I rise above the ground and start floating in the sky. The air is cool and crisp and the magnificent blue of the sky is spotted with stray clouds which are connected to each other by a colourful lace. I hop on to one of the clouds and feel the wind brushing against my cheeks. A few trees appear magically out of nowhere and the flowers on them fill the air with their scent. The birds start humming a soft tune which reverberates in the space around me. It’s delightful. I lie down on the cottony cloud and relax.
Suddenly a short and sharp sound comes crashing through the clouds. Ting Tong! I ignore it. It happens again. Ting Tong! I open my eyes and find myself in my bedroom, tucked inside my sinful blanket. The clock tells me that it’s seven o’clock in the morning. I try to gather my thoughts. “Hadn’t the Sleep Goddess sent her minions to guide me through the labyrinths of my subconscious?”, I ask myself. Yes. But as it turns out some wretched and insensitive human being has decided to sabotage my tour by ringing that goddamn bell.
With eyes heavily laden with sleep, a mind replete with incongruous thoughts and a mouth more than willing to dole out a collection of choicest expletives from the urban lexicon I amble across the room towards the main door. Argh! The peephole is inaccessible to me and the tiny stool purchased for the sole purpose of adding a few inches to my height on such occasions is nowhere to be seen. “Why can’t they place it a wee bit lower”, I mumble, “how hard is it for people to squat for a couple of seconds? Or why can’t they have two instead of one to cater to everyone’s needs”. I stand on my toes like a skilled ballerina. My right eye meets the peephole and I look into the corridor. It’s empty. A few newspapers and milk packets are lying on the floor but their takers are nowhere in sight. “Why would anyone do that? Ring the bell at seven o’clock in the morning and then disappear! What has this world come to! People! I tell you….” My train of thoughts comes to a halt. I find myself at a loss of words and realize that I am too sleepy to curse mankind for ruining my Saturday morning.
I walk groggily towards my room, tuck myself inside the sinful blanket and prepare myself to get lost in the lanes and bylanes of my subconscious once again. But the tour guides have vanished. Alas! They are probably bowing in servitude before the Sleep Goddess, taking orders to indulge another pampered little princess in some other part of the world.
I stare at the walls. The sunlight filtering through the peach coloured curtains lends a rosy tint to my room. However, the morning does not seem rosy anymore.
“What keeps your hopes intact?”, you ask. “Dreams” comes the answer. “You should always have one!”, we hear them say, “you should keep your dreams alive. “ And that’s what most of us do. We cling on to our dreams and never let go. They keeps us going, recharging our worn-out systems whenever the stark realities of the big, bad world begin to make their presence felt. But where does one draw the line? To what extent should one go to make one’s dream come true? What if one’s dreams clash with those of others? Come and witness a battle of dreams in Jyoti Arora’s debut novel, Dream’s Sake.
Dream’s Sake unfolds the story of four friends, Aashi, Abhi, Priyam and Sid each of whom steps into the adult life with a baggage from the past. Aashi, who has just moved into a humble locality in Delhi with her widowed mother, has still not recovered from the shock of her father’s sudden death. However, the memories of the past are not potent enough to deter her from building castles in the air. She thrives upon the hope that her dreams will one day metamorphose into a shimmering reality, one which will free her from the tyrannical barbs of her middle class life. Her neighbours, Priyam and Abhi on the other hand have made their peace with their lowly existence. Orphaned in their teenage years this brother sister duo has succumbed to vagaries of life. Sid has grown up to believe that it was his father’s unfaithfulness and negligence that compelled his mother to end her life. He shuns his father’s wealth and finds solace in Abhi and Priyam’s companionship. Romance starts brewing in this little group of their’s which results in happiness for some and broken hearts for the others. In the end a few dreams are realized, a few are shattered and trampled upon leading to disastrous consequences.
This novel had a decent storyline. However, I’ll have to admit that it failed to “wow” me. The story lacks freshness and towards the end of the book I could vividly picturise scenes from a melodramatic Bollywood movie of the nineties being projected on a theatre screen. The story has its fair shares of twists and turns but it tends to become quite predictable in certain places. The characters are anything but eccentric and I could easily relate to them. The book has been written in simple English although I came across several sentences which were unnecessarily cramped with “fancy words”. Simpler words could have easily done the trick and perhaps even conveyed the author’s thoughts a lot more effectively. The aforementioned points notwithstanding the author should be lauded for churning out a reasonably good piece of fiction in her very first try.
In all I would say that this books makes for a light, quick and romantic read.
An extract from the book:
He can be as good as he wants to be and I’ll be as bad as I need to be! We’ll see where it all ends up,” says Aashi.
To know more about the author log onto www.jyotiarora.com
Category: General Fiction.
Publisher: V&S Publishers
Thank you, Jyoti for sending me an autographed copy of the book. All the best for your future endeavours.
I was born in a shack near a mosquito-infested canal. The first friends I made were mosquitoes. They are my bosom buddies and at a very young age I learnt how to spend my nights in their company. Their incessant drone sounds like music. It is the only form of music to which I have access.
There is plenty of water around me. Unlike the other water deprived slums, there is no dearth of it in my place. However it not the elixir of life. It was the very agent that poses a threat to my life. It is the breeding ground of different colourful insects, insects that gradually make their way into my intestines and make it their permanent abode. Needless to say, I am a very warm-hearted person. My doors are open to both man and insects alike.
The first lesson that life taught me was not to harbour any dreams. None. Never. It is easier. Less painful. One does not have to bear the agony of watching dreams being shred into little pieces which is later fed to the overlords of the world to satisfy their insatiable greed. Even if I commit the blunder of visualizing a better future, the anguish of those around prompts me to kill my dreams before it is too late; before they ripenen and become sweet enough to covet. Mine is an area where people defecate and urinate their dreams and it is the stench of these decaying dreams that fills up the entire atmosphere.
I still live here with my bosom buddies, surrounded by filth and squalor. I still breathe the air that carries with it the stink of murdered dreams. However, somewhere in my heart there is a tiny light that makes me hope that one day these dreams will be resurrected.
A gigantic projector screen.
An office auditorium packed with employees.
A crowd that went ballistic every time the ball crossed the boundary.
A crowd that jumped with joy every time we took a wicket.
Pepsi, popcorn, chips, chocolates.
Passion, excitement, joy, delight.
A game well-played.
A match brilliantly won.
And now only a lap to run.
Before our dreams are fulfilled.
Before we get the golden cup
In which our nation’s heart lies.