I was with a middle aged woman, wearing north-Indian clothing, and a man of my age, slightly taller and lean. We were acquaintances and waiting for the train. As our coaches are generally at the tail end, we were 3/4th close to the end. Our train pulled up. It had a few minutes halt so we looked up for our coaches. It was two coaches further from us and we decided to walk towards the coach. As we were closer, the train started moving. We were not alarmed, as we were very close to the coach and we can easily hop in as it passes us. Even the woman was not troubled. None of us were carrying any baggages, so it is just easy to board a slow moving train.
To our great surprise, the train suddenly took up speed. Our coach just whizzed past us at a good speed, making it impossible to board. We were all agitated. It took a few moment to realise that we missed our train due to our own foolishness. The woman turned to us and said she is moving to the front and take her chance with the unreserved coach in the next train. She didn’t wait for our reply but started walking towards the other end of platform. As we were travelling long distance, I did not want to take a chance. I turned to the man and said, I will go and check for alternate reservations and if need be we can break the journey. The man seemed to agree with me and we decided to walk towards the exit.
As we were walking, suddenly the train stopped. The last coach was about 100m from where we were. The woman was already near the coach and she just ran towards it and got in. The man looked at me. I said, “Look we better run for it. The woman had got in. My mom will definitely be annoyed. She will say, “if a woman can board the train why can’t you?”. I do not want to be in the situation”.
The man did not wait for me to finish the sentence. He just ran towards the coach. I followed him slightly falling behind. He was very fast, and was able to get closer to the coach. I was sprinting as fast as I could. With my failing heart condition it was very difficult. As I looked ahead, the man already was on the coach. I knew I couldn’t make it. But still panting and kept running. Then I saw an older couple getting off the coach. They were carrying heavy suitcases. It was at that moment I realised, I could make it. The older couple will take few seconds to get down, especially with their luggages. So if I just ran a little faster I could make it.
I ran with all my energy. Did not bother about the chest pain, the breathing discomfort or the complaining legs. I am not going to miss the train now. That was all in my mind. Sprinted like I have never done before. As the train started to pull out, I made one last attempt jump, just in time to land inside the coach. Catching up my breath I looked around. The man was at the entrance. I looked at him quizzically. Understanding my question he said, “I was waiting for you. In case if you could not make it, I wanted to get down so I can accompany you.” I was really moved by his statement. I felt tears coming.
It was at that instant I woke up. A dream that has become frequent, with just little bit variation and with different members. In all the dreams I never caught the train. But this was different. I made it!
As it was around 5:30 AM in the morning I knew I cannot sleep further. (My usual wake-up time is 6:00 AM). Decided to go through my emails and catch-up on messages. The first viber message I read was from my daughter which read, “Anish Dad passed away today”. It was then I was startled. The man in the dream, I realised was none other than Srinivasan, Anish’s dad. This time the tears really came out. I had a heavy heart almost until noon. I just could not come to terms. The soul in the dream had been so kind.
Let me rewind to beginning of this year. I had a similar dream. We were a group of 6 people going for a long journey. We were running late for train. As we entered the station the train moved. I ran towards the train, hoping I could catch the train and pull the emergency brakes for others to board. As I ran, I saw my aunt, my father’s last sister, beckoning from the train. My aunt had died exactly two years back, in 2016. I was the one who took her ashes to the river and immersed it, as her son could not make it to funeral. She was frantically waving to hop into the moving train. But I couldn’t make it. When I woke up, from that dream, I was panting and sweating, as though I really ran. That very day evening I had a severe heart attack with a 95% block to the vessel. It was a miracle when I came out alive!
One more incident that happened to me at Swissotel in Singapore, around 2007. I was working on a project for my company and was stationed there. Around midnight, I could sense someone at my feet. He did not speak, but was just looking at me. Strangely I could not see his face, as it was dark. But the height, the stature all looked like my paternal grand dad. I wanted to get up, but couldn’t. As though sensing my desire, he walked towards my head-side. He took his hand and placed it on my forehead. It was very cold. At that instant I woke up frightened. I realised it was a dream, but I was sweating despite the air-conditioning. Exactly a fortnight later, when I was in Bangkok for a conference, I got a call from my brother that my father was in a serious condition. My father was travelling in India at that time. A sudden chill gripped my heart when I heard the news. At the very moment I knew he will not live. I was about to board the flight to Sydney that day. I rerouted the flight and visited the hospital around midnight, where my dad was in ICU. He never made it. I could not talk to him. Very next day around 8:00 AM he was dead. A death I am still coming to terms with. I had lost a great friend and a soul to whom I can always go back to when I need.
Now tell me, are the dreams messages from heaven?
Tail piece: Though not related to dreams, everytime I am in India, someone dies. A close friend or a relative or an acquaintance, whom I moved with them or had in touch with them recently.
More tail piece: This is my handwriting converted to font. Now you all know why I prefer typing instead of writing.
Posted on 27th December 2018