Thursday, May 14, 2015

Dreamland, according to Puttachi

Last night, I wasn't feeling too good, so decided to turn in early. Puttachi sat next to me and told me a bedtime story - about how we get dreams. It is a lot more detailed, of course, but it goes something like this:
She: After we fall asleep, we hop into a car that takes us from our house on a long, straight road to a place called Dreamland. Each person's road leads to their own gate to Dreamland. But once you get in, Dreamland is the same for everybody. Some parts of it are beautiful, some scary, and some are just strange. It is a very large place, and you stumble and wobble about inside (because you are asleep). And because it is so vast, you don't usually run into each other. But when we do run into a person, that is when we dream about them.
Me: So does that mean that when you dream about me, I will also dream about you?
She: Yes, but you might not always remember it. See, there is a place in Dreamland called Lost Street. If you go there alone, you will dream that you are lost from home. If you meet someone there, you will dream that you are lost from that person.
Me: So how does one get out of Dreamland?
She: There is no sun in Dreamland. But in real life, when the sun is rising, the magic of Dreamland makes you go and stand on your own personal spring, like a trampoline, that is near your gate to Dreamland. When you start jumping on it, the spring pushes you hard, and you pop out of Dreamland. Then you jump back into the car, drive back on the long road, reach home, and wake up.


Last week, I took out four plastic bags of memorabilia from my cupboard, intending to clean out the chaff and condense them into one single bag.

One of the bags was full of diaries, written in my teens and early twenties (before the internet era.) One was bursting with letters and postcards and greeting cards (from my high school days.) and had a file with articles I'd cut out from Target magazine. The third bag contained my project reports - grad, and post-grad. The fourth ...had my certificates and report cards, starting from preschool.

I spent many happy and entertaining hours going through them. At the end of it, I was left with the same four bags. I didn't throw out even a little sheet of paper.

I perform this exercise once every five years, with the same result. Another time, perhaps, when I'm less sentimental. Or when I'm patient enough to digitize the entire thing.

Reminded me of a short story by RK Laxman (yes, Laxman, not Narayan) called "The Letter". A man takes out his folder of old letters to sort them out and throw away the useless ones. He ends up reading all of them, is overwhelmed by memories, and puts them all back into the folder.
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