I woke up with a cold sweat. Instinctively, my hand went to the right side
of my head. Surprisingly, there was no scar there. Then
I remembered who I was.
I jolted up in my bed.
That too had been a dream! I looked around. My wife lay by my side, snoring softly.
I touched my face.
It was covered with sweat. I tried to calm down. I got out of the bed and drank a glass of water. I then
looked at my children's peaceful faces. But my heart kept on beating wildly.
I was walking back to my bed when
a paralyzing thought arose within me: "Am I dreaming?"
This thought shocked me so much that I sat down right there
on the ground. I touched my arms and legs. They felt real enough. But so
had the police officer's baton and
the prince's face.
Dizzily, I walked back to my bed and tried to sleep. But I was too frightened to sleep.
the morning, my wife and children were alarmed by my state. I no longer cared to say anything to them. Just the
thought, "Am I
dreaming?" kept eating away at my heart.
I didn't go to the farm that day. What was the use?
It was not real, why did I need to do anything when I knew it would soon end.
That day, I spent many hours in front
of the mirror looking closely at my face. I tried to see if it had any similarities with queen's
and the thief's
face. But none existed.
Everyone and everything told me I was not dreaming. But my eyes told a different
story. I looked deeply into them and saw only sleep in them.
My wife and children were greatly troubled by my
low spirits and tried to cheer me up by talking about the expansion of the farm
which I had been passionately pursuing,
but I couldn't help but laugh at them.
I looked closely into their eyes and even in them, I saw nothing but sleep invasion.
day went slowly. I sat on the bed waiting for the dream to end. I no longer knew who I was.
Was I the thief?
Was I the queen?
Was I the farmer?
night, my wife held me closely and tried all her charms to bring back her farmer. But I was too frightened of the world
and no matter how hard I tried, I could not open up my fears to her. That night too, I could not sleep at all. Next morning,
my wife suggested we go to the temple and visit the pundit.
I beamed at the thought. My family and I used to
visit the temple on the full moon's night and I vaguely recalled the pundit saying
that we were all living in a dream.
could not wait to get to the temple. The pundit must know about my problem and would surely have a solution.
morning, my wife and I walked to the temple. She was pleased to see me happy again.
But my happiness was short
lived: as soon as I saw the pundit, I knew something was wrong. One look into his eyes told me what it was. He
was sleeping too! In fact, he seemed to be sleeping even more deeply than I!
Greatly depressed, both of us returned
This depression only got deeper by the day. My wife and children were visibly frightened of me and
there was a heavy silence in the
whole house. They talked in hushed voices and avoided me as much as possible.
wanted to open up to them and tell that they needn't be frightened - this was a dream after all, but the truth was I too was
deeply frightened. In fact, the lack of sleep and cleanliness had left such marks on my face that it frightened everybody!
spent my days in bed or in front of the mirror. Even though my wife forced food into my mouth, I become weak and quite
After five days, I was so weak that I had difficulty getting up from my bed.
Depression hung over
me like never before. That night at sunset, I did something I had never done before - I prayed.
The pundit had
said that all prayers are answered. Of course, I hadn't believed him then and I believed him even less now, but there
was no other hope. So I knelt on the side of the bed and prayed,
Creator, please wake me up."
I was quite surprised to hear these words come out of my mouth. I surely hadn't
planned to say them; they had just come quite
spontaneously. I felt a little better and a little lighter.
prayer was answered the next morning.
to be continued...