By Rishika Singh

I dream of not being told to dream.
– What? That’s not a dream, are you stupid?
Dreams should always be big,
Bigger than anyone else!

I dream of studying liberal arts, isn’t it so important?
– Liberal arts? But why? You get such good grades,
Dream of becoming an engineer or a doctor.
Dream big, dream rich.
Richer than anyone else.

I dream of becoming a fashion designer, of creating art!
– You already ruined your life by taking arts and now
you are having such irrational dreams.
You remember we are middle class, don’t you?
Dream big, but affordable.
Dream big, dream without risks.
Dream rationally.

I dream of writing books, novels for the world to read!
– But you can do that on the side, dream of something
permanent first.
Dream of being an advocate or a judge!
Why study political science otherwise?
Dream ‘extra’ when you earn.
We can’t provide for you forever, can we?
Dream big, earn respect.
Dream respectful with a stable income.

I dream of becoming a professor, a scholar!
– Yes, yes you can dream about that but first
Try for bureaucracy, if not law.
Of having bodyguards with you everywhere.
Dream of buying a big house for us, a luxury car!
Dream big, dream huge.
Dream, Rishika! Dream!

I dream of singing.
– But…
I dream of dancing.
– What?
I dream of having the freedom to dream.
– Listen…
I dream of people not having so many expectations.
– Rishika…
I dream of not being told to dream like them.

I dream of writing.
Of composing poems.
I dream of a world where people know my voice.
I dream of my voice being so loud, no one can ever object.
I dream of children dreaming;
Not what is ‘big’, ‘classy’, ‘respectful’ or ‘affordable’
You can’t tie dreams
It’s the one thing you can’t take away.

So dream, dream of anything you want to.
And don’t ever let anyone tell you that you aren’t worthy of that dream.
And don’t stop until you have achieved them.
‘Cause the only dream, you need to snap out of is of a life without a dream.

Rishika Singh is a final-year political science student at Lady Shri Ram College for Women. She is a reader who likes to know the details of the thing rather than the thing itself. She searches for art and beauty in things and has never been disappointed. She likes creating things, drawing, and, painting or filling colours. She can be found on Instagram

Featured image source: Nada Bastawi from Pexels

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