Vivake Pathak

Vivake Pathak


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a character in a novel

When I was 21, in the beginning of the third year of my engineering studies, I had three dreams within a period of not more than a month. I still remember them exactly. They were the most memorable dreams of my life. This is an account of the most remarkable one:

background story

Mostly, dreams begin with a background story. In this dream the background story was as follows: I am the lead character of a novel. I have tried hard at a few things, have taken a few projects in my hands one after the other, but I am still unsuccessful. The novelist, the author or the creator of this character, is a popular man. The novel is appearing in a magazine as a serial and people read it with interest, waiting eagerly for the next issue.

the dream

There is a dam beside a river. The dam is made of earth and is just nine or ten feet high. The time is just the beginning of the evening. I, the character of the novel, is going on this dam. I am putting on an average size hat (I never wear a hat in real life.). I see the author of the novel, of which I am the lead character, coming towards me from the opposite side of the same dam.

There is a small shop on the side of the dam at the ground level. The shopkeeper is a regular reader of the novel (which is being published in a magazine as a serial) and he is looking towards us. When the novelist was about twenty five yards away from me, he looked towards me. Then he looked towards the shopkeeper, and with a slight jerk of his head and a crooked smile on his face, he gestured towards me, mocking at my condition. At his gesture the shopkeeper also smiled but his smile was filled with understanding for me. It was just to greet the novelist that he had smiled. There was no element of mockery in it.

After making that gesture, the face of the novelist became plain. He continued moving towards me and passed by me as if he did not recognize me or as if he had never ever seen me or known me. I moved on, thinking to myself that I shall keep on trying and working hard to achieve my goals. Let people mock at me; let them say or think whatever they wish.

third trimester, 1992

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