The Art of Dreaming

*The Art Of Dreaming*


Perhaps, the only regret I have in life is learning the art of dreaming. I remember when I was in shoes of a five-year-old innocent dreamer and talked about becoming a pilot, doctor or a superstar.


I didn’t how to dream, but I knew what to dream. As more hair began to grow on my body, and the size of my limbs increased in proportion to the rest of my body parts, I was labelled a wise teenager. I had always smiled with pride when they had called me wise, but now I realise that in an attempt to justify the label they stuck on my head, I lost the dreamer in me. I was more cautious than before, and always afraid of making mistakes. I was feared to weave more dreams because a wise teenager wasn’t supposed to own a set of impractical dreams. It was then that I learnt how to dream. They taught me how shall I weigh my qualities against the requirements of my ambition. And when I learnt how to dream, I had no idea about what should I dream of. For no matter how many things I could think of, I always found myself incapable of becoming who I always wanted to be.


And then, I stepped in that stage of life where I was defined by my vagina and breasts, my skin colour and my outfits, the colour of my lipstick and the style of my braid. I was a woman in my early 20s.


I used to walk on the same road every day, carry the same notebooks and set of pens in the same bag each day. While I exit the gate of my colony, I always smiled at our fruit vendor, Krishna Bhaiya, and fed biscuits to Zumi, the street dog.


But it was different that day. As I reached the gate of my colony, I saw Krishna Bhaiya selling away fruits at minimum prices. It was a matter of surprise because he was the kind of vendor with whom one had to haggle to lower the price even as low as 50 paise.


“What’s the matter Krishna Bhaiya? It seems like you won a lottery,” I giggled.


“Bitiya, I am leaving Delhi today. I will be singing for Bollywood movies now.”


Krishna Bhaiya was like the innocent five-year-old dreamer. He always dreamt of singing for Bollywood stars and often gave free apples to the kids who used to listen to his songs while he practised every evening. And when he had nobody, Zumi always used to sit next to him while he sang.


“One day, Krishna will be singing Gulzar Sahib’s words,” he’d often tell us.


Everyone in the neighbourhood used to tell him that he can never be a playback singer, except me and Zumi.


Zumi was a dreamer too. He always dreamt of staying in the gang of other street dogs. I know that because I often saw him wandering around them, and trying to find his place in that group. But despite his efforts, the other street dogs used to shoo him away. That day, when I bought apples from Krishna Bhaiya for the last time, I didn’t see Zumi.


Seven months later, as I eat apple sitting in front of the television screen, I can’t help but smile. For I see Krishna Bhaiya singing on the stage and giving interviews. While, on the other hand, I see a picture of Zumi along with his gang as the profile picture of our colony’s Facebook page.


You may now wonder, how did Krishna become a successful singer, and Zumi got acceptance in the gang of street dogs overnight. Well, because they always knew what to dream, and always kept themselves away from Hows and Whys.


I sit beneath the roof, with thoughts of three dreamers in my head. One, who never learnt the art of dreaming, the second one- who doesn’t know the art of dreaming, and the third one- who wishes to forget the art of dreaming.


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