Last night I dreamt, well – a confusing nightmare, and less a dream. A simple, plain, empty pathway; a road, with the snow melting, and weeping willow trees slowly returning from a sublime white to a lush green. Not much happening that I could see, almost silent with small scuffles here and there; seemed like this would be one peaceful dream. But obviously, that had to change, Raasia can’t ever have even one good dream; I should’ve known.
Unexpectedly – and annoyingly – I was jerked into another dimension, and so quickly that I almost fell back due to the inertia. Televisions, all around, news reporters, different languages and dialects, and the TV’s in all sizes and graphics, but all of them seemingly discussing the same thing. Flu? Well, flu wasn’t much of a serious issue anymore, so why were they still broadcasting clips of people hospitalised and on oxygen? Maybe I was seeing the past. But wait – pandemic, and I heard 2021? Influenza was a major issue back in the 1900s, so this couldn’t possibly be that. I turned my head toward a TV displaying what looked like a virus; the reporter called it the novel coronavirus? Looking around toward other screens; maybe some were broadcasting something I actually understood. But just as my eyes landed on a TV screen where the news reporter was shouting something in Urdu, there was another jerk, and instead of TV’s, there were fires.
Deers running around, kangaroos – Australia? Why was it burning? I could see trees collapsing, sounds of animals in agony. I was so intrigued by the flaming red, and grasped by the scene around me, I forgot to watch out for myself and before I knew it, a huge bark, with its coarse wood on fire, was about to crash onto me. I froze in shock, my nerves not being able to react, but it somehow fell right through me. I was in this false reality but I was simply (and thankfully) in something of a viewing mode. Smoke going up, bushes ablaze, broken legs of limping marsupials and all I could do was watch. The grass beneath me lit up and burnt as I fell through into another scene.
Ah, people. People, but not society as I knew it.
A lockdown. Shutters and blinds being shut, everyone with a mask on and those who weren’t, being fined by those who were. Everyone afraid of even a mere cough. As I walked along the pathway, I saw people hiding in rooms, isolating themselves. And as I was about to approach one of the open windows to discern what the situation was, I heard the blinds shut and suddenly, a new place. Again.
Few people outside, no longer wearing masks, but still being tortured. Guns being fired, stones being thrown, even at women and children. People ordering others to get in their house right away, others begging. This was hard to see.
I walked along, still seeing women being tortured, children reaching out for their mothers, and I flinched as they continued being hurt without mercy.
All of a sudden, I’m in a room, a high ceiling, a desk, with the Afghan flag and some documents. A man, in a coat, at the desk, his eyebrows furrowed. Another man at the front of the desk. The man in the coat began speaking,
‘I’m leaving. I have to resign. I’m done.’ He was making short anxious statements. ‘Taliban. They’re going to hurt us. Don’t believe a thing they say. I am leaving.’
Before I could hear what the other man had to say, I was in another place, and there’s now a car, with a person of colour being beaten by a white policeman. He was asking for mercy but received none. Racism. At least I knew what this was.
It was like my head didn’t want to see what this was for longer. So, here we were, a different surrounding. Signs held up, people protesting, boards with a common hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. Many different diversities, ethnicities, accents, but all with the same goal, which as far as I could see, was getting justice for Floyd. As I shuffled along by the protest, the signs changed into ‘Freedom for Palestine’ or ‘Hands off Jerusalem.’
In the blink of an eye, silence.
It was dark now, just an empty void. A few seconds of this and I began hearing some noises, my sisters singing, and my mom, my name. My eyes flicked open and as the wheels in my head started turning, I realised what I thought was simply a nightmare is actually reality. The world is in a bad place.