When a Dream Fails

Musings / Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

The other day, Serena Williams, that wonderful athlete won Wimbledon, and declared that it pays to believe in one’s dreams. Those words sound inspiring. All the more inspiring when you stand on the green hallowed lawns of the most famous tennis court in the world, holding the most cherished trophy in tennis history. Dreams seem almost achievable. But I wonder, does it pay to have dreams? What of dreams that lie shattered? Believe in the beauty of your dreams, they say, but I say that dreams are what can make us disbelieve life as it is given to us.

To dream is to have higher aspirations. But what is wrong with existing ones? Is it too less to have a good bed to sleep in, food to satisfy your stomach, books to nourish your mind, and love enough to keep your soul content? Why do we instead dream of  more? People dream of kids. People dream of travel. People dream of becoming this CEO or that manager. We are so in the processing of wanting to become – our dreams, don’t they lay waste to our soul, and destroy our illusion of the present?

I dreamed of climbing one small mountain. I failed. Out of lack of mind power. Out of lack of will power. Out of lack of food. And plain commonsense. I failed because of a number of reasons. Why did I dream this dream? It was the culmination of something that I promised myself that I would and could climb a mountain when doctors told me not to climb even stairs at home. To the others who came along, no one understood this dream as I did. So when I had tears in my eyes at not reaching the summit, it also marked the disintegration of one dream…to lie asunder under volcanic ash, the kind that our mind spews with regularity…all those thoughts we enmesh ourselves with.

This was a small dream when you think of all the things people dream of. But it’s there, nagging away at me – this failure, the first such I have had in my life. I must learn from this, learned ones say. And I guess eventually I will. All learning comes from severe disappointment. We don’t learn from winning as much as from defeat…so if life is a school, it pays to lose. But dreams? I hate them. I really do. But I can’t stop having them…perhaps that is the beauty of it. To just dream.

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