Think before you dream!! Do we really need to think before we dream? Does dreaming need careful preplanning? What then would be a dream that requires careful calculations and speculations?

This may seem to be an article with a negative note. But, I chose to write it so as to give a peek into many dreams that are left unrealized. I have seen many dreams shattered simply because things didn’t eventually add up when the time came for the rosy dreams to see the light of the day.

Instance 1

A boy excelling in his studies had lofty dreams of making it big in life – to go abroad for higher studies and fulfill his ambition. He was confident of making it big. When the time came however, he had to give in to emotional pressure from his parents who wanted their son to stay close to them and not go abroad. “We don’t want you to excel, just doing decently in your career is enough for us”, were their very words. There was no space for the dreams and aspirations of the son. The son was torn between two equally vital options – either choose career over parents and live with a lifetime of guilt or choose parents over career and regret not making it big in life. No amount of logic or patient explanation could succeed in persuading his parents. Reluctantly, he had to bow down to his emotional self and chose parents over career. He came to this conclusion that he ought to have dreamed according to his parents’ thought process and not his own – he would not have to live with the regret of unfulfilled lofty dreams, then!

Some may say that the son could have done a better job at convincing his parents, or he may have taken a bold decision of achieving his dreams and then his parents would have been proud enough not to hold a grudge against their son, or some others may say that the son was too emotional. Whatever be our respective opinions – the truth is that such a dilemma is faced by many people around us. Is it then wise to think, measure and calculate before dreaming and aspiring?

Instance 2

(Would be better understood by Indians who are familiar with the age-old caste system)

A young successful professional in her late 20s desperate to marry the love of her life who is successful, of the same religion, of an impeccable character, but of a different caste. Assuming initial hesitation, but eventual acceptance by her parents, she has nurtured her love for twelve long years only to face threats of dire consequences from her own beloved family members, when the time comes for her love to fructify. Threats of mass suicide of family members, murder of the boy and his family, coercing a marriage with a caste member at the earliest, creating ruckus at her workplace – all these make her say in lament, “I should have known my parents mindset well before basking in the bliss of love.” Torn between the dilemma of leaving the one with whom she has dreamed of living and loving together and losing her parents who are ready to kill themselves for the sake of caste honour, she sighs, “I ought to have thought before dreaming!”

Instance 3

A young uneducated woman, widowed in the eighth month of her pregnancy, abandoned by her family, raped on the streets while alone with her baby turns to prostitution to fend for her little one. She dreams of a good future for her son. Years pass by and the little one is now a young educated man. Coming to a knowledge of his mother’s life, he hates her for it. With piercing pain in her heart as she reflects over agonizing years, she says, “I wish I had thought before dreaming of a bright future for my son! It would have been better to have begged on the streets and taught my son the art of begging.”

Some may say that the woman could have chosen some other means of earning money – maybe as a maid or by begging rather than selling herself to a brothel. Some may point at the heartless son. Whatever be the case, this is the untold story of sacrifice of many women. And, it is true.

Instance 4

A mother of two decides to walk out of an abusive relationship so that her children are not exposed to aggression and violence everyday. She dreams of an emotionally healthy environment for her children. She works hard to provide for their needs and wants. She showers the best possible love and affection on them. However, one grows up to be a truant and another a rebel. A Counsellor tells her that these disruptive behavior patterns are largely because of a father-absent family. Tears flowing down her cheeks, the mother sighs, “I ought to have thought before dreaming! Had I put up with the domestic violence, maybe my children would have been well-adjusted with a father still around them!”

What then? Should/can we always think before dreaming? Is it possible? Won’t many of us stop dreaming, then? Are properly planned dreams feasible always? Is it not necessary for people to understand the dreams of others and ensure that they are fulfilled? Do properly planned events become successful always? If not, why are we so reluctant to accommodate the dreams of others?

Worth pondering, for sure!