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My Nightmares

Nightmares abound in my sleeps. They are all very similar too like the sheep in a flock. Their fidelity to one theme used to disturb me. Not any more, because I have accepted them as my lifelong companions. Moreover, their frequency has declined considerably.

Some mysterious but friendly person persuades me to go on a journey and takes me along strange yet familiar landscapes. Rugged mountains with turbulent rivers. Initially the place looks familiar, like Shillong where I lived the most painful years of my life. Eventually, however, the place assumes fiendish shades and undertones. There are people and they don’t seem to notice me. Yet they look menacing indirectly as if they are lying in ambush just waiting for an opportunity to pounce on me. The person who brought me here has vanished. I walk alone with inimical forces all around. There is no harm done to me but the threat is always looming all around. Sometimes I am caught in a labyrinth on the mountain. Sometimes it’s a labyrinthine mansion which always reminds me of some Catholic seminaries. Do the menacing figures in my nightmares wear white cassocks? That question arises in my consciousness after each nightmare.  

I have longed for sweet dreams. They evade me. Mercifully, my reality is better than my dreams.

What strikes me most is the element of betrayal in my nightmares. The bizarre terrains and the detached hatred on faces don’t terrify me as much as the betrayal by the person who initiates my journeys into the alien landscapes.  

I experienced much betrayal in my life, especially in Shillong. In fact, Shillong sucked out my trust in people with all those betrayals. I have lived a relatively solitary life ever since leaving that hill town. But the town continues to haunt my sleeps.

Science tells me that there is something called ‘hidden memory.’ That is the place where we send our stressful, traumatic or fear-related memories. This is a kind of self-protection mechanism. But these memories don’t peter out eventually. I guess, they keep coming back in our nightmares.

I have made friends with my nightmares, so to say. I know how they are going to be. I accept them with humility and resignation. Sometimes I even feel that I should be grateful for all the trekking I get in my dreams. 

PS. Written for Indispire Edition 430: Do your dreams/nightmares have a common theme? Write about the theme or lack of it.


  1. Hari OM
    There was a time when my night times were active like this (good, bad, indifferent) but these days I don't recall any dreams. No doubt they are there, but they refuse to remain on the opening of the eyes... YAM xx


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