She got up in agitation with beads of perspiration on her forehead and neck. She peered at the clock – it was 2 am in the night. She saw the boy again in her dreams. His face was partially charred, clothes tattered, lying on ground, blood splattered around, he was immovable. He was agonized, yet anger covered his face. He had tears in his eyes, looking at her as though he wanted to convey something. And then, she got up petrified. The recurring dream started a month back and the same boy appeared each time. She was sure, she hadn’t seen him before. She tried to remember the backdrop, but it was hazy, like a thick smoke. She wasn’t sure if it was just a trickery of her subconscious or there was more to it.
When it kept happening for months, she decided to find out more about dreams and if they can be controlled. She was anxious, but she started reading books, browsing internet to find more information. She found that one of the ways could be a lucid dream. A person is aware, and conscious in this, and at times can control or manipulate it – it may take months or years to achieve that. But it can happen through various proven ways like reality testing, invoking a REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep and it helps to give answers to certain unknown questions. She started following them diligently for more than a week.
A temple with a peach colored exterior and the bells jiggling and swaying by air stood there. There were many flower-selling burrows around holding a plethora of colorful flowers near the temple. She stumbled as she saw a person lying on the ground – covered in blood. As she saw around, many people were lying lifeless, scattered around. She was flabbergasted and perplexed. As she saw around, she saw bags, fruits, papers, flowers, bicycles loitering around everywhere. The smoke was diminishing the visibility. She ambled further and saw a torn piece of newspaper which held an information on the title– the date. It was “20th January 2017”. And then she saw a familiar hand nearby, wearing the golden bracelet – the one she has been wearing since childhood. As she moved her gaze, she saw herself, lifelessly lying on the ground, blood oozing out her puffed face, eyes watching the skies. She got up yet again hysterical. She rushed to the washroom and retched. She started sobbing gawking at her face in the mirror, it looked pale, her eyes bereft of happiness, but she was alive.
She opened her dream journal and noted the details. She checked the calendar and noticed that the date “20th January 2017”, was a date of future, 10 days from that day. She was sure of two things now; she had seen the temple which she dreamt of the place was familiar to her and that the dream signified that something was going to happen on the day – seemingly a bomb blast. It was a premonition, a warning, or a sign she couldn’t ignore anymore.
She visited the place as she remembered it was near her old house in Mumbai. She found the same temple, and the flower-sellers around. Although, she never visited it before, she had seen it while travelling through the same way. She frantically looked around, to find the boy who kept appearing in her dream. There were many people around, shopkeepers, sellers, worshippers etc. But she couldn’t see him anywhere. She knew what she had to do next.
She called his brother’s friend, A Superintendent of Police Ayush. He picked almost immediately as he answered, “Hello Dharini! It’s been a long time, how are you?”
“I am okay. There is something important I wish to tell you.”
“Oh, go ahead.”
“Can I visit you in the police station?”
She visited him with her brother, Nayan. She detailed him and reiterated her recurring dreams, about the boy in her dreams, about the dead people lying around and every other minute detail. She told him that she believes there would be a bomb blast on the day. She wanted him to help her tackle this.
“Dharini, this is very strange indeed”, uttered Ayush as he pondered about the situation.
“You have to believe me Ayush”, it took me months to comprehend it.
“I believe you. But you know I am a rational person. I go by facts and believe in them. I am not sure if I really understand this. Besides, you told that the place you saw was near your old house. It can be just a trick of your mind. We see familiar places in dreams, don’t we?”
“I know, this is a premonition. It has no facts, but what about the date that I saw on the newspaper? What about my dead body?”
“It could all be the manipulation of your own mind Dharini.”
“What if…? It turns out to be true Ayush”, she said looking into his eyes.
“Okay. I can call for vigilance in that area on that day. Don’t worry I’ll handle this just in case there is even a miniscule truth in it.”
She thanked him genuinely and left the police station.
The night of 19th January was worrisome for her. She tossed on her bed trying to get sleep, only in vain. She eventually embraced sleep in the morning. She got up alarmed as her phone rang. It was a call from Ayush.
“Dharini, I am afraid you were right. A couple of inspectors followed two guys who seemed suspicious. They were carrying a bag and when they trailed them, one of them started running. Fortunately, they were caught, and they opened the bags. They found bomb and ammunition in the bag. They were found to be suicide bombers. They are taken into custody. We are not sure who they are but it’s most likely an act of terrorism.”
She huffed as she spoke, “Thank god. I sensed that it was going to happen. I am glad you trusted me. I can’t express how happy I am. But are you sure there are no accomplices?”
“The vigilance is still going on. Besides, we must find out the truth. Now this has become a national issue, it will soon reach the politicians and hit the news. I should be the one thanking you. You saved many lives today. You would be rewarded. Your dreams are a blessing in disguise.”
She visited the police station the next day and met Ayush. They discussed the details, and he conveyed his gratefulness to her. She indeed saved many lives, and most of all, she saved herself.
“Who are the guys in custody?” she asked.
“One of them is just 16-year-old, and other is a middle-aged man. Look, these are their pictures”, he said as she showed them to her.
She gasped as she held the pictures in her hand. “I.. know him”, she uttered.
“What? What are you saying Dharini?”
“He is the boy who appeared in my dreams”, she spoke shakily as she wiped an emerging tear from her eye.