An exclusive excerpt from The Logic of Dreams by Madhu Tandan(Published by Speaking Tiger, 2022)
1. Down the Rabbit Hole of Dreams
We enter our dream world perhaps half a million times in the course of our life. For no one is a non-dreamer and it has been scientifically proven that we all dream a minimum of four dreams every night. The natural question that follows then is: Should we cultivate or neglect our dreams? Are they a secret garden or a wasteland? Let us explore this question through a dream, one taken from the public domain.
In a story in the Kathasaritsagara—a collection of eclectic tales compiled by Somadeva around 1070 CE— King Vikramaditya saw the painting of a girl and fell in love with her. One night while dreaming of being passionately united with her, he was suddenly woken up by the watchman. Angry, he banished the watchman and, later, narrated his dream to a friend:
I crossed the sea and entered a beautiful city full of armed maidens who rushed at me shouting, ‘Kill him! Kill him!’ Then an ascetic woman came and said to me, ‘My son, the man-hating princess Malayavati is coming this way; she makes her maidens kill any man she sees.’