Dreams are funny things. They hijack your idea of a peaceful, DND nap. Some dreams are bright, some dark, some routine, some eventful and then there are those dreams that give you a reality check. I shall narrate to you one such dream today. This dream is mention worthy because one, it was a sensible one, and two, it played out a story that bordered on so-serious-that-it-entered-my-dream and do-I-really-need-reminding-of-this-stuff?
Here we go.
I was riding my way back in time. Into a past when there was neither Facebook nor Twitter. A past where I had no idea that my dream would find its way to Medium.
I clearly remember the feeling of joy that swept through me as I rode my bicycle outside the little yellow gate. My bicycle track had kachha roads and I thought the weather was just perfect for a nice ride up hill. A scatter of clouds masking the sun, the smell of rain somewhere around me — it was perfect.
I took my favorite country side road and coasted uphill to get to my little trek. As I passed the beautiful lake I heard birds chirping, cold breeze from the fields hitting my face. I sometimes liked riding my bike really slow and this was one such time. I particularly love my ride on this road because it is the most secluded one — I do not get to see many humans nor the traces of their existence.
You must know that I don’t find it weird or unusual talking to the fields, trees and birds for I have been doing that since the time I was aware of my existence. I waved at those flock of birds enjoying the weather just as much as I do. I asked them to tell me their story when they are back from their journey. I promised to tell them mine.
I progressed further to reach my favorite hill for the trek. The sheer lack of human presence makes this particular trek my most favorite one. Nature’s spread here is more overwhelming than anything I have ever seen. There is no clear path to reach the top. You climb your way up working one rock after another. It was essential that you remember each step upward so that your way down is not messed up. I always loved sitting midway on some of the rocks and looking at those far away towns- smiling at the chaos in there. I look at the perfectly aligned orchards nearby and totally lose myself in the greenery that blankets my surroundings. On reaching the top of the hill, I feel the fresh air hitting my face. This place has always been the most beautiful place closest to my home and I never miss a chance to be here. This hill top is one place where spending hours alone would still not make me feel lonely.
On this particular day, I had spent several hours on the hill top — strolling around staring at the different views around it, speaking to nature’s elements, quietly sitting under my philosopher’s tree totally lost in thoughts. When I did realize that time had flown and it was time to leave this paradise and walk back down, things started to seem different. I walked back down the hill, as always,working my way through those rocks — an unadulterated maze of nature, I would call it. Only this time, my face fell as I noticed that there was a road that was being built to the top. This road would lead to a hilltop temple — also being built. More humans! Most of the rocks I had marked on the way up no longer exist and I see a patch of new black road in their place. The bushes I remember on my way up the hill are now littered with construction wastes and plastic glasses. The chill breeze now has a hint of dust and the air smells of carbon from the new road.
The path I took to reach the hill now had a new township in place of clearly aligned lush green mango orchards. I could also see a new factory grinding away. More humans, more labor, more adulteration to nature’s setting. And all thanks to my brand new mobile phone, I fail to notice those beloved sparrows that greeted me on my way up the hill. The 30 feet kachha road which I used to ride up is now 100 ft wide and I could see all sizes of vehicles moving to and fro in a hurry. I no longer felt secluded on this road. The flock of birds which owed me a story never turned up. I am sure they aren’t even willing to listen to mine. I could not see any water in the beautiful lake. All I see now is only a grey patch of plastic in place of the lake and foul smell of dead fish. The next thing I knew was that I was pedaling on my bicycle furiously — to go far away from here, to go back to when reality wasn’t far away from a pleasant dream.
The horns from vehicles, noise, human intervention, smoke from factories, plastic filled lake- all this made me choke. This is what I built for my next generation. I can’t show my kids my favorite hangout spot because its no longer the same. I then woke up from a nightmare which started off as a pleasant dream to only realize that the reality is closer to nightmare more than ever.
Editing credits : Sudarshan Ravichandran. Thanks a lot :)