Hush by Nandita De nee Chatterjee
A placid pool...languid, tranquil. An inviting darkness...mellow mood. I start drifting in between the spaces. It's past midnight and the street lights were down when I tucked myself in. Snuggling into my pillow, I thought of happy thoughts and warm things. Soon sleep gently kissed me on the brow and bid me good night.
When exactly I drifted to the pool I don't know. An hour, two hours into deep slumber? Maybe. There were ripples - concentric circles. And images moving in them. Faces, voices...floating in and out. I was floating too.
Softly they tiptoe in at night when my guards are down. Subconscious thoughts and wishes will themselves into acts. Whispers of familiar objects, unfamiliar places. Like an impressionist painter, motifs are dabbed on my sleep's canvas. What stories do they tell? Dilemmas, perplexities, or just songs of longings, unfulfilled wishes? Sometimes surreal, sometimes downright real, they flit by in sequences, as if lasting for an eternity. But I'm told they appear only for seconds.
Are my dreams in colour? Or were they black and white? I can never remember. But some dreams recur. Some past angst refuses to leave the psyche and at an uncanny hour, slips in. Different places, different times. Same theme. I am struggling to reach home. Changing landscapes, unchanging outcome. Always left in the mid-road. Decades have gone by. But the recurring nightmare visits a few times a year. Psychoanalysis attempts by myself have arrived at a cause. A scary day in my childhood when I missed my school bus home. Perhaps that's it! A simple explanation for a complex, continuing trauma. Isn't life always like that?
But slipping into dreams is now my favourite occupation. For I dream of my Dad, who is no longer visible to me by day. Every time I'm hurt, or sick, or simply joyous, my most favourite person appears in my dreams. There he is, real, tangible, strong and always comforting. And I never feel alone, stranded, at sea. Thoughts materialising in images? Again, maybe. Strength of conviction. Power of love. A bond that life cannot take away.
And I live in between two worlds, one mundane, real and with its complexities and charms intertwined. With tangible happinesses and anxieties, celebrations and successes. And the other ephemeral. Caressing, quiet, touching me with its silken folds. Silencing my mind. Singing a pictorial lullaby.
Two worlds - conscious and the subconscious. As different as night and day. For when the sun sets every day, and night falls, as Engelbert Humperdinck would croon, 'There's a kind of hush, all over the world tonight. All over the world...' and I'm feeling good, holding my dream tight. And it whispers in my ear, 'I love you'.
Nandita De is a writer, journalist and a housewife. She has worked with The Economic Times and also as a Freelance journalist. She has written cover stories for The Saturday Statesman and features for Illustrated Weekly of India ,Telegraph, Times of India, Femina, Filmfare, Germany Today Cityscape column etc. She has been an Editorial Adviser of ETM, an Economic Times publication. Consulting Editor with Environ. She has a good editing experience. She was a part time Lecturer at Calcutta University, PG Journalism, teaching Media Ethics. She has a Fb Page and group Studio Quaintrelle. Blogger at BeBee.com. She is also the Administrator of two more fb groups. Her poems have been published in various digital literary forums. Contributor, Voix Meets Mode, UK, latest annual. Co author at Anthology, Big Bang of Non Fiction, Life in Reserve, released this Sep.12. MA, English Literature and BA, English Hons, both from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She works on welfare, visually impaired, labour, social issues and human rights, lifestyle and investigative stories for mainstream Indian newspapers. Passionate about epicurean cooking, nature, ikebana and social service. She has an Army, Navy, Air Force background with father from Indian Air Force. Defense issues are a critical priority of hers.