I had two of the weirdest of dreams today; I will blame the fried maggi and double mixed fruit juice overdose, or maybe The Men Who Stare at Goats. Either way, they were absolutely strange in the sense that my behaviour in them was not in line with my real world self.
I do not remember the first one, but I do remember waking up after that one, seeing that it is still only 9am, and going back to sleep again. The second one caused me to wake up as well, but neither were really nightmares. It is also entirely possible that I got the causality wrong; the dream may have stopped because I got up. Anyway, here goes the second dream:
Scene is a road-facing consumer shop, where you can buy electronics, stationery and for some reason, also book travel tickets. I was merely observing some people transact business. Then, my mom tells me to go check if tickets to place X were available. I go there, and tell them to give me a form – apparently the booking and availability checking form is the same. Also, it’s some sort of a hi-tech form, in the sense that you need to tap the buttons and menu options for them to work; maybe it is a tablet or something. So I fill up the details and the overenthusiastic counter salesperson wants to know if I need his help, and where would I like to go. I tell him that I’m just checking availability and will let him know if I need his help. He sort of snubs at me!
So, I finish filling up the details, and hesitate for a second trying to locate the button for check availability, because it is between the buttons for check fare, book et al. One other salesperson looks over my shoulder and says: The button is there. The first salesperson says: No, he doesn’t want to book the tickets, only check availability. I just ignore them, and click the check availability button. The screen pointer indicates that the button has been hit, but nothing happens. The second salesperson says: No, you didn’t hit it hard enough. Let me do it. I hit it again, and give him a look.
The page opens and I get the data; I have no clue what it actually said. A third salesperson comes along, and says: May I have a look? I’ll book these tickets for you. He even started poking his head between mine and the form, and tried to pull the form away from me. This is when I lost it: I DON’T WANT TO BOOK TICKETS. HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT I AM ONLY CHECKING AVAILABILITY. DON’T YOU PEOPLE UNDERSTAND. $#%^%$^%@#!
The third guy is now appalled. The first two look at him. I wouldn’t stop: You guys do not know how to do business or treat customers. (At this point I’m not sure if any tried to placate me, and if they did, it only worsened things.) I shot back: I have been a long-time customer here. I just bought 3 mobile phones from this store. (I swear during the dream I was thinking of what would be a fair number to put in here, because I had not actually purchased any mobile phones from the store before.) I AM NEVER GOING TO COME BACK HERE AGAIN. YOU HAVE JUST LOST A PAYING CUSTOMER.
By this time everyone in the store is staring at me and at the counter, and the salespeople are now genuinely concerned with sheepish looks on their faces. As I left the shop, I could hear their manager and the first two salespeople berating the third salesperson: What did you do? What did you do? Why did you have to ask him? Now who will recover these lost sales? You have single handed increased all of our workload…
[So far, I can see a mixture of Anupam stores in Mumbai, my Latitude XT, IRCTC website, Rocket Singh, a disgruntled me, observed customers who give pain to the salespeople, all coming together in this dream-streak. Of course, this is completely contrary to how I’d react in real life. But it doesn’t end there.]
Outside the shop, my mom and dad are waiting in an ordinary Mumbai rickshaw; dad is actually outside. I walk to them, all angry, and without any dialogue, get inside the rickshaw. Dad climbs in after me, and the rickshaw is off, possibly going home. I don’t recall any dialogue, but the rickshaw climbs to some height, and it looks like a derelict building terrace, with one edge facing the railway lines. I’m playing the incident back in my head, when the rickshaw-walla bhaiya simply drives off the edge of the building, over the railway tracks and I go: OH! WTF? WHY HAS HE JUMPED US ALL OFF THE BUILDING. Dad simply says: The angle isn’t right; you should have taken off at a higher angle.
My dream mind is numb. Taken-off? WTF? We start coming down, but we’ve now crossed the railway lines, and are passing over some buildings. The rickshaw-walla bhaiya says: It’s that pink building, right? Dad: Yes. Rickshaw-walla bhaiya: Oh, that’s going to be a tough one. Me: WTF? What do you mean it’s going to be a tough one? What were you even thinking when you “took-off” the other building? This is insane. This must be a dream.
The next few things happen quite fast in the dream. The rickshaw-walla bhaiya starts shouting, possibly to himself: The antenna, the antenna, we are too low, too low. He does some insane driving actions, more like that of a pilot trying to fly a single engine plane with the joystick – he was doing that with the steering bar of the rickshaw. Then: Look out for the cylinder, the cylinder. And then we float, and land on to the terrace of what I now assume, was our building. This is when I notice that Bana, my aaya from childhood days and now a family member, is also with us, and she was absolutely scared to death with all this flying.
I have no clue what the cylinder was, and my real world building is not pink. It does have a cellular tower on its terrace, so maybe that was the antenna. And this is where I get up. I tried hard to recollect if there was any flying gear connected to the rickshaw, but I can’t remember. Possibly there were two or three big white silk balloons, but I am not sure.
[I don’t even know what is the inspiration for all this – flying rickshaws and what not! What a crazy dream, really!]
Ed: Minor edits made, and link to IRCTC fixed. Thanks, Vidyadhar.