” Dear eyes, good night,
In golden light
The stars around you gleam;
On you I Press
With soft caress
A little lovely dream…”
These days I have been dreaming a lot lately. It may be because the doors of my mind are opening more. I must say – an honest confession – not that of an addict- I may go cold turkey if you want me to – but I think, that the Cannabis has blissful properties and at least once in a life time, one must freely fall into its nonchalance to reach the nooks and corners of one’s mind. Anyways, if I write more about the trails of marijuana, you would start thinking of sending me to a rehab. I was talking about the dream I had last night which, if I don’t pen down now, will be lost in my eternal mind forever again.
These dreams come to me more often, and are getting more vivid each day. It is as if I am lucid dreaming and one such experience I had yesterday night. My father had come to visit me and so maybe, his presence had ramifications strong enough to make me dream about him.
I love the place I come from; the dusty roads and the rickety buses running over them; earthy particles tickling your nose and off course the aroma of garam-garam jalebis filling the aura every time you breathe in; reasons plenty enough to make me go weak on my knees every summer and influence my father to plan a trip to my Grandma’s. The house in front of the police faadi, (what they call a station) and a perspicuous view of the imam engrossed in his worldly activities of pleasing The Allah. Yes, the only neighbours we have were Allah living in his masjid with his kids living in the campus. My three storeyed manor was tall enough to play peek-a-boo with the kids living way down below (in height, off course. I am not condescending my presence)
The dream was more of me taking back to those roads where I and father used to go on our usual stroll by the sides, discussing some of the pressing issues of the family. The only difference this time being, the centre of issue was I. I and father, we have been more of friends always and with his keen interest in sorting affairs of my life, he has more often started to share his experiences and how he used to be in his untamed days. We were walking the talk, when we crossed a pandemonium around the masjid. A lot of movement of men and kids guffawing and chuckling was what aroused both of our interests. Still we kept on with the pace, keeping our curiosity at the back seat. But, desperateness took over and father went back. He started peeking through the doors of Masjid, as if he was searching for me inside. But, there I stood behind him, so what was he looking at or rather who was he looking for? A streak of disappointment hit his face and seeing my anxiety, he decided to tell his story en route to home; his sholay story of Jai and Veeru, my dad and his chuddy buddy – (let’s call him Mr. Veeru for the time being as dreams are like shades of Grey…they leave gaps on trivial facts or they leave it unto you to find your own truth, whatever it is…)
He mentioned that, once he had a very good friend, his partner in childhood crimes, a Mosalmán – a follower of Islam; and on the porch of that masjid they had met last before father took off for his higher studies. Those days, the only way to keep in touch with people foregone was, to keep them alive in your threads of memory. The good times spent with him was what made him go through the doors to search if he was still there somewhere, maybe chuckling with his kids now.
I without, scrutinizing much, insisted us to go back looking for him. The quest of finding him in me was strong enough to question around 100s, but all went in vain. You see, it’s difficult to find people with most common names. You have 100 % probability of finding the name, but always with the wrong faces glued to it.
I knew we had to catch our trains back to Bokaro the day – after, and so the disappointment on father’s face was coming as a fear over me. You know, back then, I was oblivion to the difficulties of life; I always used to think, life is hunky dory. The onus was on me and I had failed. I cried myself to sleep until the morning took over.
Forgetting about the quest I was on, I was busy playing with the pin wheel my grandpa had gifted the following day. When we were kids, I and my sister always awaited such moments with pleasure – the time when arrived and the time when we departed. No matter how much fun you have had, these are the moments of euphoria; unfolding special surprises and gifts by your elder ones…
We were making our way between the crowds to board the train, when I remember somebody nagging me from the back, wearing a kurta not as white as his skull cap; holding fingers of a tall – herculean man; and his brown little eyes fixed on my pin wheel. The tall man hugged my father tight when I figured out it was for him, that I had cried myself to sleep, the previous night.
I don’t remember much of my Dad s response to the warmness of Veeru’s hug. Of course, he would not be crying because when two grown up men meet, happy tears is the least one should expect. All I remember is Veeru narrating his story of how he made it to the station and to us on time. After his daily share of namaaz at 5 in the morning, someone from the masjid had told him that a young bald Non-Moselman man and his beautiful little daughter came all the way looking for him. After a series of interrogations and phone calls, there he was, standing with us at the station.
I went frenetic when dad mentioned that if it weren’t for me, they wouldn’t have been there. All of a sudden, I was swirling around in Veeru’s arms. I was the protagonist and I was happy about it. Ignorant about all the melodrama, the boy was still standing there with his eyes fixed upon my pin wheel. His brown little eyes glistened in the silhouette of the morning sun when I handed over the pinwheel to him.
I was walking tall – my head held high. My triumphs were constantly fueling my pride every passing moment. When we got up the train, I was thinking, will ever those tiny brown eyes come back looking for me and if yes, then how will they find me? Out of curiosity unbound, I asked father the same. My joy seemed no bounds, when father said he had secretly written my name on that pin wheel I had gifted him.
I was convinced that – yes. Allah did live as my neighbor and he does live in my father too. This was the dream I had last night, but what if it was a reality untold by father… What if those tiny brown eyes are still searching for me somewhere? Well, will have to check it out with father!