Yet again, he woke up with empty eyes and an a sobbing, empty heart.
The sun was pouring gold over the roads. The birds, chirping melodiously than ever. The wind was whispering a sweet new message into ears. it was rare morning in the concrete jungle of
Delhi. But, he woke up with empty eyes.
“Haven’t you over-slept? You will be late for work” a sweet voice called Aniket while he was still in bed. It was Sonia’s voice, Aniket’s loving, caring, newly-wed wife.
Aniket and Sonia had a sweet, traditional Punjabi wedding after an year of courtship. Obviously it was an arrange marriage. They met only once, at Sonia’s place, back in their home town Ludhiana. Aniket had heard a lot about how Sonia was a smart, educated girl with big and beautiful eyes. He was very excited to meet her. He wore his favourite blue shirt.
As Sonia entered the room, holding a tray with a lot of coffee mugs, Aniket could not resist to look right into her eyes to find that she actually had gorgeous eyes. Sonia wore a blue dress too. Aniket’s cousin, Akhil, notices the similarity in no time and everybody was excited and happy about the co-incidence. Daadi thought it was god’s message to tell us that this is to work.
Soon after the marriage, Aniket and Sonia moved to Delhi to join their respective jobs. Aniket never wanted to leave his home-town as a child. He was very attached to his family and friends. But as he grew older, he chose to move out of the city for higher studies and there was no returning back ever.
Aniket dragged himself out of the bed. He forced open his eyes and begin to get ready to start the usual journey of the day. As he sat on the breakfast table, Sonia noticed the glumness on her husband’s face.
“You know what, even I did not have any dream last night. I think I was too tired. I slept as soon as I hit the bed. You work too hard. We should take a break.” Sonia said all of that in one go.
Aniket looked at her and smiled.
“My dreams are lost.” Aniket said.
“They will find their way back.” Sonia replied with a smile.
Aniket has been very depressed for a few years now. He doesn’t have dreams while sleeping like he used to have when he was a child. Every night he sleeps with a hope to visit the world of dreams and just steal one for himself to keep. But his dreams are lost.
As a child, Aniket used to have dreams every night. He had dreams about flying, dreams about fighting the demons, dreams about finding a hidden treasure, dreams about making his mother smile and laugh, dreams about leaving in the peaceful town, away from the devilish crowd of big cities, dreams about travelling the world with a cute little girl he had a crush on back then. He could not remember all the dreams the next morning. But whatever little memory he had, he tried his best to live that dream.
He remembers to get a leg fractured as he jumped from a tree trying to fly and was extremely proud of it as he became a hero for his friends. And once he had run away from school and did not came back until late evening to find the demons that had ate his share of Rajma Chawal. His cousins never fought him over food ever again.
But now, there were none. He had no dreams. He had nothing to accomplish each morning.
Today, he decided to bunk office as he was too depressed to work. He bought a cup of coffee to go from the coffee shop and found a peaceful corner in the park which was next to his office building. It was all green and beautiful around him but he was not able to appreciate the nature. All he could think of was a more beautiful place he saw in his dreams as a kid.
Suddenly a boy came and sat next to Aniket. He was in his early teens, wearing the dull school dress and carrying a huge bag that was weighing him down. Aniket knew that he had bunked his school.
“Did you bunk your school?” Aniket asked the boy.
“Do you know my father? Don’t tell him please. you can have my lunch” the said with scary voice as he furiously took out his lunch from his bag.
“No. No. Don’t worry. I won’t tell anybody. But you should not do that. It is risky.”
“You must take risks in life.” the boy said, in a very dramatic voice. It made Aniket laughed.
“But why are you here?”Aniket enquired.
“I am finding the monster I saw in my dream last night. It is this big(stretching both his hands wide), he is red and blue and has a big head.” boy said.
Aniket suddenly had all his childhood flash in front of him.
“Why are you finding him?” Aniket asked the little boy.
“I want to kill him. He is evil. Why do you ask so many questions?” the boy said.
“I have killed a lot of devils like this when I was a kid. I used to be so happy after doing it.” Aniket said.
The boy laughed and said “It doesn’t make me happy. I have to be out in the burning sun all day while my friends study. I want to study and get a job in that building.” Pointing at the building Aniket’s office was in. “I only do it because it makes me a hero in front of my friends. And I like that.”
The words struck Aniket’s mind as an arrow. He had tears rolling down his eyes. He was unable to think about anything but those words.
He realized that all his dreams were a way to satisfy his ego and he never really thought about the dreams he saw with open eyes.
He was unable to stop crying. He hugged the boy hard.
“You should use a better perfume. You have an unpleasant body odor. I will suggest Chanel.” The boy said in his own dramatic way.
Aniket smiled and left the place. As he stepped out of the park, he took out his mobile and called Sonia.
“Hello Aniket? Are you fine”, Sonia’s voice from the other end of the phone sounded shaky and worried as Aniket never called Sonia while at work.
“I think I found my dreams back. Can we go on a lunch date?”