Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

I was falling. It had been a good take-off but I was certain that I was falling. The aircraft was plummeting towards the ocean. What was the reason? I don’t know. But apparently we were on a tailspin. This is it I thought to myself as I bit into my junglee  sandwich. Would such an adrenaline rush cause such excitement? I don’t know. The body works in mysterious ways. I knew blood should be rushing towards the brain, especially given the direction in which we were falling through. But my mind worked differently. I was sure that even in this state of finality I was excited by the prospect of the end. 

Throughout the fall, I could hear a voice calling out my second name. Now no one, calls me by my second name so it didn’t register at first. Though after a while I could hear it feebly, then loud and clear. I looked up and yet the voice kept calling me, it was the in-flight attendant, calling my surname. 

That’s when I realised that I was not in an impending crash but just being woken up for my junglee sandwich which came complimentary with my booking. I woke up and looked around, clearly disoriented from the dream. The aircraft was flying smoothly, many thousand feet above the brown Sahyadri stretching beneath us. It had all been a dream, I looked down and sure the excitement from the dream had carried on. She had forgotten the sandwich, she apologised and left. Why did she wake me up then? Had the dream continued, would I have fallen finally? 

I would never know. Such midair dreams of the end may be quite common. I wondered what they meant ? Perhaps nothing. Many hidden interpretations may exist for this. One thing that I continued to pondered over was the state of excitement that it had caused. What was the fascination with being in an aeroplane crash? Maybe optimistically we would land on the sea. We would perhaps end up using the life-rafts that they always demonstrate. Perhaps it would be the unlikely event that they always talk about. 

Though my excitement remained fresh for a long time on the flight. The dream would stay with me for a long time that entire day, I was sure of that. Amid the roar of the engines and the silence inside only punctuated by the cries of children on board, the silence of the fall rang pleasantly in my ears. Perhaps I could go back to sleep and continue the dream. It doesn’t happen that way, sadly. I could not finish the sandwich. I was not hungry. I was only keen on interpreting the mid-air dream. To my right stretched the wing of the plane, grey and broad. Not the kind which would get damaged by a bird hit, like it happens in the movie Sully. 

I continued to wonder though about the rush I had felt. Maybe adrenaline rush is meant to have these effects. I was painfully aware of it now. My heart rate had increased however, it felt still blissful. That is perhaps the power of a nap? But naps are meant to be without dreams. 

Lest of all with dreams of a plane crash. The aircraft was now cruising silently. Perhaps in an alternate universe it would land on the sea and then dock at a picturesque island off the coast. But here we were on a smooth cruise towards our destination. Was I disappointed? Maybe. I need to stop living in dreamland all the time. Reality is boring but reality is all that we have. But then what happens to imagination? Do we not need imagination too to build a better tomorrow? 

This inner dialogue continued with me throughout the flight. Even after I had finished my coffee and tucked the cup into the front seat pocket. I continued to think about the nap and the dream in the nap. There is no antidote to the after effects of adrenaline, it just washes over you and your heartbeat returns to normal and you start to think and see clearly.

I also wondered if I should go ahead and publish this piece. Would I get any readers? Would anyone resonate with this? Would anyone like to read this strange dream? Or would others find it too morose, or worse, grotesque and triggering? I am not so sure. It almost seems like this is a once in a lifetime event in any case and no one likes to read such depressing stuff. Perhaps a spin off of Lost would be more entertaining. Midair Dreams