The dilemma of reality   Leave a comment

The ugly face of reality in my dream world

Naina settled in for the night under her duvet and looked out the train window. This was the beginning of an annual trip her family took as a routine. It was always around the same month of December heading towards the same destination

As the train chugged towards the north skies became clearer giving way to the stars in the Milky Way which otherwise stayed safely hidden from sight in foggy city skies, city of lights- Mumbai. Lying on her stomach with her face in her palm she looked appreciatively towards the skies to gaze at the stars and hopefully catch a meteor. The cold December breeze hit Naina’s face making her nose red and icy cold. The train moved on and Naina slowly slid into her dream world. This was not a sleeping dream. It was a real dream, a dream she envisioned with open eyes and an open heart. This dream was different as she believed she would see it unfold as her life unfolded. This was a dream of her life in which she played the protagonist. The stage was set. She dreamed of the milestones that she would like to achieve as she went along her life and she knew the exact years when she would experience each of them. The specific details were set in her head as if a reel were playing in front of her. She would have a perfect life, naturally

Today as Naina stared out the window of the plane headed south she could once again see the clear skies just like she had years ago when she was an innocent girl with dreams in her eyes and hope in her heart. The cool air conditioning did not feel natural or even close to the cold breeze she had felt years ago. She wondered when so much time had passed and yet not much had changed. Naina could not fathom why she suddenly drifted to that page of her childhood memories. Those trips were long gone history now. She was a corporate minion who was successful in her career and knew where she wanted to be professionally in the next few years. She had achieved career heights many would only wish and hope for. But had she planted this in her future, which was her present? She had not

Naina started to take stock of her childhood dream. She remembered every detail of it like it was written on pages of the book she held in her hand, starting at the words unable to read. It was a beautiful memory which made her smile and go back to being a child. These thoughts gave her warm happiness which was a treat in her work packed days. Just like most people she too wanted to go back to her childhood, where everything looked pure and serine. Most of all what childhood gives us is hope and faith. Faith in the hope that there is time in life in which we can achieve our dreams, where almost everything is possible

That is why dreaming at that age was a very different experience from today. The yesterday’s dreams were filled with hope and faith that were given to us by time. And time alone took hope and faith away from us as we grow up. Time makes us realize that some things we were meant to do would now never come true, because we just do not have the time anymore

Leaving those thoughts she smilingly drifted to her happy place, where she was a child with hope. With this she returned to the milestones she had thought she would achieve and in the semi aware state of mind she could see how every part of her dream had played out exactly like she had imagined

Naina imagined she had achieved the professional and social milestones she had set for herself and the world was a happy place

There is so much peace and happiness when we get what we want; the life that we envision for our self.  And then we wake up. Naina’s moment of awakening was now

And suddenly the airline experienced turbulence. She had never experienced such bad weather ever and she was a frequent flier. What was even stranger that it was definitely not expected in the month of April. As a habit her seat belt thankfully was always fastened

Suddenly the smile vanished from her lips. She took a closer look only to realize that she, the protagonist of her story looked very different at each of the social milestones. Of course she was older but that did not seem to be the answer. Then Naina realized what was amiss, the person playing her part in her dream, in reality was not her

With the continued turbulence she looked up to see the expected light on the seat belt icon to be brightly lit, which it was scarily not. What was the jolt that she felt? Why was nobody else reacting to the turbulence? The crew smiled and moved on not telling her co passenger to fasten her seat belt. Naina’s mind was confused but she decided not to dwell on it any further and she started to carefully see herself playing the roles she had so carefully and lovingly drafted for herself as a child. The dreams were of everything that she wanted to be, and achieve in life. And the turbulence came back and she saw it clearly. The person playing in her dream was not her. Naina’s yesterday’s dream was someone else’s life today and she had no way to achieve it now. The milestones were long gone. Life had happened to her and she had not even realized it. The turbulence stopped. It was not a turbulence of an airline or weather; it was something larger than that. The turbulence was her life and dreams shaking in the reality of today

When she looked around she saw an entire lot of things life had given her. Some of which she had dreamed of and a lot of which she had not. Yet she had not wanted to give up her dream for this and yet she had to or had she. Was she nothing but a marionette at the hands of life and destiny?

This was something she could only wonder about and not have answers. She had to live with the question

The life Naina had dreamed of was a reality. Only it was not her reality, it was someone else’s reality. Life has a way of panning out. Today years after, Naina felt something within her chest and she realized, it’s in our moments of decisions that destiny is made. Even though she dreamed it she also believed that events would occur naturally

We think life is eternal and we will live on to fulfill all that we wish for. Suddenly life happens and we realize we don’t have a second chance. We stand at that stretch of road where a large part of our journey is covered with nothing to show for it. Ironically the only thing that helps us move the rest of the journey is a dream

Holding on to that thought Naina went in to her dream world oscillating to occasionally read the book in hand


“The world is so unpredictable. Things happen suddenly, unexpectedly. We want to feel we’re in control of our own existence. In some ways we are, in some ways we’re not. We are ruled by the forces of chance and coincidence.” ~ Paul Auster


Posted April 9, 2016 by nidhi khanna in Uncategorized

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