I do not think there is any person in this world who does not dream. All of us dream – and a dream is nothing more than a wish our heart makes when we are fast asleep. We all wish to do something in this world – to gain something, to achieve something. Unless we dream we cannot achieve it. Therefore, one has to dream first about it until one day it’s no longer a dream but a reality. Sometimes a dream can come to us without our heart wishing for it. This kind of dream bears no relevance to our present life or to our future. Such a dream is what we may call a “bad dream” or more appropriately a “nightmare”.
I had a dream the other night. A dream I can still recollect so clearly, so vividly. It was a dream that took me to Egypt. How it all started and how it ended is what YOU are going to read in the paragraphs that follow. And as they say ‘dreams come true’, I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if I find myself landed in Egypt in the not-too-distant future.
Having said all this I would like to open my dream before you.
I now take you on a journey to the world of fantasy and glory. A world of make believe. A world too remarkable to be true. So come along, dream along, with me.

The Dream.

Someone knocked on my door in the very early hours of the morning. It was a cool silent morning. I got up and reached for the door. It was the postman with a cable for me. The cable contained the following message:-
“For the attention of Joe Mackintosh in Dubai –
Security Council meeting to be held in Egypt on Wednesday stop
We need your assistance stop It’s a challenging job, Joe, come fast stop
Chairman Silverman”
I quickly packed my things. I did not wish to be late for such an important assignment. But first I thought I should inform my office about this “challenging job”. My wife at that moment was in her deep slumber. I did not wish to wake her up and tell her about this appointment so soon. I wanted to matter to be confirmed by my office.
While on my way to office I found myself riding on a bicycle. The bicycle amazed me with its many devices. It could float on water and even fly in the sky. At times I felt it going up and coming down very smoothly. The motion created was similar to that of a small boat on high seas. And all the time I kept ringing the cycle bell, like a little boy so fascinated with his new toy. Its “ring-ting-ting” sound fascinated me. But the people who were sleeping thought it was their alarm clock going off; so, they woke up and some of them even followed me. The, all of a sudden, I sensed a strong wind blowing behind me. With the onset of this wind it became difficult for me to keep my balance. I quickly seized the opportunity to fly. I whisked my bicycle right up in the air and landed it safely at the entrance of the office gate. That was the quickest time that I have ever made to office. As soon as I got of my cycle and both my feet were well on the ground, the bicycle turned into a helicopter and disappeared from my sight. Then the office gate opened before me all by itself. Likewise, the office door also opened. But before entering the office I realized that in m haste I forgot to carry my keys. I turned to go back but just then the office gate outside closed on me with a bang. I tried to climb over the wall but suddenly a black cat pounced right in front of my face with a loud and powerful “meow!!” and then ran off as fast as her four paws could carry her. I decided there and then NOT to try any stunts.
It was quite early in the morning and no one could be attending the office at that time. But I heard the sound of footsteps coming from inside the office. Then there was also the sound of plates rattling and the quick movement of furniture. I realized that something fishy was going on there. With all the manly courage I possessed, I entered my office and walked straight to my department – The Public Relations Dept.
Here, what do I see? The lights were switched on and on my table there was tea and breakfast all neatly laid out for me and yet there was no one around. Also on the table was a small note which read “Eat fast man we are waiting”. And soon after having read it, it disappeared. I quickly finished my breakfast expecting that too might vanish. Soon after I finished I saw three men coming towards me. These men dressed in short, sleeveless, colorful garments, walked directly into my room. Their faces were covered with helmets of bright steel and on their feet they wore silver gumboots which reached up to their heels. The broad golden belt which each of them wore around their waste was adorned with the finest jewels of the world. Their eyes were like beams coming from two different torches and the opened and shut at their own free will. Their hands were as hairy as a werewolf’s. Surely, these “richly decorated pieces” enhanced their vague personality and strength before me. I never felt so small and weak in my life as I did now in their magnificent presence. They fascinated me as much as they frightened me.
They spoke in their own language amongst themselves. But only the tall one, who carried a revolver, spoke in English.
He said to me: “We are Egyptians, do not e afraid, we have come to take you with us. However make no attempts to escape. We have order to shoot you if you play truant”
I said “Excuse me, but I am Joe Mackintosh. Surely I am not the man you are looking for. I’m only a poor, simple, hardworking person. It may be someone else, please… I’ll pay you for the breakfast if you want”
“You have received a cable this morning, haven’t you?”
“Yes I have, it was a cable alright”, I said.
“Well it was not the postman who delivered it to you; it was one of our men”
I soon smelt a rat and tried to escape from their midst. The leader of the group shouted “Seize HIM!” I was soon caught and put in chains and was then thrown mercilessly into a dark room. At length, I heard the sound of a helicopter just above my head. The noise, it gave me a splitting headache. The three men then came in and lead me to the helicopter. Except for the chains that binded me, I felt great inside the ‘copter. The cool fresh morning air added to the greatness and I felt very thankful to them for allowing me a free ride after that heavy breakfast. I looked around and I saw the sun rising in all its splendid glory and the Egyptians in turn worshipping it. The scenery from top was indeed marvelous to see. I felt truly great. My enjoyment was cut short as they had to land at their so-called hide out. There I was treated well by the commander. He not only gave meal that I asked for, including the hot morning coffee, but he also released me from the bonds of those chains. Then at last we settled down to talk.
“The reason why we want you to go to Egypt” said the commander –
“is because the Chairman Mr. Silverman insisted upon one Mackintosh to be captured and brought before him, and since we couldn’t trace anyone of that name in Dubai, we thought of taking you. By the way, you are well known as Joe Mackintosh in Dubai, please explain”
“You see, my friend” I said to him.
“Joe is my proper name, but Mackintosh has been conferred on me by the public because I am in charge of the sole distributorship for Mackintosh Chocolates all over Dubai… and these are quite distinctly famous chocolates…. Please let me go now I am not the man for you. I told you who I am and what I am. .. Let me go please.”
“No, no, no” he kept on saying “We couldn’t do that. We couldn’t let you go under any circumstances. It would be absurd to do that now. Besides, Chairman Silverman is a very impatient man. He will be so upset if we go without you now that we have found you. Whereas the real Mackintosh is absconding, we are only taking you as his substitute if not the “duplicate”. Do all you can to help us, please. In return for your valuable services, you will be handsomely rewarded. It is needless to say that we have a great deal of trust in you and we hope you will not disappoint us.”
I was now getting infuriated. I couldn’t follow what he meant by “substitute, duplicate”
So I asked him with a very loud tone in my voice
“What precisely do you want me to do????”
“You have to act like Mr. Mackintosh. That’s all, it’s as simple as that”
“Like what” I asked, I was still in a fit of anger. “Carry lots of chocolates in my pockets OR go about the streets wearing a chocolate coat or something? I haven’t seen this man before, you know that.”
This time I saw that he too was losing his temper on me.
“I don’t know what you must do” he said. “But all that I ask you is to use your own judgment, your own skill, your… … intellect, that’s it, use your intellect.”
Then he cooled down and began to specify me.
“We believe you are an idealistic man, Mr. Mackintosh. A man for all seasons. We also believe you have creative abilities and an aptitude for hard work. You ARE the man for us. So keep it up and do what you are told to do. I think I have made myself clear to you now. Goodbye then and Good luck.”
As I came out of the hideout I saw the 3 men sleeping in the morning sun – naturally they were tired after the night duty. I tried to take advantage of the peaceful situation. I tried to escape. But just before I could make my move, someone from behind me gave a hard blow on my head and I blew away my plan. Suddenly, the entire picture of the Egyptian land came into my view. The land of Egypt is indeed bright and beautiful. Their music is enchanting. Their language I remarkably picked up. The people there were the most unhappy lot. I witnessed their riots, even attended their meetings – one after another – I heard some talking about peace, some talking about war. I saw nothing but the utter political confusion prevailing there. In the midst of all this turmoil and confusion and danger, I suddenly hit upon another plan. A plan to advertise and distribute chocolates in the land of Egypt – real, good, wholesome Mackintosh chocolates. The sweetest in the world, the finest and the best. This would be my framework for peace in the mid-east. So far so good.
“Well, have you thought about your plan?” the commander asked as I regained my consciousness. When I explained to him about my plan in detail, he congratulated me and said “I now have confirmed you as the man for the job. Be ready to leave for Egypt at once”
So in the next moment we were off in the helicopter towards Egypt, this time the journey was different, I was lost in thought. A day had past so quickly, most of the time must have passed when I was unconscious; I was worried too, as I hadn’t informed my wife at home about my whereabouts, she will get awfully worried. And on the other hand I was going to attend a Security Council meeting, what will I do there? All this was a mental torture for me. As we were nearing I had to think about the job at hand, if they found out I’m an impersonator, things would turn out to be ugly. So I worked out the entire plan how to promote and spread the message of peace through chocolates. Sounded weird, but that was what I am good at and it was the best that I could think of under pressure. I had it all worked out, from advertising to distributorship. And having each chocolate in an attractive wrapper which said “For Peace, Love and Friendship” It all started sounding good to me.
Within no time, we were there. The place was exactly as I thought it was while I was unconscious, and then I started wondering was I really unconscious at the time or not?? They then lead me to this place; it was more like a court room than a hall for a Security Council meeting. As soon as we entered, the place erupted in shouts and cheers, I felt like a man of importance, a counselor of peace. I was led to the podium in the centre. And sitting right in front of me was a man who looked so different from the rest, dressed in an all gold and diamond apparel, he was none other than Chairman Silverman. Well, I thought to myself, the time has come, the time to share my thoughts.
The Chairman then raised his hand and in an instant there was pin drop silence, and in a commanding voice he asked me -
“How do you plead?”
Then it all dawned on me. It was like the entire world crushing in on me. My smile turned to tears. This was not a peace meeting, it was a trial, and I was the accused. I had been tricked by the commander.
“You have the wrong man!!” I said “I am not the real Mackintosh”
At this the chairman lost his temper and shouted back -
“What!!! You who have cheated the public, You who have tortured your workers, You who are uncompassionate, You Mr. Mackintosh have committed a grave felony against Egypt. And you say we have the wrong man! My men are the best of the best and they have travelled far and wide in search of you and after three relentless years of work, they have finally succeeded.”
“Do you have a last request!?” He ended abruptly.
This can’t be happening to me. Oh! How I wished I could get my hands on the real Mackintosh. Or on the commander who got me into all of this in the first place. This world is such a selfish place. But then I thought of my wife, I wished I had waked her up before I left, maybe she would have not let me go in the first place. Then I heard this continuous buzz, like that of telephone, it was a telephone, and it was my own office phone. I answered it –
“Hello this is Joe Monteiro speaking. May I know who this is calling?”
“What the hell are you doing there, dreaming?” said the caller “Do you know what time it is? Let me tell you….. You… I cannot tolerate it any more... You’re FIRED!”
Well, yes, I was caught dreaming at work, and was thankful it just was a dream. You can well imagine who the person at the other end of the line speaking to me was – that was my boss – the great Mackintosh.


You can also view this story and many others on my blog Still waters