The Extant Dream
The Extant Dream10 mins 45 10 mins 45
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh………………….. Help me!”
Zara screamed as loud as she could, but there was no one to hear her.
Zara was a charming and energetic teenage girl who got locked up in the city library. She came along with her friends and ended up abandoned in the edifice filled up with books. She was weeping vigorously as she felt isolated. Slowly her weeping turned to a trickle. In a few minutes, she got totally exhausted and sat at the corner of the children’s book section. Before she could realize she had fallen into a deep sleep.
During her sleep, Zara felt something striking on her forehead. It was painful but she was so exhausted that she could hardly move or open her eyes. With much effort, she tried opening her eyes. The vision was blurred and all she could see was a wonderful spectrum of assorted colours. She shook her head swinging right to left, with her eyes tightly closed and slowly blinked to regain her vision. When her eyelids opened, all she could see was the clear blue sky. Quickly, she jumped into the ground and sat to look upon what stroked her. Up above her, was a cherry tree and a cherry had fallen on her forehead.
Zara recollected the previous day's happenings and was perplexed about the place and how she reached there. She stood up to gaze the place and was taken aback by its beauty. The place was filled with lush greenery- trees that dated centuries and were covered by creepers and climbers, Rocky Mountains, waterfalls, scented flowers and lakes that flowed steadily. The sparkling waters and multicoloured flowers were resplendent enough to make it a wonderland. She foraged for a human soul but couldn’t find one. While she was searching high and low, between the woods she found a girl similar to her in age. Zara was finally allayed to find a human soul in that desolated place.
The mysterious girl had a milky white skin, wavy hair which she had left loosen and was wearing a sky blue gown. Zara ran towards her and smiled. She smiled back with a serene look at her face.
Zara introduced herself, “Hi! I’m Zara. I come from a faraway land. May I know who you are? And which place is this?”
On hearing Zara’s introduction the mysterious girl had a little smile on her lips and introduced herself as Alice. Despite giving details of the place Alice enquired Zara about how she ended up there. Alice was the only soul Zara found in this place and she had no option other than believing her. Zara told her what happened and Alice was listening to it with the utmost attention. While their conversation was about to end, Zara heard someone’s footstep marching towards them. Before he could reach them, his voice reached. “Alice, where are you?”
Alice waved her hand and replied “I’m here!” when a man came into their visibility. The man had an eerie look. He was six feet tall, with his hands and face painted with white, while his lips and eyes were painted with red. He had red hair, where each and every strand took a perfect ninety-degree angle adjacent to his face. He had worn a long blue leather jacket with multicolour printed bandanas. These feature appears to be familiar to Zara and has a close resemblance of something /someone she loved. But Zara could not recollect what it was. Zara was completely gazing at him while he and Alice were having a serious conversation. Once their conversation got over, the man took his long hat and placed on his head. That’s when Zara could comprehend who he was. Zara jittered and screamed looking at his face.
She was spellbound and couldn’t take her eyes off him. Now she was able to relate who Alice was. She is Alice in Wonderland. But she could not accept the fact that she was in front of Alice and Hatter in their wonderland. She could not believe her own eyes. Her head started spinning and she fainted. When she regained her consciousness, she could see Alice, Hatter and Cheshire cat looking at her avidly. The only person who can understand this situation is Alice as she came from the same world from which Zara came from (before falling into the rabbit hole). Breaking the silence Alice spoke.
“Listen, Zara! I came to this wonderland and unleashed my purpose of life. My purpose was to reinstate the White Queen by slaying the ‘JABBERWOCKY’ and throw out the Red Queen. Its time you look for your purpose.”
When Zara was contemplating about Alice’s words, someone patted on her shoulders. She went into oblivion when she found out it was her mother, flanked by her father and the librarian. It was dawn and her parents came in search of her. The librarian apologized for locking the door without realizing that Zara was left inside. Zara’s parents took her to their home.
Zara told her parents about what had happened and they didn't believe her. It’s not because they don’t want to but it was enigmatic. Zara was confused whether it was a dream or reality. But the abrasions made by the Cheshire was still there in her right arm. She was thinking about all the things that happened in the wonderland. Many questions raised in her mind. But the most curious one was, according to Lewis Carroll, Alice was shrinking and expanding according to the situation. While Zara met her she was the same size as Zara was. Zara is now excited to know in which part of the story she travelled with them.
Inquisitive, Zara made up her mind to visit the library again. But she was unsure of how to sneak into the library during midnight. But she was certain that in the fullness of time she will figure out a way. Days passed by but she failed to unravel the way. One day when she was returning from her school, she accidentally saw a shop which had the hoarding “Duplicate key Workers”. All of a sudden an idea struck her. She went directly to the library and looted the key when the librarian was away and sprinted to the shop. She asked the owner to make a duplicate of it. After taking measurements, the owner returned the key to Zara. she placed the key in the library and returned home. That night Zara could not sleep as she was caught up in the hysteria.
It took one week for the owner to make the key. As soon as she paid the amount, she grabbed the key, ran home and hid that under her pillows. She eagerly waited for her parents to slumber. When her parents were asleep, Zara slipped out by the back door and reached the library. She went to the children’s book section and slept there. Hours passed by and she woke up but she was still in the library. She tried changing her sleeping positions and directions but nothing turned up. The twilight peeked through the window slit. She hurriedly returned home disheartened.
The following day Zara could not concentrate in school. She was constantly thinking about why it didn't turn up. A week passed by but she couldn’t refrain herself from thinking about it. That weekend she nonchalantly visited the library. She gazed at the children’s book section with curiosity in her eyes. The rack was filled with all magic books including the famous Harry Potter series. She touched the book and mumbled, “Alohomora”. In a flash, she was next to Harry but that didn't last long. Before she could comprehend, she was back in the library. Zara was excited that something happened but still, she couldn’t figure out what exactly happened. Since it’s noon and there were people around, Zara doesn’t want to try more. She returned home and came back that night.
Zara recited “Alohomora” and the same thing happened again. She gave try after try, nothing changed. Zara sat down and cogitated. After a while Zara discerned. “Alohomora is the spell used by the wizards of Hogwarts to open doors and windows. It means there should be a door or window which allows her to venture into stories”. She started searching for the door/window. After much effort, Zara found out that the window behind the Harry Potter books. Zara’s favourite book was ‘Beauty and the Beast’, so she took the book in her hand and opened the window. In no time, she was with the beauty and the beast in their castle. She spent the night with them and happily returned home the next morning.
Zara started visiting the library every night and lived with a new story every day. Days passed by and she had almost lived a hundred stories. One fine day when Zara was at home, Zara’s mother was packing her old clothes. When Zara enquired she replied that she was donating Zara’s old clothes to the nearby orphanage. Zara asked her mom why she was doing that, for that her mom replied, “We live a living by getting help from the society and our ultimate purpose should be to give back to the society”. This hit Zara hard, she had completely forgotten what Alice told her. On the following night, when Zara visited the library her mind was completely filled up with a single question. “What would be my purpose?” Zara spent that entire night gazing the library and returned home.
The following week Zara could not come to the library as she had her final examinations. She did her best to score good marks. A week passed by and her examinations ended. As soon as it ended up, she ran to the library. There was a book which captivated her attention, “The Magical School” written by Dr Abhay Bang. Zara had never read that book, instead of reading she thought travelling with the story would be more exciting. So she went near the magical window, holding the book and opened it. That book took her to a Nayee Taleem School in Wardha, which no longer exists. Nayee Taleem is a school which follows the education system enunciated by Gandhiji. Zara was amazed to see a professor teaching his Marathi lessons sitting on the branch of the jackfruit tree. Zara was taught how to conserve nature and wildlife as few pages in her textbook inside four walls. ‘But this idea of teaching along with nature will definitely teach children the importance of conserving nature’, Zara thought. She attended the class along with other students. The professor was narrating his life happenings. Once the professor had shot a pregnant deer and regretted badly, from then on he embarked to shoot animals with clicks. Wow! What a momentous way of explaining wildlife protection.
She learned Botany by touching the leaves, by watering them and by eating the fruits. This fascinated her as she doesn’t have to mug up hard jargons that never entered her mouth. In Maths class, she was asked to build a water tank for the cowshed. It was intriguing as she had to calculate how much water each cow drank per day, and build a tank which is sufficient enough for all the cows to satiate. She had to calculate how much bricks she needed. Zara was not fond of mathematics but this way she just loved maths. They learned cooking, agriculture, music, sports and whatever they loved. When it was dawn Zara returned to the library but her heart was pondering to go back there. She had lived a thousand stories and this is the one close to her heart.
The succeeding day Zara woke up to a piece of appalling news which she never harbingered even in her wildest dreams. Zara’s father was reading the newspaper loudly. The Government has decided to demolish the library as it’s a century-old building and construct a hospital in its place. Zara looked dejected. She couldn’t take it. After many days of disquietude, Zara embraced herself to look upon the bright side of it. Her father used to say, ”Everything happens for a reason and always for the best”. The best thing she can infer from this is how she felt about the magical school. Decades passed, Zara had grown up to be a beautiful woman who had invigorated her dream. She made her dream magical School come true and became the principal of it.