10. Allegories

“I have missed you all” I felt alive resting my arms on the podium and looking at the young faces. Irfan was seated in the front row, in the company of the vibrant yet sleepy faces.

“I have been dreaming a lot, lately. Dreaming of Sophia and Vyasa, narrating poems and riddles, telling me that I am sick, well, who is not? And no, Sophia is not my girlfriend’s name she is the Greek Goddess who is known to hold the virtue of knowledge and philosophy. Lucid dreams. They are really fun, you know. Any experiences?”

Irfan raised his hand, surprisingly enough to his invert behaviour.

“I have been dreaming a series. Every night, I write before falling asleep and the dreams are always comprehensive to the writings. Last night, I wrote how I was missing home, and I dreamt about sitting next to my father and reading the Quran. The Quran because it was a school assignment once, back at my place.”

Poor boy had to vindicate reading a religious text for the sake of his sustenance. “Ah, interesting Aadesh. Maybe, you should write the dream and follow where a single thought takes you. If the magic is happening, use the ink and your wand wisely.”

A girl raised her hand from the extreme left corner of the class, a brunette wearing a plain black T-shirt. The sight of a new face trying to build the discussion had always been aesthetically pleasing.

“I never understood the concept, the sub-consciousness is frail and it never means anything practical. How does it even matter?”

Just the question I was waiting for, the class response is the usual, inspiring enough to answer my own queries.

“Well, I ask myself the same question, but then again poetry has taught me to look beyond and believe in abstract matter. So you tell me, the practical world? Is it all we have to comprehend? This classroom, a few more places to be and then the bed. I suppose we need to be reminded to imagine and flow out of the concrete life we live. The meaning might be obscured, but the dream will help your friend, Aadesh to write tonight.” I ended my explanation with a calm smile.

“Oh, sure, inspires us to be out of the box. But, the world rarely allows us the freedom, this is one class where we are taught to get out and the others preach discipline and concrete methods that shall never be questioned.”

“A bright mind burning there, I can see the vibrant proportion of your curiosity. Why don’t you, my friend, write us a piece that deals with this conflict. Dreams vs Reality? You can capture grades out of this, and some perception of your way to live. Let me know the name.”

“My name is Floressa, sir. It sounds fun.”

“Perfect. So there is this literal tool, called the allegory. Allegory dominated the ancient poetry. From Piers Plowman in the English to the Romance of the Rose in French, the poems engaged allegory via dreams. In Langland’s Piers Plowman, the protagonist dreams and meets characters like faith, vice and virtue. And well, his life is sorted once he wakes up. Catch the cues, Floressa. Although, I will be really happy if you record subjective stats. So, dreaming will help you, class. To write and understand the abstract of experiences that we read in literature. Well then, go home and dream, I guess?”

I picked up my register and felt my heart beat in a rhythm that has always been soothing. I am not sick, at least not here in the world of words and allegories. Rest, I shall wait for the universe to address me again.

*This is the last chapter that shall be uploaded to the blog. Hopefully, I will get the whole story public once threaded along in print. Also, here is more of a teaser, the next ten chapters will be under the account of Irfan’s narration.*

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9. Asleep Yet Awake

“Are you alright, Atlas? Are you still asleep? It is 5 o clock.” It was Alex, the voice that drove me out of that scary place.

“The dreams are terrible yet, so meaningful.” I tried smiling at her, she looked terrified. Alex would never understand the dreams, she is the best in understanding the human mind, but the sense of mysticism always irritated her.

“Atlas, read less. You are driving yourself into these dreams, and I am afraid you are doing something to your head. I will make you soup, and if you sleep for more than 10 hours, I am calling Dr Louis.” I could not reply to her concerns, I wish I could share the most absurd but beautiful dreams with my wife, but what I have learned over the years of our marriage is her rational set up.

The one thing about her that makes us different from each other is my tendency to drift with thoughts and hers to restrict me, she balances my take on literature. Dr Louis is another rational human who would go to the extent of insulting me on my writings, his feedbacks always helped me in putting together pieces for the radical minds, but his presence used to be imitating. Dr Louis would be the last person I would share my dreams with, I had o visit to the college, I knew Irfan would understand these visions.

Soon, Alex was there with the best soup in the world, in our place for the daily therapy.

“Louis can be helpful, he is a psychiatrist, he might be knowing some mental exercises to calm the rush of thoughts, your fever is gone as well.” she could deduce I was alright just by the touch.

“How was your day? Are you happy with the work?” I had no choice but to change the topic.

“The work was not the problem, you never checked your phone, I was worried.” I picked up my phone, 7 missed calls, all from Alex. And an email, the same adress, which Irfan used before. I opened the mail on the phone and could see a verse and the word rumi at the end. Brought a smile on my face.

The verse continued, sir. It hit me in the camp, I use my friend’s device to email, donnot reply on this mail id. 

 

You, who have fallen asleep in the boat of the body,

You have seen the water.

Now, look upon the water of water.

There is a water which empowers the water;

There is a spirit which moves the spirit

Rumi

8. The Violin Play

“Hey, Alex. I guess I am sick. It is time to wake up.” I could only feel the febrile decay of my strength. My body was warm to its core, the brittle memories from the weird dream added to the problem. ” I had a weird dream. Fever dream, I suppose..”.

“Good Morning, take an off today, Dr Atlas. You think so much.” she came closer to kiss, the touch of her lips was cold. ” It is bad. You should have a break. Stay at home, I will come early as well.” Her voice was comforting, yet my body felt as if it would melt from the shivers through my skin. I took out the medicine and swallowed it with the last sip of water left in the water bottle.

“Yes, I will text them that I cannot come. Have a good day. Make something delicious. I need some positive energy in my mind.” I smiled at her and kissed her for a brief moment. The moment was not enough, but my body was not normal. I smiled again and closed my eyes, afraid of the dream yet searching for the answer of the Vedas. Wisdom could not reach to me eventually, the dream made no sense.


The endless and immortal space, a dream again. A drop of sweat rolled down my face. Another dream with no wisdom of real context of my life.

It was the space this time, completely empty just a sort of a cluster of beautiful colours in front of me. I was not breathing, not moving, not listening, but I was there. Kept at the moment, waiting for something to wake me up. I placed my vision onto the bright colours in front of me, the cluster looked like a coloured river contained by the moment. I close my eyes, trying to wake myself. I was stuck again, sweating with the vision of a giant super nova. A dead star, ironically my mental status at the very moment; a mind incapable of allowing the wisdom of the experience, process through its core.

I helplessly stare at the blend of colours, a golden glow around the deep red and blue blend of its centre. To the little philosophy in my head, it reminded me for the colour of blood revamped with the blue of the sky. Symbolic of danger, life and peace. I was certainly lost. I kept looking till my mind could perceive an image of a women’s face in the dead star. A beautiful face, red on the inside and the blue slowly converted into the black like the rest of the space. A slow descent of the blue into the darkness. A sudden sound gave me chills, it was music. A violin, a sad-single instrument that seemed to be the void around me. The face had darkened on the edges of the colour. The eyes had the blue, rest everything was red. Red to the essence, I did not even try speaking. Waited for the silly dream to send more cues of my sub-conscious head.

The music slowed down with the image of the women blinking her eyes, the movement again went forth to disturb the darkness. Her lips appeared and slowly the space around me began to detonate with a powerful tone to go along with the violin.

Each word is supposed to uplift your existence from the hell,

Each phrase had to pull your essence to the blue,

But you desired the blood! The wars!

You belonged to the skies, But the hour is rather broken to fly,

The words were dead when the red had coloured the race,

Only a few remain in the isolated verse,

You sought wisdom and here you end,

Dying with the meaning of those words as the ornament,

Just keep your soul, listen till inferno,

Sophia from the Republic has died,

They never read Plato in the dim light,

I only exist in this lost cell of thoughts,

Inside the mind of a sick person, inside the blank pages that were lost.

My body was almost gone out in the darkness, absorbed and devoid of my sense to a greater extent. Her face, the face resembled Alex. Sophia, rather a philosophy from the book I am supposed to read.

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3. Mornings

It was 6 in the morning, the phone alarm didn’t have to wake me up today. Alex was sleeping right next to me, never liked waking her up in the morning when I could just look at her and not think. My mind had been a wreck lately, so we decided on practising meditation every morning. I gently put my hands on her forehand.

“It’s 6 o clock. Let’s put our brains to sleep for a while now, dear.”

She woke up with the struggle of aa hard-working lady and an upset sleeping pattern. I hated waking her up but the meditation time was a must for her as well, she had a job to look after a whole chemical operating base in the city. Despite the fact, almost every morning it seemed that post meditation, the bed transformed into psychotherapy with my wife been my psychologist and handling my thoughts into a powerful structure. And today, I needed her for framing a lecture that shall uproot the void space that my students might have and the one mail I read, Irfan needed a straight pavement to find himself again.

“What Is the matter?” It was Alex looking into my lost eyes, one of those moments when you get lost in the thoughts and forget the actual visual. “Professor seems lost into his first lecture for the year, huh? “her voice could capture my attention as if home.

“I have this student with a massive story, he has struggled and lost himself somewhere on his way to Europe from Syria. Not by mistake or the dreadful loss of his family but deliberately he had to forget himself to come here and live a life. His name is Aadesh for the Europeans, the boy only has one manifestation of himself, his love for his ideals. Religious and social impaired.”

She had her way of looking into my eyes and telling me things that set apart the whole issue to me, unlike any other part of the day the mornings were silent and only accompanied a healthy conversation. “So, you will be telling them the story? The science, religion and magic. I never got it. But maybe the social impairment thing aligns with it. Let’s leave early today, have some meetings and I need to prepare the team for the same.” I held her hand and gave her a kiss. “I will talk to them about something, thanks. All the best for the day sweetheart. I have a few classes and then I need to start the new story.”