(And yes, I am writing this in a trance. I am yet to leave my bed.And I am typing this on my phone.)
I am not much of a dreamer. I mean, day dreaming, impractical ideas, yes. But not much of you-fall-asleep-and-movie-starts kind of a dreamer. In fact, I sleep quite a broken sleep these days. So it was strange what happened last night. In my dreams.
You know that thing called "launch" or steamer? There must be some difference between the two, but I cannot tell which one it was. It had wood benches in neat rows, and was afloat on some dark, grey sea.
I boarded with Dhopash. As always, (ALWAYS, I insist) I found myself a seat at the edge, so that there was sea and there was us, and nothing much in between. On the bank, there was a wide wooden plank. (Who, ever, has seen a sea where launches are parked at wooden planks on the shore? Sorry, my dream was quite unreasonable you see. But in honesty, I should tell you exactly as it was.)
Anyway, there was this wooden plank and there were these people crowding on it, apparently seeing off the passengers who were leaving in the launch. My parents were there, both of them. They looked anxiously at me. The look they look everytime they see or hear that I, alone, will take care of Dhopash. Somehow, their attitude towards me over the last three years have been this, that I am old enough to give birth but perhaps yet some miles to cover to be the mother. As always, I tried to counter their anxiety with an exaggerated look of confidence and a pulled up smile on my face. I wished I could shout at them a "don't you worry, we'll be fine!". But it was too noisy all around and moreover the launch had started its wheels. I tucked up Dhopash tightly in one arm, and held on to the chain that roped the handles of the two large suitcases I had with me. I can't tell exactly, but it seemed like I and Dhopash were taking off for a destination, and for good.
What happened next freaked me out. Suddenly there was this huge, huge black waves that started forming right around us. The launch swayed vigorously at first, and water splashed all over us. Dhopash, asleep for a while, woke up with a jerk. She got very scared.
The next moment, the waves got bigger. And possibly wider. They pulled the launch atop themselves, and the next minute, let it off for a free fall. The launch became very upside down, something like those later scenes in Titanic. Dhopash clutched me tightly, while screaming and shivering at the same time. But then, there was some loud music playing and then someone from behind said something like "hold one, it's gonna be fun!" Loudly in my ears. And while Dhopash was still screaming, her voice drowned in the sounds from around us. People seemed to be divided by the sounds, some panicking while some exhilerating.
I waa silent, not because I wanted to be but because my throat was choked. I was scared for our lives. The launch kept being pulled up and thrown down in irregular succession, everytime with a strength stronger than last time. I gripped Dhopash tightly and she ctutched back hard, so much so that her nails scratched my arms and they were bleeding. Everytime we moved upwards, I could hold her closer to my bones, but then the very next moment we would come falling down and the gravitational pull would seem resolved to take her away from me. Not to mention the frail thin iron bars that formed the railings on the launch, their gaps being narrow for grown ups to pass but wide enough for a minor like her.
It was at one of those moments that I noticed that I was wearing a seatbelt. And that everone, as I looked around, had a firmly girded seatbelt around their waist. Some, particularly the ones who cheered at the ongoings, even had a life jacket put on. I looked back at Dhopash. She was the only one without a seat belt or a life jacket.
I looked at the shore, which now was at quite some distance. I tried to spot my parents in the crowd so that I could ask them if they can take Dhopash from me, but I could not identify them in the hazy crowd. Also, now that I am awake I am thinking, how could they possibly help when we had already left the shore behind?
And, how did I ever forget to put a life jacket on Dhopash?
Thank goodness I am awake! And she beside me, peacefully sleeping away to glory, her arm wrapped around mine, and a slight smile hanging at the corner of her mouth.
I can tell she's dreaming some dream too.
I just hope she feels safe in it.