When False Dreams Come True

false-dreamsDear readers, the original title of this post was ‘Confusticated and Bebothered’. But I became jittery at the last minute, even though no detractors were skinned alive in the process of pilfering it from Dictionary.com’s daily offering, who in turn have skimmed the phrase from the redoubtable J. R. R. Tolkien. At any rate, it was infinitely superior to falling back on Spark Notes for your Noble Prize acceptance speech. But then I digress.

That I am both confusticated and bebothered should come as no surprise to those familiar with my psychosomatic sanity. Over time, I have retreated like a penitent general and tried to efface phony footprints in the sands of time. If you have memories of certain threads, threshed over a dozen or so posts in this corner, that seem to have vanished down the gullet of some black hole, know that wicked darts of truth have punctured the general benightment of my brain from time to time.

Over time, many false dreams have melted like masks of candy floss and have become sticky. Many a false hope has mauled my dinghy in turbulent seas. But was it wrong to hope for a rescue for the pillaged, comatose motherland at the hands of a Prime Minister with a fifty-six inch bust? Was it too much to expect curbs on black-marketeers, freeloaders, arsonists, terrorists, gang rapists and murderers? Why is the fabled gladiator not only looking the other way when the brutalized martyrs are being shipped home every day but also appeasing the rabid wolves for petty political gains? How long should I repose my trust in his calculating claws? Is it time to proffer my confidence to the venomous fangs at the other end?

Since I have many times wailed and flailed about my failings with blogging and photography, and how baffled I get with the surfeit or utter absence of the two in my life, I would prefer to rake the small matter of the game of cricket rather than bore you again. That it used to be a gentleman’s game till God made the Australians should be no mystery to anyone. Then God did something unmentionable: he made Pakistanis. And as if these horrors weren’t enough, he blessed the Indian team with a captain called Kohli whose Achilles’ heel has a tendency of coming apart in the final tugs of the battle. Combine this last horror with an ‘Alpha Male’ coach called Kumble who tried to dominate the Men in Blue and we have the shame of the century: India surrendering tamely to the Bashi-bazouks in the Champion’s Trophy final at Oval in London. Am I Collied or Crumbled? Or am I just Jaded-edged and run out of options like the foot-soldier turned tragic hero, Pandya?

Moral of the stories: there are fewer catastrophes in life more potent than when your false dreams come true.


  1. As they say on some TV talent shows: Do you realise how good you are?

    You write with fustication and botherability. It may be better to stay a frog than to be kissed by someone akin to one of King Lear’s ugly daughters. That wouldn’t be cricket.

    As I’ve got older I’ve realised that so many things I yearned for as a youth would’ve been disastrous if they’d come to fruition. Fame, fortune, even a sedentary life… But I have been blessed with the time to reflect upon blogs such as yours!

    1. Blogging’s but a passing shadow, a poor player,
      That struts and frets his hour upon the Internet,
      And then is heard no more.

      (With apologies to William Shakespeare)

      Thank you, Bruce, for being my favourite judge season after season. Without you, I wouldn’t be allowed past the wicket door of the reality show.

      1. I was going (initially, for my first comment) to quote Hamlet and say “perchance to dream” etc etc and then I realised that I didn’t really understand the Hamlet speech! Ain’t that thick or what???

  2. Some dreams come true and leave you devastated in their aftermath. That is the irony of life.

    Conversely, we hardly pause to count the saving grace of dreams unfulfilled.

    Maybe, the best way to resolve this is to adopt the attitude of our ancient seers who declared that the whole life is a dream. In that case the fulfillment/un-fulfilment of a dream may lead to just another dream, ad-infinitum. 😀 😀 😀

    1. I am stunned by the impact of that first statement: “Some dreams come true and leave you devastated in their aftermath.” It is much more than all the sound and fury I have managed to muster above. Thank you, for being here.

  3. Uma Shankar
    I’m been distanced from the land of my birth for many years now and I was last there for 2 weeks in 2015 so I’m largely unaware of the details of a lot of happenings.
    I believe the current PM is the best so far but you seem disappointed and disillusioned and you would know as you’re there.
    As for cricket, I know very little other than the fact that it was never a religion when I was growing up.
    I sincerely hope you find a role that is worthy of you, where you’re happy, appreciated and rewarded.
    All I know is that you have immense talent and I (and many others like me) enjoy reading your blog…..

    1. I feel blessed for your continued attention, Shubha. If the current Indian PM is the best so far, he is surely holding back his potential even as the country keeps bleeding. And he is in no way different from his predecessors in appeasing the larger vote banks unfortunately consisting of freeloaders. And his army is only two and a half soldiers deep. And a handful of taxpayers like us are working their way to death to feed humongous swarms of parasites.

      A million thanks for the encouragement.

  4. It is no illusion that you are a linguistic necromancer, my friend. You do not deserve to have your dreams so shattered – except, of course, for the cricket 🙂

    1. Derrick, I will bask in the glow of that compliment for a long time. Thanks a ton for the honour. Cricket is an incorrigible insect. 😁

  5. You sure look good in that Superman suit Uma. It suits you (no pun intended 🙂 maybe a little bit).

    I say, run to the farm and deal with the crickets. Forget the politicians with their big talk and little action…forget the bankers with their despicable practices. Run to the farm but never, never, never, stop writing, instead, write more. Make your pen (or keyboard) as mighty as the plow (or tractor). Cultivate a new reality were false dreams can come true and be an enjoyable read.

    1. Ouch! That face belongs to my new cricketing hero, Hardik Pandya! And the bust has been yanked off Mr Superman by Photoshop. 😛 Though I did look like him a good two decades ago.
      You are right about both politicians and bankers. I need to focus on saner things in life. Bless you for perking up my day.

  6. Every merger brought difficult times for the employees of the merged entity. Though this one is kind of family matters and people thought would be a bit easier, we know what one has to face and bear till things settle down and that takes long. I other fronts too it’s a testing times for us rather the disappointments are suffocating. I can very well understand your mood be it bank scenario, politics or our social fabric, things are gloomy. But then let us try to focus on what is bright, positive and beautiful around us. We have to go on and for that the strength is needed. Go on churning the wonderful posts and add on the few bright spots around us. Take care.

    1. Associate Banks were always the poor cousins. Unfortunately, the condescension might continue for lifetime to small cogs like us. Given the inherent strength of these erstwhile banks some of which had grown to become imminently viable mid-sized entities, the human resource management could have been much better. I am focusing on every possible ray of light in the tunnel. Thanks for your kind words.

  7. When old words die out on the tongue, new melodies break forth from the heart; and where the old tracks are lost, new country is revealed with its wonders. — Rabindranath Tagore…

    You’ll find your new way…I know you will.
    Molly in San Diego

    1. You have stunned me out of my resignation with Tagore’s words. I will follow the light of those footprints. A million thanks to you, Molly!

  8. Phew, Uma. Your language makes me ache for a dictionary.

    Existential crisis is the recurring truth of life, the only constant, the dull ache, the listless feeling that makes us want more out of life,

    1. Sometimes, I can’t think of better words. Sometimes, they’re just not there.
      Crises arise when life chooses to go on.
      Or else, they’re just not there.
      I am plodding along, Purba. Thanks for the poetic reminder.

  9. I don’t know much about the impact the mergers would make on the health of the economy and self sustenance of the banks, but is it not already in a bad shape? Should not there be a change, given that nationalisation of banks have already suffered too much of a middle age crisis ?

    And wow! Saying Your choice of words are beautiful, would be an understatement to your writing. Give me more of such daily bloggers( you should start frequent blogs) and I would be a recipient of wisdom and broader perspectives.

    1. Banks are in trouble because of the failed or absent systems of recovery and resolution. A quasi-paralysed judicial machinery is further exacerbating the rot. Government controlled banks are much more vulnerable as they actively finance infrastructure and core sector projects unlike the fancy private banks. Again, they are constantly used as vehicles of implementation for socio-developmental missions. Mergers will lead to rationalisation of resources and reduction in unhealthy competition among PSU banks. However, if done at the cost of employees, it will result in hollow entities. As it is, Justice is a rare species in our faltering nation.
      Thank you for reading and putting in your precious thoughts, and encouraging my withering pen.

  10. We all fall victim, Uma, but you have to keep on dreaming! Next year, perhaps?
    Thanks for bringing this to the party! Have fun meeting everyone.

  11. One has to be careful about what they dream for, isn’t it.. Lest they or the false one comes true. But then as humans we are incorrigible.. We thrive on dreams, however hopeless they might be. Dream of fairness in an unfair world.
    Great post as usual !

  12. Considering the kind of language you have used in your post, I was a little hesitant to comment ….mine would be no match … 🙂
    If things we dream about always become true it would stop us from having bigger dreams…. visiting your blog after a long time …i am glad I did 🙂

    1. I am so happy to see you here, Jaishvats. Welcome back to this corner of the planet!
      The land of dreams is a parallel universe. It is illusive, utopian, dystopian, ecstatic and tragic, all at the same time. Having said that, life without dreams is like a sky without clouds. Thank you for those words.

  13. I learned about India through Roerich’s paintings before I learned how to read. Later, I read his books and also Helena Blavatsky books. This kind of literature has moulded the image of India for me. I would love to travel and visit ‘my India’, and I hope these are not ‘false dreams’…

    1. If anything, India was best known for its hospitality, a country that believed in the guest being godlike. India, as I know, has transmogrified into an unsightly place over the last few decades. Having said that, there is hope still. You are welcome to the land of bewilderingly different cultures and languages!

          1. The earth still has plenty resources, we will be grand. I think it is something related to progress. Some negative byproduct. There is a theory about historical eras. They change when the population reaches every next ten billions. For example, the Stone age lasted 4000 years and the Dark Ages lasted 400 years – exactly the time needed to put through 10 billion people 🙂 When it happens, the eras change. These days, the process is so fast, that soon every new generation will live in a new era. I don’t know how good it is, but definitely it is not too bad either. I wish we managed our resources with more wisdom though.

  14. Umashankar, such intriguing and smart writing! I enjoyed it and likely didn’t understand all of it. I need to read beyond my scope to understand higher levels of pain or prosperity. Smiles. I shall have to look up coterie for the meaning. Life is but a dream, to make us feel lighter with smiles hiding our pleasures. Nice to meet you.

    1. Welcome to my little nook, Caroline, and thanks for filling it with smiles! Life is a dream indeed, just as you say, except for the brief interludes of awakening that tend to get bitter at times. Nice to meet you too!

  15. I know little about banks, and less about cricket. I am not well versed on your fine country’s politics or history. But watching you weave words together like an artisan was so enjoyable over coffee and breakfast.
    I read mostly poetry, but I am happy I read this today.

    On the other hand, I know a fair lot about dreams, both fulfilled, and unrequited, not always in equal measure.

    1. Workplaces, games and politics of a country —these are the mazes where catastrophes lurk and hunt for the droopy eyed hearts. Many thanks for nourishing my soul with that compliment.

      Your poetry has left me in no doubt about the immeasurable depths of your dreams and their various outcomes.

  16. Hm…. Yeah. Things never turn out the way we want them to, no? I had dreams of getting into consulting for years. Then into consulting I was getting the easier internal ones. Then I wanted the big client ones. But after 3 years of hard core consulting with Indian manufacturing clients, I had had enough of all the stress and travel and all I wanted was to get out of consulting.

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