I had a dream…
I had a dream ….
A recurring dream since we decided to move back to India. It left me restless and unable to sleep but it kept on revisiting me every night. It was not the usual dream like other NRI’s returning back home – to do something for the country or do something for people or start something on my own etc. It was thoda hatke, out of the box.
I dreamt that we are back and I have to take a train everywhere. I am on the train sitting on the last row of that particular coach and the Ticket Checker (TC) is walking towards me.
I panic, as I realize that I didn’t buy a ticket. I didn’t stand in line at the ticket counter, guard my purse and somehow make way to head of the line without being jostled by others. Yet, here I was on the train.
Thankfully, I remember that I no longer need a ticket, as I have a monthly pass. The thought lingers momentarily as I break into cold sweat. I have changed my purse, the pass was in the inside pocket of the purse, zipped tight – to keep it safe. I open my purse and in my attempt to find the pass I drop a hair brush and a compact. Ignoring those, I dig deeper to find the coveted pass before the TC questions me. I am about to give up and think of an excuse when I notice it peeking behind a wad of facial tissues which are a necessity in this hot city.
I pull out one tissue in relief and mop my sweaty brow as I take a deep breathe. But, my heart skips a beat, as fresh horrors are realized. I have not renewed the pass in a long time. Nowadays, passes can be renewed online but I had forgotten my password and the customer service representative was less than helpful when it came to renewing passwords. There was the TC, three rows down from me and I was thinking that I will have to pay the fine. I wonder if the fine could be paid online or I would have to get down at the station and pay cash. I seriously doubted they would take a credit card payment.
I pull out the pass and peer at its expiry date which is hidden behind Varun’s photo that I have inserted in the laminate. A stern voice asks for ‘ticket please’ and as I turn I hope the TC can’t read the date as well.
He looks at the card and begins sobbing. Before I can react,the sobs turn into wails and then into a chant – du du du du du …With a huge relief I turn and wake up. Its still 2:00 am, I am in bed, its Varun who is crying for milk. There are no trains, TC’s and passes – but milk to be warmed and given so we can all go back to bed.