I had a weird dream early this morning. Most dreams are, I suppose, but this was disturbing enough for me to wake up panic-stricken.
I am in a strange house, which in the dream is my home, and is not in the least like the one I live in. In the morning about twelve guests from outside Chennai land at my doorstep, bag and baggage. “We came because you invited us to visit you,” they say. Of these, I know only some.
My first thought is to check the fridge for milk – only my husband and I live here, so how much milk would there be anyway?
One litre – not enough for coffee for 12, I decide, and call our grocers who supply us with extra milk when required. I pick up the phone, but there is some cross talk going on. And all the time, at the back of mind run questions like how long are they going to be here, should I fix breakfast for them or make it lunch straightaway.
After several attempts, I decide to step out myself and get it, as my domestic helper hasn’t arrived yet. Day dawns for her only at half past eight. I leave home, which I realise is a flat on the first floor and go down the steps. There is a high compound wall around the building, and there are steps going up to a gate. When I get there I find I can’t open the gate. I run down the steps and look around for another gate, and see another one. But there are no steps leading up to it. I decide to take the short cut via the temple (which one?), but a wall has come up blocking the route.
I decide to (I think) return home, and go up the steps. But my front door is now no longer near the top of the steps, and I will have to clamber over a balustrade to reach it. However, my neighbour’s door is open, and she lets me in. Some of my guests are there, two of them being her parents. Weirder and weirder. She (who has by now by some transformation become my niece) then opens her fridge, shows me about 20 packets of milk in the chiller tray, and says that she is always well stocked.
A crow cawing near our (real) window wakes me up, and I am relieved that there are no surprise guests at home.
Whatever would Freud have made of this one, I think. Housewife’s nightmare?
Me? I just filled up my fridge this morning with milk packets.