Last day when we were sitting at the Food Court having our morning quota of gossips, we suddenly stumbled upon the topic “dreams”, as in the real dreams, the ones we have in our sleep. It was then, after a long time, my mind raced back to the only dream which really really touched me and still haunts me the way it did when I was a college girl of 19. It must be the stupidest and longest dream in the history of dreams, a dream that must have taken place in my brain in less than 10 seconds; yet it is still the most beautiful dream I’ve ever had. I was initially a bit apprehensive whether I should write on it or not, because it must have been the product of a very immature and young mind and writing about it might have people laugh at me. But then I thought it’s not fair to not write about the only dream which is so vividly clear in my mind with even the minutest of details, even after six long years. If I am to write about it I have to write just what I saw, no matter how silly it was, no matter how immature it was. So here goes..
I could see from somewhere above, a funeral, my friends crying beside the lifeless body of someone who was with them till the last day, someone who won’t be with them anymore – me. It was my funeral I was watching from above. And there I was, at a bus stop, waiting for the bus that would take me to my new home in heaven.
Well, as per this dream, the system is like this. Once you die, you all go to heaven. There is no concept of hell. It’s just heaven, which happens to be a huuuuge place that you don’t get to walk around and see. Each person is allotted to a particular location where he/she lives on for eternity. If I’m allotted to say, location A, I’m there forever after death with others who are allotted to location A. People of location A never get to see people from locations B or C. I did not get to see if they are like townships or anything though; that is not relevant.
There are buses at frequent intervals to take the “newly dead” people to their assigned locations. I got into a bus – the kind of low-floor A/C one, that used to be very common in the West back then. The bus was packed, with not even a single vacant seat. So I leaned on to a pole beside a seat. It was at that moment, he first came into my life, or rather, “my life after life” in this case.
This guy in a dull-orange t-shirt and blue jeans wearing a dark blue backpack, brushed by my side and stood in front of me, facing me, and what more, looking right into my eyes, the kind of gaze which goes right through you and brings in a knot in your stomach. It didn’t take even a split-second for him to catch my attention because the moment he was there, I was enveloped in a feeling of belonging, a feeling of connection, a vibe of “my own”. And the moment I looked back into his eyes, I knew the look in his eyes was all that I’ve ever wanted. I’m not sure whether to call it a gaze or a stare, all I know is, if I’ve ever actually “seen” love literally, it was then, right then, in his eyes.
When we reached the next halt, three passengers got out and I took a window seat. There was a seat vacant beside me and one just opposite to me. Without ever taking his eyes off mine, he took the seat opposite to me. Every minute I sat there, trying to take his face into my mind, questioned my belief when I was alive, that soulmates did not exist. Because it was then, after my life was over, on my way to the life beyond, the journey to eternity, I met the one I never met in my whole life, the one I was destined to meet even if it was for minutes, the one I was destined to love forever after that. A sense of panic, or was it grief, struck me at that point, when I realized I had just met the one person who loved me with all his heart, the one person who travelled his whole life to find me, but had to step down at the next halt – the halt I was not assigned to, the halt I could never get down at. When he took his bag and stood up, I realized with horror that this was the last time I would see him, ever. I wanted to say something before I lost him, before we were forced to let go of each other. But words wouldn’t come out.
As the bus pulled over, he placed a small packet, gift wrapped in bright pink, with a red bow on top, on my lap. And then, he bent down, lifted my chin slowly, and as if to say he lived all his life to meet me, to say he will always love me, to say good bye forever, kissed me lightly, my first and last kiss. Whether it was the joy of having found him or the sorrow of having to lose him the very same moment, which was in my mind then, I’m not sure. Eyes welled with tears, he stepped down and stood by my window, his back to me. All I wanted at that moment was to see his face just one last time, memorize everything about him so I always had his face in my mind. Desperate, with hot tears streaming down my cheeks, I strained my eyes out of the window as the bus started to pull away. And right when I was turning the corner, I saw him turn back and through his tear-filled eyes, look at me, for the very last time.
Six years down, I still can’t make his face out completely, but I still remember his deep eyes – his deep eyes filled with love, in a way I’ve never seen, never felt and perhaps, might never ever feel. Stupid as it is, it’s the only dream which I savour, the only dream which I can never forget and the only dream which will make me love in a way I would never have otherwise. And funny as it is, the sense of loss I felt when I woke up from this dream long long back, is still as intense as it was then. Maybe since that sense of loss is still special to me, I’ve never tried to find his face in any face that I’ve come across, I’ve never tried to find his eyes anywhere other than in my dreams.
Also published on Medium.