Monday, February 17, 2014

My little blue roadster

Why do we dream? It is one of the many unresolved questions that brain researchers spend endless hours theorizing on and I assume chug endless beers over too. When it comes to the brain, an almost astounding lack of knowledge on its functioning exists even in this age of modern science. Yes, it is the super-specialized organ that made us humans reach the top of the evolutionary chain, yet dumb as we are, we are yet to figure exactly how.
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One of the popular theories is that when the brain is archiving away memories to the back of our minds (if there is such a place), it uses random associations to weave them all into a nonsensical little story we call a dream. To make this popular theory even more popular, I shall now provide you a very specific example, very fresh as of now, only 7-8 hours old. Grab another beer, brain researchers and rejoice in the archiving theory's irrefutable proof.
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I woke up at 9:00 in the morning today, to realize that it was a Sunday morning. So I woke up again at 09:30 in the morning. I would have happily woken up next at 11:30 on the same morning but for the events that transpired in between 9:00 and 9:30. I had dreamed a dream whose details I could very precisely map onto my life over the past couple of weeks.
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Location: 
An office parking lot in Warsaw, Indiana
Reality check: 
Not very surprising and quite plausible. For the past week, I was indeed out in that mid-west location of my office for some work which required me to leave my usual Raynham, Massachusetts office.
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Vehicle: 
A beautiful blue British roadster whose make, hard as I tried, I could not make out.
Reality check: 
The car was the exact same shade of blue as the Hyundai Elantra I had rented out of Chicago airport to get to Warsaw. The model my Elantra had transformed into was my colleague's dream car as displayed in a Google Image search at the end of a very long day. Suddenly his dream car had a starring role in my dream and as in real life, I couldn't recall its name.
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A dream is nothing if not absurd: 
It feels like it's like the beginning of the workweek, around 8:00 in the morning, yet I hop into my roadster, gun its engines and start by doing donuts in the parking lot. Just like that. Folks are still pulling into the parking lot and calmly walking by with a Monday sort of expression on their faces as I scream in excitement, swishing and swerving past them, wowing over the extremely great handling of my roadster and feeling a secret pride (within the dream) at my extraordinary driving skills. The parking lot is getting packed by the minute, yet I drive around it with an expertise which defies belief. No casualties at all in my picture perfect mad dash in my little blue roadster except for a clutch of sunflowers. They get taken out by one of my awesome skids. Dream ends with me finally bringing my car to a halt in the middle of the lot, and a feeling of overwhelming happiness at my achievements.
Reality check:
A couple of weeks ago, a couple of friends and me were waiting in a grocery store parking lot in a powerful sedan owned by one of my friends. The better halves of my friends were inside the store shopping for some essentials and I had made a casual suggestion of doing donuts in the parking lot to kill time. Naturally, the suggestion remained a suggestion but I did feel a twinge of regret at not being allowed to. Also, there was my Saturday evening drive from Chicago through a snowstorm as it took me 4.5 hours to get to Warsaw instead of the usual 3 due to the abominable driving conditions on Indiana's snowy highways. By the time, I got to my hotel, I was indeed feeling a little cocky about how I handled a couple of scary slip-and-slide situations with deft touches to the steering and throttle. The sunflowers were on the desktop wallpaper of another one of my colleagues I was chatting to frequently over the past week and they featured in my dream only for a couple of seconds before my roadster sent them to sunflower heaven.
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There it is, a wealth of accurately compiled side-by-side comparison of dreams and realities. You are welcome, scientists! I was surprised by the details of the dreams I retained after waking up and why something like somebody's desktop wallpaper was being filed away in my memory. 
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Maybe there is a method to this madness. Maybe we never ever completely forget anything at all. All we have ever known is all in there in that 1300 cc engine inside our heads. In the mad hatter plots of our dreams are where they live happily ever after. 
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2 comments:

Kumar Bibek said...

Never try to understand them. They are cryptic for a reason. Let them be, and just enjoy them. But, yeah, they are too mysterious not to ponder over them.

Roy said...

I agree. Logically analyzing them ruins their charm but in this case, I just couldn't avoid thinking about the direct links. Still a fun dream!