Tuesday, April 7, 2020


- 500 words
-- Sketch the contours of a dreamscape
-- Your piece must begin with "Once upon a time" and end with "happily ever after".
Deadline: 5:30 pm
Tagging Mathangi KrishGouri DangeParomita VohraVeena ManiSneha Annavarapu.
Once upon a time I listened to Kumar Gandharv sing Sant Kabir’s ‘Sakhiya’. And then, of course, I listened to it again and again, until it joined the collective of the songs and the poetry that have become a part of me, that I specially need to remember when my world is proceeding on a track that I don’t quite like. It describes the dreamscape I want to inhabit, and yet do nothing to reach. The abode of my beloved is truly unique, with the absence of all that is familiar. It is a magical world. Would it be fair of me to translate it here? I don’t think so. And yet this remains my ultimate dreamscape.
(Let me link you to the song, the lyrics, and the translation, in case you are interested).
All my earthly dreamscapes, though, seem to be set outdoors, with birds chirping, trees, and running water: a stream which I am young enough and fleet enough to cross, hopping over the rocks to get to the meadow on the other side. A meadow full of soft green grass, dotted with flowers. A few shahtoot (mulberry) trees, laden with juicy purple fruit, once again trees which I am spry enough to climb. I am joyfully, joyously, aware of the beauty of my surroundings, the pleasant cool breeze, the fragrance of the flowers and field, the gurgling of the stream, the accessibility of the fruit, the weight of the satchel I am carrying: book, lunchbox, water bottle, all senses potentially satiated. Do I wish for company, for a soul mate, a beloved to commune with in the lap of Nature? My dream is, so far, joyful in its solitude. Thou beside me in the wilderness? No thanks. I don’t even want anyone to be concerned about me. My spirit seeks a freedom from all bonds, all expectations, even from love. For now, at least. For the length of this dream. And in this beautiful, unpopulated world, I hear the strains of Bach. The sounds of the very Universe. My soul is nurtured, joyful. There seems to be no concept of time in my magic place. The day remains cool. The sun is neither ascending in the sky, nor descending. I can be in my dream world for as long as I choose. I am perched in the fork of a shahtoot, reading, and occasionally reaching out for the sweet, juicy fruit. Somewhere within, though, I am aware that this is not my reality, there is a world beyond this which is piercing through my blissful state of being, reminding me of a very real world of love and relationships, responsibilities, chores, walks and exercise, reading and writing and cooking, the home of my earthly beloved, the one to whom I pledged my troth a lifetime ago. I switch off the alarm, and get ready to start my day. A brisk walk, and it’s time for tea with the one who constitutes my happily ever after.

No comments: