Sleep, wake. Sleep, wake. Sleep, wake. That is how life goes, from day to day, day to night, night to day. Life exists in binary; sleep-wake, happy-sad, alive-dead, yin-yang. Sometimes we are asleep even when we are awake, and sometimes we wakeup when we sleep. Both the worlds are real – sleep world and waking world – while we are in them. Sometimes I wonder if ‘waking’ is just another ‘sleeping’, and we are actually ‘awake’ when we sleep, our senses heightened, more discerning of truth, able to reach beyond the perceptible, beyond the tangible. It is often when we sleep, that the mind is actually truly ‘awake’, and free from the shackles of the senses, free to roam around, free to speculate, free to imagine, free to reach out for the truth without inhibition, without bias, without fear, without shame, without cultural inhibitions. It is often in ‘sleep’ that the mind unlocks its greatest potential, its hopes, its horrors, its past, and, often, its future. 

And thus, I know not if I am asleep or awake, alive or dead, young or old, as I walk down the gravelly field. I have no bearing of time, age, place, as I kick the sand and the pebbles with my shoes, my canvas shoes, my RED canvas shoes. I love my shoes, I remember loving those shoes in the past, but here I am in the present, wearing them. The border of their sole is white, the canvas is red, the laces, which keep coming undone, are white too. I am wearing a blue trouser, and lilac shirt, half shirt, with small white flowers printed on it. The wind ruffles my hair – they are long and have started to curl. 

Its evening and the setting sun is a large orange on the horizon. The sky is crimson, but is starting to get dark from the west, dark red, and then indigo. Few stars twinkle in the blue-red-orange-indigo sky, some brightly, some not so brightly. The moon has risen hesitantly, pale, small. The indigo spreads, as if the ink from my father’s ink-pot has spilled on the blue sheet that covers the earth. The sheet starts to stain from one end, as the ink soaks the fiber and moves onwards, chasing the reddening sun. The sheet has holes, from which the stars peep in, white against a dark sheet. 

The field that I walk, and skip, and run, and play in is deserted, and devoid of much plantation. There are some babool trees, swaying in the evening wind, like ghosts of my past life, and of the future to come, of which I am, blissfully, still unaware. They spread out their limbs, gaunt, prickly with thorns, reminder of the thorns still to come, and dance in the evening wind, which is cold now. I don’t feel the cold – only a sense of happiness, warm happiness, as only a child can feel! Yes, I am young again, and I am playing in the field….

To be continued…………….

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#Daffodils – A Bouquet of Short Stories

By Divya Narain

Additional Professor in Plastic Surgery, doting father, loving husband, newbie author. Love travel and literature. Love reading religion, politics and history!


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