Bargaining With Dreams

Bargaining is an intrinsic part of our life. We bargain for clothes, for ideas and even in relationships. It’s all about reaching the convenient and elusive mid-point.

‘देखो! ना आपका ना मेरा, सही-सही कीमत लगा लो’

The right price is often the price we can afford to pay. It is the most organic form of diplomacy and our lives are a relentless pursuit of a better deal. Negotiations are a part of all our interactions even the ones that we have with our dreams. A dream comes to us exciting and exuberant and we welcome it with open arms. We are charmed by the promise it brings along and try not to look too cheered (Bargaining rule no.1 – Look interested but not too interested). Hiding our eagerness behind a placid smile, we commence:

‘Lay down your requirements.’

‘An undoubting and relentless faith in me, for starters’, the dream replies modestly.

‘What degree of relentless are we talking about?’, as we pull out a mental notepad, equipped to jot down the particulars of the negotiation.

‘You have to be prepared about not being able to find a secure income, go a few days without food, sleepless nights, you know the usual. And yes you’ll have to get comfortable with the word ‘crazy’ because that’s what most people are going to call you.’

‘That’s too much’, with a vigorous shaking of the head, ‘food is fine but no security, none whatsoever? And what receives me at the end of this sleepless journey?’

‘Well I am not too certain about that’ it says with a smile, this was not the first time it was subjected to such questions. ‘You could find everything you ever wanted in life- success, money, fame or you could leave the world penniless and poor.’

‘आप किसको पागल बना रहे हो, I gain nothing absolutely nothing.’ The mental notepad is thrown away, the judgment has been dispensed, the product has been discarded.

‘The journey is beautiful and satisfying. Your eyes will gleam with fire and your cheeks will glow with passion every time you talk about me. The pursuit guarantees moments of sheer and unparalleled delight.’

We consider the options, the offered delight we seek, but the disquiet we don’t. The dream is crushed and held captive for later use. It stagnates and finds company in other such abandoned dreams. Our backyard turns into a graveyard of dreams. A bargain with dreams ends up destroying them.

– Ashwini Rajpoot

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