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Ivan has Many Dreams

November 21, 2020 | By

Let’s spare synopsis and for a change let’s read it without any clue. The last thing that Dream or his twin sister, Nightmare give is a hint of who is going to come tonight.

Ivan Has many Dreams(Piu Mahapatra)

‘How much do you think we need to mix?’

The tiny dark heads rested on the rim of the hole. Two pairs of dark beady eyes looked down below at the water stored in the grandpa tank. They could see their silhouettes floating on the liquid darkness looking back at them intently. Reflections are bound by reality, but shadows are free. Like the pair above, reflection and shadow, both love light but still, the translucent darkness that the body cast can afford to be fickle and wild. They stretch to squeeze, appear only to vanish.

By magic, the ripples circled on the water stored below. Maybe it wasn’t magic at all but her soft shy mingling with his, floated down only to caress each other’s reflections. They quietly observed from the top seeing themselves breaking into small fragments and then into tiny ripples separating only with time to form again.

‘How much do you think?’

The thin voice echoed all the way down, puzzled to find the familiar faces fragmented in bits and pieces.

Whom to ask, the question asked herself.

But then, a question asked in a dream is seldom burdened with an answer. Dreams have weird sequences. They are stubborn, repetitive, and yet so fragile. The ripples settled slowly taking their own time but only one head remained. She turned but her reflection didn’t bother to. It is only here in the dreams that they are freed from reality.

They ran on the beach like little Ivan of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Ivan’s Childhood trying to pass the young girl in his dream. Only this time she, all bare and her hair, dark with moisture plastered on her temple, stood still to see him run farther away. The wet beach never cared to imprint his tiny foot marks. Why keep marks which only with a splash of a wave washes away? Good, that ‘real’ dreams, unlike the fake one in movies, do not demand to compose music, write lyrics or even hire a husky voice to sing the background score.

She stood still and so did the wind and the waves. The only thing that moved in her dream was that tiny bare body of the little boy. She could have called his name but then she knew that in dreams, a call is not to be responded.

There weren’t any green apples either munched by some random horses who had some dark deep metaphors. It is only in reality; we try to find the significance of everything that is present within a frame or outside. Her dreams, thankfully not shared with any, need not to be in black and white either. We dream alone and that is such a bliss. The boy did not fade but kept on going further and yet was so distinct and clear. The more the distance grew, his contours got sharper. Tiny, yes but sharp, vividly clear with all the little details. The thin shoulder blades moving up and down with the rhythm of the run, the hair line ending with the tiny ‘V’ at the nape, the deep curve of his hip bone. He moves away only to become closer.

Leaving the boy in the ‘closest far’, she closed her eyes to look far away.

Letter to Myself During the Days of Corona

Letter to Myself During the Days of Corona – LnC Series by Piu Mahapatra

Somewhere in a small bathroom shower started sprinkling. She stood under, bare, her hair the darkest dark plastered on her face, hands stretched on both the sides and feet on the honey red cement floor, she stuck out her tongue. The water was sweet. As sweet as the fresh lemon juice her granny made for the guests who came in the piping hot summer afternoons.

How much sugar did he mix in the water of the overhead tank? She doesn’t know and neither cares, and in dreams one knows what is not even written or told.

James Blake – The Sound Of Silence // Ivan’s Childhood

(Artwork: Piu Mahapatra)

Click here to read more Letters to Myself During the Days of Corona every Saturday.😊

A painter, facilitator, and art consultant by profession, Piu never let go the opportunity to work around and along with the ‘Curious little George’ of different schools in India and abroad. Her articles on art education and awareness have been published in different contemporary art journals of India and Virginia for more than a decade. She loves to let her hair go down and often makes pathetic attempts to write poetry and short stories for children. The only thing she has ever done good is letting her son soar high and low with his wings open wide and fear-free.
All Posts of Piu Mahapatra

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4 thoughts on “Ivan has Many Dreams

  • A.Bharat

    As it should be in any self respecting dream the end is in the beginning of Piu’s exploration of dreams. Could a dream be sensuous ? She appears to think so. The way it unfolds before our wondering eyes like a swirling roll of cloud lazily unfolding itself she casts before our amazed eyes so many throwaway lines, that we stop counting (after all in a dream mathematics has no standing) and just allow it to envelop us like the sweet shower enjoyed by that little girl. “she stuck out her tongue”. A girl sticking out her tongue may be for more than one reason. I could almost hear Piu quietly laughing.

  • A Bharat

    In this effort we can see the artist completely merging into the writer- or is it the other way round? No matter.It is often difficult to say when the visual ends and the explanation begins. “The ripples settled slowly taking their own time but only one head remained. She turned but her reflection didn’t bother to” should be a complete statement or a complete picture. After this the line “It is only here in the dreams that they are freed from reality.” appears superfluous – almost as though aimed at readers who stayed too long in LKG.

  • Piu

    You asked this question last week
    Is it the artist who merges with the writer or the other way round. I didn’t give an answer….
    Because I didn’t have one.
    But this week what I wrote ia partly from this question you raised.
    Just wanted to put it here and .. yes… thank you again for reading them and seeing them as well

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