Thursday, July 14, 2016

Devika's Dreams

Fiction

Devika's dreams were filled with flying reptiles.  Crocodiles and serpents soared heavenward on diaphanous wings.  They disturbed her sleep night after night.

  "She wants the best of both worlds."  That was her father's interpretation of her dreams.  Seeing her swollen eyes in the morning, mother asked her what disturbed her sleep.  She told mother about the crocodiles and serpents with diaphanous wings that visited her night after night. Mother dutifully reported the matter to father.

  "Both worlds?"  Mother did not understand.

  "The reptiles belong to the earth.  Too much to the earth.  The wings belong to the heavens.  And diaphanous wings!"  He paused.  "Hmm... They belong to angels, I suppose."

  Devika was reading a poem by Sara Teasdale when mother was trying to decode the link between the terrestrial reptiles and the celestial angels.

  Stephen kissed me in the spring,
  Robin in the fall,
  But Colin only looked at me
  And never kissed at all.

  "ISIS attacks North of Baghdad, seven killed."  Father read aloud the newspaper headline.  He was silent for a while.  Then he said, "It's no wonder if she dreams of reptiles with wings."

  Stephen's kiss was lost in jest,
  Robin's lost in play,
  But the kiss in Colin's eyes
  Haunts me night and day.

  Devika continued to read Teasdale.  The aroma of fried eggs rose from the kitchen.  Mother was cooking breakfast.  Fried egg sunny side up was Devika's favourite item on the breakfast menu.  As long as there was fried egg sunny side up, the rest of the breakfast could be anything from plain dosa to humble upma with chutney.

  Did she inherit the flying reptiles from her mother?  Devika wondered.  When she was a little girl, Devika remembered now, mother had a peculiar headache.  Whenever an aeroplane flew over their place, mother would get a headache.  Since they lived in a village, the aeroplanes would be flying very high in the sky.  They were quite rare too.  They looked like tiny birds which hummed mechanically.  They gifted headaches to mother for a few years.  Then the headaches stopped miraculously.  "I have no more any desire to fly in them," mother said as if that was the explanation for her miraculous recovery.

  Will the reptiles stop flying in my dreams if I smother my desires?  Devika asked herself.  But what were her desires?  She wondered.  Maybe they lay somewhere beyond the horizon.

  Best of both worlds.  Father's phrase rang in her ears as Devika put aside Sara Teasdale and picked up her bath towel.  Soon she has to be ready to go the city where she worked for a software firm that specialised in creating apps for smartphones.

  As the shower water descended on her, a new app was emerging in her imagination.  A game with flying reptiles that could be manoeuvred by the player while bombs exploded beneath.  The successful player would be rewarded with a kiss from Colin or Colleen depending on the gender or sexual preferences of the player.  Virtual kiss, of course.



14 comments:

  1. And that made me remember the recent popularity of Pokemon Go, a smartphone game. dreams, desires and reptiles. Now that's a creative story :)

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  2. Strange, how addictive a game can get that it leaves a mark unknowingly on the mind. Very interesting story. I too wonder if the inherited headache played a part in bringing the reptiles to life in her nightmares.

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    1. Dreams too can be inherited, perhaps. :)

      And dreams have no horizons.

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  3. Nice way of combining gaming with rustic imagination

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    1. Dreams have no boundaries, Subha. The rustic horizons can't limit them. And the urban realities such as bombs infiltrate villages indirectly....

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  4. I liked the father's dream interpretation! If nothing, her dreams gave wings to some constructive ideas for work! Historically,the most improbable inventions sprouted from dreams. But the question in my mind is, did she inherit her mom's dreams....interesting!

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    1. Dreams are contagious 😀
      There are people whose feet are on the earth and heart somewhere out there.

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  5. What a wonderful dream! Beautiful story.

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  6. Many layers in the story - desire, terrorism, possibility of having the best in both the worlds and the probability of that becoming a reality virtually....Just googled about Teasdale here and read about her suicide....So this was a deliberate choice....

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    1. First of all, thanks Sunaina for being such a serious reader. Yes, the story is more complex than my usual ones. Many layers. And you're also right about my choice of Teasdale.

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  7. Very interesting....I do believe that dreams are our propellers.

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    1. Dreams can also indicate what's happening in the unconscious mind ☺

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