Fever dreaming

I’ve had some strange dreams this week. Very strange.

Rohan JoshiEarlier this week I ate something delicious. Its every bite filled me with joy. And then gastroenteritis. For those fortunate enough to have avoided this encumbrance, what happens is this; a virus enters your stomach through uncooked or badly cooked food.

It decides that it likes your stomach (gastro) and your small intestine (entero) very much, and proceeds to renovate (Diarrheo Vomito Passouto Cryingo For Mummyo) them in its own image. It results in dehydration, a raging fever, and the desire to walk out in front of a speeding truck just to end the pain.

I was nursed by my girlfriend (who may now never be attracted to me again), and my mother, and I may live yet. I only realised the gravity of the illness when the doctor gave me my medication, because the tablets were of four vibrant colours, and everybody knows it’s not a real illness until you’re eating half a rainbow’s worth of pills. However, the disease was not without its side-effects. The combination of my 104 degree fever and the medication made me delirious, and I had some of the strangest dreams I have ever had in my life.

Illustration/Amit Bandre

For example, I dreamed that Sanjay Dutt was out of prison again, on a 14-day furlough (the legal term for ‘word you have to Google’). What a strange dream, considering he only just went in four months ago. And the dream got weirder because he got an extension on it, and then I saw this really trippy photograph of him celebrating Karva Chauth at home, and I remember thinking, “Wow! This is like a bad Sanjay Dutt movie,” before I woke up. It was an odd dream; he got more leave from prison than most people get from offices. Good thing it was just a fever dream.

I had another strange dream in which Rahul Gandhi was in a bad Prakash Jha movie (also known as ‘a Prakash Jha movie’) mouthing cringe-worthy Mithun dialogues like, “My grandmother and father were killed, I may be killed too,” and things about being attacked by 25,000 mosquitoes at what was supposed to be an election rally. I’m not sure where he encountered this biblical swarm, but I remember thinking in my dream, “HA HA, as if Indian people are silly enough to be taken in by this hyperbolic, emotional nonsense!” Then I woke up and was sad.

I had another weird dream in which stalwart Gujarati businessman Mukesh Ambani got into the fried chicken business. The joke wrote itself and the dream ended quickly. The weirdest dream of the lot though was one that was Inception-like in its construction. I dreamt that a sadhu dreamt that there was gold buried underneath an old palace.

And not just any gold, a thousand tonnes of it. And before long, the ASI was involved, and the Supreme Court was involved, and then SHIELD and Iron-Man flew in and helped dig for this 1,000 tonne haul, all because a sadhu had a dream.

Why couldn’t he dream of 1,000 tonnes of water under the Vidarbha, I wondered, or a 1,000 tonnes of black money in Swiss Bank accounts? Imagine getting everyone involved in the hunt for that! Luckily they were all just odd fever dreams, and now that I’m better, they’re gone. Imagine if any of this nonsense happened in the real world. What a desperate, pitiful, irredeemable place it would be. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to read a paper and catch up on all the news I missed this week.

Rohan Joshi is a writer and stand-up comedian who likes reading, films and people who do not use the SMS lingo. You can also contact him on

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