I sat bolt upright. Blackness, nothing but a deep impenetrable blackness surrounded me.
Somewhere close a deep crack filled the icy air, as the once-great glacier of Namik carved her way downwards from the hunchbacked peaks above, groaning as she went.
My dream flickered in front of my mind’s eye, replaying like a movie on the black canvas of the night. I scrambled for my pencil and paper and began to scribble under the beam of my head torch, hoping not to wake Gauri, my great friend and guide.
A little Indian boy cowered under a dark shadow. His dreams, sparkling like strands of blue light floated in front of me. They had been ripped from his soul and were dangling from the calloused claws of a hideous, hooded spirit that stood over him.
It was so real. I felt as if I was experiencing the journey of the young boy, while at the same time, floating above the scenes as they played out.
The boy cowered, powerless to stop the evil djinn as it dropped his dreams into a jar and roared ‘Dream no more boy. The world no longer needs your foolish dreams. It is time for you to grow up and be like everyone else.’ The djinn stared deep into the boy’s eyes and then turned and disappeared.
Ashoo, as the boy would come to be known, wandered the back streets, desperately searching for the beast and his dreams. Inside him, a dark weight took root inside him, beginning to strangle his child-like spirit. In the days and weeks that followed, the weight grew and darkness closed around him, but somewhere in the pit of his pain, the young boy found a light.
In the light, Ashoo found hope and in the hope, he found the courage to leave the world he knew and his family that he loved and step into the unknown, step out with no certainty of return, in search of the dark spirit and his dreams.
I scribbled furiously, trying to capture the textures and details of the adventure that followed. An adventure that would take Ashoo beyond the world that he knew, changing his life and changing mine forever.
I switched off my head torch and drifted off to sleep, unaware of the journey that I had just stepped out on. A journey into a world full of joy, full of pain and of the generosity of others. A world that is still revealing itself as I walk forwards, hand in hand with Ashoo, in search of our dreams and with the hope that this little story helps you find and live your dreams.