The great long distance swimmer Diana Nyad once said – “You tell me what your dreams are. What are you chasing? It’s not impossible. Name it.”
Also, the great humorist Erma Bombeck once said – “It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.”
There is one amazing thing which is common about both these women. And that is, that I have absolutely no idea who they are.
I first came across these quotes while browsing and then checked for their owners.
However, these women have inspired me too much today, so I decided to:
- Name my dream
- Tell them to someone else i.e. you and prove that I have a ‘lot of courage’
Though I have had lot of dreams in my long and illustrious sleeping career, today I shall only dwell upon the dream which I love the most.
My favorite dream is also my most common dream. I have had this dream about 10-12 times.
The name of this dream is “The Hole of Fortune”.
The opening scene is a sand quarry, not unlike the ones Gali Janardhan Reddy has in Bellary. In the middle of the road is a deep hole, roughly 20 feet. A frail but well-dressed old man is inside this hole.
He is terrified.
Outside, on the ground the hole is surrounded by scary looking goons. Nearby, a large crowd of spectators was gathering to see the unfolding events.
All the goons are dressed in identical white shirts and lungis. Except their boss – he is in formal clothes with his Infosys ID card hanging around the neck.
The goons are all restless. They are waiting for the boss to give them the go ahead.
The boss waits for a few minutes and then walks purposefully towards a nearby gate. The gate has a black color box attached to it. The boss places his card near the box. The beep sound confirms what everyone was waiting for. The swipe in is complete.
“Now,” says the boss.
Suddenly each goon pulls out a worn-out copy of Java: The Complete Reference, Fourth Edition by Herbert Schildt out of nowhere. The first goon throws his book into the hole. The others follow suit. The old man yells in pain as each of the books lands on his head. Even though there were only a few goons they had an unending supply of books. It was clear that they planned to bury the old man under an old version of Java.
The old man understood that the situation was hopeless. Apparently, he knew that in times of distress, Java was never reliable. And so, he screams out in grief – “BHAGAVANTHUDAAAA!”
And then – suddenly the wind intensifies. There are close-up shots of several Gods. A grizzly looking Sadhu blows a conch shell striking fear into everyone’s hearts. More close-up shots of some flags and temple bells. The wind intensifies even more.
In a flash, a huge wooden pestle – the one used to make Idli Batter in south Indian homes – flies through the air and hits the goons right in the center of their chests. The goons and the pestle fly together for about 100 meters and fall on the ground. The goons scream in agony.
Everybody wanted to know who threw that pestle. Who is this hero? Who is this God?
A few more temple and wind shots later, my face is finally revealed. With a cloud burst and thunder as background and a devotional song as background music.
All the spectators fold their hands and do Namaskaaram to me out of respect. I have no idea who they were, or why they respected me. But that doesn’t matter, because they clearly knew that I was somebody awesome.
I wipe my batter-stained fingers on my jeans and proceed to have one-to-one meetings with each of the goons. With a single punch per goon I immediately dispatch them to hell.
Five minutes later only the boss is left.
The boss yells at me – “Who are you? What is your caste? Developer? Lead? Manager? If you have dum in you, tell me your caste!”
I do not reply and calmly walk over to the hole. I stomp my foot on the ground. The earth shivers slightly and the old man flies out of the hole. I carry him in my arms and place him safely inside an ambulance waiting nearby.
And then I go to meet the boss.
First, I yank the ID card from his neck and put it in my shirt pocket.
Next I catch his collar and say it loud and clear for everybody to hear – “I am an employee first!”
The crowd roars in delight. They chant “Employee! Employee! Employee!” while I execute a perfect Roundhouse kick which deposits him into the Java filled hole in the ground. His last words vaguely sounded like ‘Class Cast Exception’.
The media had arrived by then, and they were ready to take my interview. But I ignore them and walk over to the main gate and do swipe-out for the dead boss.
A skimpily clad lady from the crowd comes running towards me in slow motion.
“Now that the fight is over, I am here to do the item song with you!” she says.
I shake my head. “The only item I know is the ItemListener interface in Java”
Crowd: “Employee! Employee! Employee!”
The scene then changes to a hospital. The old man is in the ICU, all kinds of tubes protruding from his various holes. The doctor thanks me for bringing the patient at the right time. A millisecond late and we would have lost him. He also does a Namaskaaram.
I go to see the person whose life I saved. He pulls two tubes out of his mouth and thanks me for my heroics. I wave a ‘It was nothing’ type wave.
“I don’t know how I can ever thank you for this” he says
“Are you rich aa?” I ask him
“Yes, but I want to give you something more valuable than money”
“You must be a HR manager.”
“Nothing. What do you want to give me?”
“I am the owner of Anis Hyderabad House, Saint Louis, USA and I hereby give you lifelong unlimited free meals pass in my restaurant.”
The scene always blurs at this point in the dream for a few seconds. Possibly because of the tears of happiness in my eyes.
“You are too generous. I can’t accept,” I say saliva dripping out of my mouth.
“No, no, I insi-“
The dream ends with me in my house watching Friends. A knock on the door. I open it. A smiling delivery boy with 2 full plastic bags and one bottle of coke.
“Dinner ready sir!” he says.
Over the last 10-15 years, I have had this dream several times – once every year maybe.
There have been variations of course. The fight at the beginning differs. The Legend quarry is replaced by a Pokiri car shed or a Shankar Dada warehouse. Java becomes Oracle or Cold Fusion (but never Dot Net). Friends becomes House Of Cards or Dexter or HIMYM.
The hospital remains the same.
The restaurant usually changes depending on where I lived at the time.
12 years ago, it was Sagar Dhaba, Abids, Hyderabad.
8 years ago, it was Barbeque Nation, Indira Nagar, Bangalore.
5 years ago, it was Oh! India, Bellevue.
And now, it is Anis, St Louis.
Like Sigmund Freud, I have tried to analyze and make sense of this dream. Why do I see it so many times? What does it tell me about me?
Few things are obvious. So many people Namaskaaram-ing me clearly proves that I am destined for greatness. The fact that I didn’t ask for wealth or the old man’s daughter demonstrates that I value food above sex and money. Also, what better example of my discipline than the scene where I swipe-out the villain boss, right after killing him?
I agree that still a lot of mysteries remain. Why was I making Idli Batter in that quarry before the fight began? Why is Java Complete Reference 4th edition still in circulation? What task code did the boss plan to use in his time-sheet for murdering the old man?
Maybe another blog post when I figure these things out. But for now I leave you with two words – I’m sleepy.
P.S. – There have been times when this dream ended up becoming a terrifying nightmare for me. The restaurant turned out to be Rajdhani pure vegetarian.