I remember the first vivid daydream of mine.
It’s not that I hadn’t imagined before, but I remember the moment when I thought “what if” and then drift away for hours.
I was probably in the first grade and had recently developed a crush on a Bollywood superstar, Shahid Kapoor. It’s unsettling, I know, the fact that I was just five but I was already daydreaming about him. Well, he was adorable, you have to admit. Back then I couldn’t even make out his face or voice properly, but the single idea that I was thinking about a human and he was Shahid was enough to excite me.
And then? I imagined him arriving at my school just to pick me up.
Yes, I was born with witty thoughts.
You know, some of us, as we grow up, we start to rationalize our daydreams, and we give up on those that are too far-fetched. But my first daydream was limitless. There was Shahid, accidentally falling on his arms cliché, a wedding dress, jealous classmates, crazy villains, ridiculous stunts, everything.
Which kept me occupied for months.
Another daydream of mine, that I remember, was the lovemaking.
I was probably seven and I hadn’t yet understood anything about sex. I could never understand why people got excited as they undressed each other. My parents kept me in a discipline, but honestly, I had secretly seen things on T.V. I knew I shouldn’t have. Reverse psychology probably.
The idea was this. They show you a girl’s body while she is in a bikini. And once she drops it, they show the body no more. What was the deal? And I used to wonder about this for hours. What was behind those clothes that made the guy next to her go crazy? Why did she lose control when he caught her? What was sensuality anyway?
Nevertheless, I daydreamed about it.
Without much knowledge, with so much of guilt.
But I couldn’t think about it much then. The idea suppressed itself when I remembered my parents. Thinking about sex was not acceptable, or so I had thought.
After that, I don’t remember daydreaming much until puberty. I can tell so, because that was the time when my grades had started slipping. I reached from a “not bad” student to a “she’ll do nothing” student, because my daydreaming never had any mercy upon reality. Which a good thing though, but back then I was sandwiched.
I remember all the attempts I had made to keep track of reality. I’d drown myself inside school books, concentrating on every word that I wrote, checking and re-checking the home works, and in the middle of it, my instinct used to whisper “Please, just fifteen minutes.” After a few rejections, I couldn’t resist the thought. So I used to cap my pen, push my chair away from the table and walk around the room.
For fifteen minutes? No. For the rest of the night. Skipping sleep for daydreaming was absolutely normal for me.
The next day I’d be in front of the teacher, head down, sleepy eyes.
Where’s my homework, she’d ask.
I’d have an answer itching on my throat, but I don’t think she’d have wanted to hear it.
Now, I wish I could tell that little girl that after a decade, her grades wouldn’t matter at all.
After a decade, the girl would helpessly jot down all the daydreaming that she’d be able to remember. She’d try, to daydream once again, close the door and walk around the room, but no.
She’s growing up. And besides, grownups never make enough time to daydream.
Daydreaming has been a good wingman to me. I’m often worried that life is slowly slipping off my fingers like sand. The world constantly persuades us to utilize every second to do something for ourselves. But it’s offensive, to call daydream a complete waste of time.
We forget to draw a line between what is real and what is not. But that’s just us. Daydreaming is one of the aspects that separates humans from the robots.
Yes, exactly that. I couldn’t have said it in a better way.
One day, you might just push away your chair and walk around the room, but nothing will strike up. You’ll search for your thoughts, but they will be at a complete rest. No, that’s not inner peace. That’s suppression.
So what? Should we now spend hours doing nothing and go wild with our imaginations?
Well yes, if that is possible. But you see, daydreaming starts from a very early age. Just don’t put it away. Take it in. Spend hours wandering, believing in things you want to, make up stories in your head. Be limitless. Once you’ve given enough time to it, you’ll see the good side of daydreaming. It’s not always about crushes or luxuries or making it big. It’s about assuming that the unreal is real, making a uniquely infinite idea run flawlessly inside your head. No one to question. No answers to give. All the privacy you can have.
I doubt if daydreaming disorder is even real. Daydreaming is not a disorder. It’s like death. We’re judging it before we’ve even learnt about it.
When you do become an adult, when you’ll be the master of your own daydreams, your imaginations will outrun reality, maybe even change it.
Mom and dad still don’t know why my grades went down the way they did. They will though. Sooner or later.
As for me, if somebody asks me how I’ve made it big (I really, really hope I make it big), I’ll tell them, “All I needed was a closed room with a little space to walk around.”