The Surreal Shiva

Way People Say
3 min readOct 31, 2022


My phone dimmed, until it finally blacked out. I was stranded inside the tunnel. The sudden darkness unleashed a thousand invisible crawlers in my mind. I was anticipating an attack from some unseen entity, any moment. Waves of shivers kissed my ears and went down my hands. It was pulsating. I don’t know how long I stood at the same place, the same way. I was still trying to calm my mind. Just about that moment, a confused show reel popped up, forming incoherent patterns of blue and white streaks. The formation velocity was faster than my eyes could trace the beginning or the end. Until I could sense the outline of Lord Shiva.

Om Namah Shivay.

The blurry electric waves would shudder, form, disrupt, flash out, and realign till it was fitting a shaky illustration of the divine. The radiation was alive, unsettling, and fluid, much like an erupting volcanic lava. Only that it was a blend of blue, turquoise, and teal with a tint of orange. 16 million colors or more, I can’t tell for sure.

The lord appeared in his menacing fury… that typical dance posture I have been seeing since my mother introduced me to the divine forces in our little puja sthal. I was a little kid then…

His dark brown mane was flying with its edges on fire, and his eyes pumped up with anger. The image zoomed… and then, the animation started. The lord was in his aggressive best… it was the tandav!

Out of the darkness, all of a sudden, the drums of heaven were in action. I could relate it with some Bollywood tracks initially. Such is the bond we share with sound and visual. As the scene zoomed further, the music grew louder. I was trying to find a rhythm, but there seemed to be none. An equally noisy chorus of screams and howls added to the grand orchestra. It was the end of a kaal it seemed, announcing the beginning of the new age. I thought my ear drums would burst. I could not take on the beats any more.

A rustic yogi in raw vigor, unmindful of his clothes and accessories, was dancing. It was a decorum of the disruptor. A whole league of smudgy surreal figures joined a reckless rampage. Conch shells, drums, dumroo, screams, bells, every instrument were thrown into a violent hurricane, producing incessant sonic booms.

The lord was sweating, and the sweat droplets formed an animated water jet encircling him. I could feel the droplets burst on my skin. And then, the figure grew larger… Now the dancing lord was stomping me down with each beat. I was thrown off and hit the floor. My limbs went motionless. I could not fight the gargantuan illusion. Helpless in hell, I covered my face.

I have seen myself in a similar situation almost every time in my dreams. A huge something would grow on me and I would sink under that menacing form. And every time I would wake up sweating.

I gasped for breath. I was sweating profusely. My spectacles were smudged with vapor. I could barely see.

This time around, before I could sink into the ground, my mind was struggling to save the day. Somehow, it managed to tame the tandav with a calmer image of the lord. Now he was the ascetic, eyes closed with a smile. The whole tandav vanished in a second. It was a void at first. There was no sound. I could sense the breeze, that would evaporate the sweat.

Then, it was relaxing. I enjoyed that posture of the lord with my eyes still shut. My imagination was giving me strength to fight the darkness and its evils. The cacophony melted into calmness as if it was an eternal state of affairs. There wasn’t any darkness, not a trace of it.

Where am I? I dared to open my eyes but just slightly.

My eyes met with no form, neither any shape of the lord. Instead, I saw a dazzling orb of throbbing white light. It wasn’t blinding though. Divinity is undefined. It has no shape, nor any form. It’s pure energy. Time stood still as I was getting soaked in the radiation. Power or bliss, I couldn’t make out. I closed my eyes in reverence.



Way People Say

Stories are everywhere, bold, benevolent, beautiful, brilliant and bespoke. Watch it, hear it, love it and share it.