Thursday, May 11, 2023

dad came back and dreams are real

This was last week, and was so clear I can remember every detail right now.

I was at the apartment in Mumbai, with mom and Kevin. I was sitting cross-legged on the floor, sorting through some stuff. The doorbell rang, and Kevin answered it. Dad stepped in, wearing a blue checked shirt and dark brown trousers. He was carrying his favourite black bag.

I was shocked and stunned! How did he get back? It's been months since he passed away! I was so full of questions that I kept asking him without giving him a chance to answer. What happened? Did he really die? We saw his body being buried (I wasn't there, but I did see the livestream - it's even on youtube!), so how could he be back looking exactly the same as when I last saw him? Where had he gone? How did he survive for so long away from home, presumably with no money?

I finally stopped asking questions, but he didn't answer any of them. He simply took off his shoes and sat in his favourite chair. Mom and Kevin didn't react beyond greeting him, as if it was completely normal and he was just back from a walk around the neighbourhood or something.

He took out a packet of cigarettes from his bag and started to walk out to the terrace for a smoke. The packet was white, and definitely not his usual brand, although I couldn't identify it. I chided him for smoking, reminding him it's bad for him. He replied saying "does it really matter now?"

I followed him out to the terrace. As he lit his cigarette I told him I still couldn't believe he's back. I remember questioning my own sanity, as if the memory of his death was just a hallucination or a dream. He told me I see him so he must be back right? I still couldn't believe it. I asked him if he knew he's dead. He said he was aware, and he was also aware of things that happened after he died, mentioning a couple of things to make his point. I asked him if other people who had died can also come back. He simply shrugged. I asked him about grandma. He said "Grandma's here too". I asked if I'll get to see her. He said "No, she's all around us". I was confused but didn't ask him any further questions.

Dad finished his cigarette and walked back inside, and I followed him. Dad asked me why I was so surprised to see him now. He said this isn't the first time I've seen him after he died. I told him I don't remember this happening before.

He asked me if I don't remember the bus journey from Goa when he was sitting beside me for the entire journey. I told him I do remember, and I remember he got off the bus at Panvel without telling me where he was going. As I told him this I could visually recall the journey - I had the window seat on the right side of the bus and he had the aisle seat. But that was a dream!

He told me that wasn't a dream. He told me every time I thought I met him in a dream, I was actually meeting him for real.

At that point the dream abruptly ended, and I was awake, staring at the wall. I glanced at the clock, and it was somewhere between 5am and 6am - it was just getting bright outside, but too early for me to get ready for work.

I thought to myself - is this for real? Is dad really visiting me every time I dream of him?

I found myself unable to sleep again. I just kept thinking back to every dream I've had of dad since he passed away. This obviously can't be - right? Or maybe it is.

After a some time (maybe even an hour?) I nudged Shruti awake and told her I dreamed dad came back. She hugged me and told me to go back to sleep. I couldn't. All I could do was think about the last thing he said before I woke up.

Every time I thought I met dad in a dream, I was actually meeting him for real.

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