and a lot of hullabaloo, and she was falling from building to building, till she finally came to rest in some London home where there were lots of people celebrating one of her old school friend’s birthday. It was a nice birthday but it was a boring dream and so she stopped talking about it. Told me she was really relieved it was an orange loop lying at the bottom of the dragon’s tail and not any other color. She would have been doomed otherwise, especially if it was blue.
I thought I had seen a similar dream sometime. I told her so. But my white curve was not multicolored, it was only white. I didn’t remember the rest of the dream. Only that sometime the white curve became bigger and bigger, looped across the sky and into itself and turned into the petals of a giant flower. I slipped on those petals down inside the flower and fell through its hole into a waterfall, then into a stream. My dream was not interesting or funny. Hers was. But we had similar dreams. Was it a coincidence? I don’t know, but I don’t think so.