Tuesday night and Wednesday morning were divided into lines. “Twelve lines”, my host said, “fifteen if you’re conservative, can be had from one gram of cocaine.” At 3 a.m., I was wide awake on my way from Versova to home in Andheri.
I don’t remember the last time I dreamt. That morning, I dreamt I was in Ahmedabad, and there was no food or money anywhere. Men and dogs were dying all around.
My friend, whom I’d last seen just two hours back, was in A’bad too. Back at his place in Versova, Mumbai, he’d licked a Benson & Hedges cigarette and generously sprinkled snow on a good part of it.
But here we were in Ahmedabad, and he got into a scuffle with someone and I got stabbed in the stomach. Dogs and men were still dying everywhere, and I was in the hospital with my mom. Feeble, dying people strewn across the place, and not a doctor to help. I’d been stabbed well, just once, but well. I felt pain, and that’s strange because I don’t remember experiencing physical pain whilst in a dream before. “I’m dying”, I said to my mother.
A few hours before the nightmare took over, I’d rubbed some of the white powder on my gums. And now I was about to die in my dream. The nightmare went on for too long, I realized, on being woken by a phone call from an ex-girlfriend. It was the first time I didn’t mind my sleep being disturbed. In fact, my sleep had been disturbing me.
I’d have shit my pants had I died in that dream, and I’ve sworn off cocaine. Perhaps what I saw was so vivid because I hadn’t smoked marijuana in two days, and I’d had a few beers while my friend was cutting lines.
Am I grateful the ex called that early in the morning or what? The alarm wouldn’t have gone off until another thirty minutes, and I would surely have died from that wound even though there wasn’t much blood flowing out of it.
2010 is no year to die. And there’s no way in hell I’m going to miss RGV’s Rann.