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Sudha Narasimhachar



Sudha Narasimhachar


The Unforgettable Dream

The Unforgettable Dream

7 mins 194 7 mins 194

Vydehi was busy packing her clothes. She was going on a 5-day tour with the friends of her college time. Twelve of them had connected thanks to WhatsApp two years ago, after nearly twenty years. Out of them Shalini and Manohar lived in the US, while Jessica and Diwakar lived in Mumbai. The rest of them were from Bangalore. These days, thanks to technology many people are organizing school and college reunion meets. This group too got inspired and decided to go on a tour together, instead of meeting in some city.

After almost a year’s planning, they could organize this tour. They had decided to meet at Dharamsala, a small and serene town in the Himalayas. All of them were very excited. They were five men and seven women in all.  

Vydehi, a lawyer by profession, remained a spinster. All the rest were married. So, for them, it was more challenging to join this tour, as they had to make arrangements for their families. Vydehi, locked the door and got into the taxi. At the airport, she was joined by the rest of them.

“Hi, Vydehi! Are you ready for the fun?” Narendra was all excited. He kept pulling each one’s legs and the twenty-year gap vanished totally within thirty minutes! Only Vydehi and Radhika were in touch regularly. Narendra was in touch with Manohar regularly. Other than that, most of them were meeting each other only after twenty years. The journey to Dharamsala was filled with all of them getting updated about each other’s lives.  

The meet started with a bang! Everybody shared their own stories with the rest of them and generally, everybody’s lives were good by the normal standards, except those of Manohar and Vydehi.  

Vydehi somehow felt Dharamsala was so familiar, though she had never visited that place any time in her life. A kind of dejavu! As she took her morning walk in the chilly weather, she felt heavenly. How come all these roads look so familiar to her. That monastery too was familiar. She kept thinking about this when she remembered that dream that she kept getting again and again. Yes. That dream was unforgettable. It was such a lovely dream that she did not want to forget too.  

In the dream, she went to magical hill station all alone and was wandering among the forests there when suddenly she encountered a wild beast. As she ran, shouting for help in the lonely forest, that handsome man appeared from nowhere and hugged her. The beast suddenly vanished and that man said, “Why did you venture into this forest all alone? This is a dangerous place.” The two of them then walked along the placid lake there, holding each other’s hands and he proposed to her out of the blue. She woke up with a start and realized she had slept watching travel channel on the TV. She switched off the TV, which was still on. She wondered but why that handsome man and that proposal? Was she craving for the company? She did not know but she definitely enjoyed her walk in that dream and that pristine location. Surprisingly, she had the same dream with slight modifications a number of times thereafter.

Was this place that I visited in my dream? Vydehi had decided to remain single very consciously, as she was ditched by Ramanath, her classmate in the Law College, whom she loved with all her heart. She could never think of a life with anybody else because she had dreamt of a life with Ramanath. He ditched her when his parents refused to accept her for reasons of caste. She could not believe that he could do that, because he was very progressive and revolutionary in all issues. “I am the only son of my parents Vydehi. How can I disappoint them? They will be devastated. Sorry, Vydehi!” She could never forget his last dialogue.  

Ramanath soon married another girl and settled down with his happy parents. Vydehi was doomed. She went into depression for a few years. If not for her loving parents and brother, she would have committed suicide. But never did she remove Ramanath out of her mind. She lived a secret life with him and that gave her pleasure. She never heard from him after that day. She did not want to know what happened to him. In her dream, he was always the same Ramanath that she once loved, the bold, handsome, loving, compassionate and simple Ramanath!  

Vydehi’s brother lived in the UK with his family. Vydehi lived with her parents and took care of them until their death. She lost her mother eight years ago and her father just last year. She was very happy and famous in her profession. She was upright and sincere and therefore, sought after by many, especially women.

Vydehi sat on the stone bench on the bank of the lake. The warm morning sun-rays soothed her. Many morning walkers were passing by. Manohar too came on his walk and found her sitting all alone, sat by her side.  

“Oh hi, Manohar!”

“When did you come?”

“Almost an hour ago, I left the hotel at 5.30. The weather is so inviting. I took a long walk through that tree park, which is beautiful. So, are you working for a hospital Manohar? How is San Hose?”

Manohar was a cardiologist. After PUC, he had joined the Medical College, while Vydehi and many others were classmates during the B.Sc course too. But Narendra was his close friend and they were in touch.  

“Yes. I work for a private hospital there. The city is like any other American city. There are many Indians living there. So, I have a good company.”

“What about your family?”

“Family! Well, I am still a bachelor like you Vydehi. I live all alone. My mother passed away. My father lives with my brother in Mysore. I visit him almost once in six months.”

“If you do not mind, can I ask you a personal question? Why didn’t you marry?”

“I found no time!” He laughed. “On a serious note, I didn’t find the right kind of person so far. How about you?”

Vydehi told him her story very frankly. Manohar commented, “That’s sad! Life has very many secrets. We were so oblivious to our future in our college days. We thought our lives will always remain as rosy as they were at that time! I do feel very lonely and sometimes want to return to India. But, it is a very tricky question. Will I be happy here? My brother has his family and my sister hers. At least back there, I have a set of friends. Here, I have to begin from a. Quite confusing!”

Then they both returned to the hotel. All the rest of them were up and ready for the local tour. Five days in Dharamsala flew away. But for Manohar and Vydehi, that tour did a very big favor. They started talking to each other almost every morning and by the end of the fourth day, the two of them got closer and felt that they could live with each other. On the fifth day, they both organized a surprise party for everybody and announced their decision.  

“That’s wonderful! How come none of us could even guess? Of course, I personally felt something is cooking, as I saw you both going on morning walks every morning. But this is a pleasant surprise. Congratulations!” said Narendra.

“I have decided to come back to India and settling down in Mysore so that I can be closer to my father and also work in the nearby villages. I want to start an NGO and be of some service to the downtrodden. Vydehi too can continue with her career. Anybody else here interested to join me? You are most welcome. We have decided to marry in a simple manner after three months, when I come next time, for good.”

Vydehi told Manohar of her unforgettable dream and said, “Maybe this was what I dreamt! I am very happy that my beautiful dream came true.”

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