I dreamed that I had again stumbled into my Bombay home after some ridiculous job, late in the night. Home was the 2BHK at Bandstand that I shared with six other girls who had come from all over India to chase their respective dreams. Down from Mount Mary church, up from Shah Rukh Khan’s bungalow.
“You used to see Saif Ali Khan and Kareena walking past our building, holding hands,” one of the girls told me.
In my dream I slipped out of my slip -on shoes, dream-tiptoed to my room. Turned on the fan and fell on my bed. That was all I could remember of that dream.
I dreamed that I ran again sweating along the west coastline beach of Panama. Fishermen laughed and waved at me. I waved back and felt hugged by air. At the end of my dream-run, I kicked off my runners and sprinted into the ocean, diving under frothy waves. It was the most delicious physical feeling.
I dreamed that at that same place, on the warm sand, I curled up as small as I could. Stretched out as wide and as long as I could. I was as much and as alive as I could be, nestled between dunes of sand in the same way that fireflies were.
I dreamed that I had again woken up in the middle of the night in Varanasi, so hot in my own sweat, the fan whipping the steaming air like an oven. I wiped my face on the bedsheet and pulled my maxi nightie over my head. And opened the door to coolness and a wet ground.
In my dream, the rain should not have started yet, why was it wet? I wondered briefly if Lalu had watered the whole rooftop to cool it, as he sometimes used to do. There was light dream rain that was almost mist, just ending. There was the thorough and thick darkness of the very early morning. In my dream I stumbled across the rooftop to the bathroom and flicked the light switch to no results. No power. I found my way though : it was a place that I knew.
I dream-walked back to my bedroom, pulled the dress off over my head, lay down on the bed. Couldn’t do it, so hot. Stood up, pulled the dress back on. Went and drank some water out of the tap (I was crazy in my dream.) Walking back to my bedroom, I could not make it. The smooth concrete wall next to me was wet, I fell against it. Leaning, sliding down simply and slowly. The cotton getting wet and bunching against the wall. The rain and mist fell over my bare legs and my wrinkled nightie and my face, in the thick darkness of the early morning, and I opened my mouth and drank the night.