Sunday, February 10, 2008

Snakes in Dreams...

I read "Queen of Dreams" by Chita Divakaruni Banerjee in the 10 days before my wedding. Originally, I'd borrowed it from a friend when he went to India. But somehow, it ended up sitting on my shelf for a year without me turning a single page of it. I think I had a pre-conceived notion that the book would put me to sleep (maybe because of the "Dreams" reference in the title..?) and never read it. So, this was my in-flight reading for the trip home for the wedding and if it put me to sleep on the flight, good for me! In between shopping trips, chatting with relatives and mad dashes to the tailor, I finished reading the book.

Honestly, I can't say I was very impressed. The plot was initially very intriguing and definitely seemed to go somewhere. Rakhee is a confused ABCD with a very strange mom. The mom sleeps apart from her daughter and husband. She takes to sudden bouts of illnesses and has strange people visit her. Rakhee stumbles across her mom's diary after her death and reads about her past in snatches. It is a tale of caves, dream-tellers, of time travel and the "Elders" etc..Anyways, I was looking for some clarity and closure toward the end of it all. But there was none. Instead I started wondering if Rakhee's mom was perhaps just, you know, mental and living in two realities.

Anyhoo, the opening passages of the book say that if snakes appear in dreams, they foretell change. When I was between 5 - 15 years old, I would regularly have creepy dreams about snakes. One repetitive dream I had was a five-headed snake slithering down our street calling out my name and when I came out, it would start conversing with me in Sanskrit. Another one was when we'd be playing cricket on our terrace and the ball would fall into the sunshade. I'd climb into the sunshade to get the ball and suddenly find myself mired in a snake pit. None of the snakes in my dream would ever bite me or hurt me. But they'd slither around in their yucky fashion and make me extremely upset. Not that these dreams prevented me from sleeping or anything. But they were just mildly annoying and fatiguing.

My parents consulted some astrologers about this. They said that Mars was very weak in my horoscope and I had to wear a topaz ring to offset the weakness of Mars. I was also told to pray to Lord Muruga every day as he was the commander of all the planets. Well, honestly, I can't say all this helped. Nonetheless, the topaz ring was pretty and I still wear it today..:) I continued having horrible dreams until I was about 17. Then, one fine day, they suddenly ceased.

I don't know if in some Freudian way I'd come to terms with life and therefore, my subconscious stopped surfacing these dreams. Or maybe I'd just gotten used to snakes in some way. Anyways, it was a relief in some ways. Almost everyone I know has some recurring dream or other. What's yours?


newton said...

That's interesting, I read somewhere that snakes in dreams often meant something sexual...!!! But then again anything Freud interpreted ended up being related to sex somehow.

I often have recurring dreams of going to school and not having done my homework. Or being late for school and not being able to decide on an outfit to wear. I sometimes have dreams where I'm running away from something scary but I can't really move. Those are probably really generic dreams that everyone has, they probably mean something like I'm anxious about something, which probably fits because I'm anxious about stuff all the time.

Sindhu said...

Why don't you read Chitra's 'The Unknown Errors of Our Lives'? It is a collection of short stories well written.

RS said...

Hey, I just picked up Queen of Dreams (I really like Chitra Divakaruni, I think have read most of her books except the ones for young adults :p)

So far, queen of dreams is kinda like "Pastries" by Bharti Kirchner and also like her own book, Mistress of know supernatural, mysterious, strange powers...