To dream, perchance to see….

Winters in Karachi are seductive. They seduce you into staying in bed as long as you can, drifting in and out of dreams, some instantly forgotten the minute you wake up, while others manage to cross over from the subconscious and linger a bit longer….

I read somewhere that we can dream several dreams in the course of a single night, blurring into one another or staying distinct. 

Either way, they have always provided me with lots of entertainment, so much so that I would look forward to sinking into slumber just to dream my crazy bizarre dreams. Life is so boring comparatively 😉

Huz, being of the intuitive and analytical sort, would sometimes point out the symbolism inherent in some that I just had to share with him. This interested me, and I picked up a dream dictionary at an old book store back when I was in my 20’s.

I think I loaned that book to one of my cousins some years ago because I can’t find it anymore, but that’s okay because ‘Dream Moods’ is pretty comprehensive. 🙂 

There are some themes that have recurred quite often, like walking long distances with legs of lead, or being back in school, or sitting for a test that I have not studied for. Tidal waves and floods feature quite often, as do burning buildings and jumping out of windows. Trying to get to the airport with the looming fear of missing my flight happens often. Vampires often make an appearance too, as do lunches I have thrown where I forgot to cook anything!

My curiosity is piqued when it seems that they are telling me something about myself, or situations that I need to deal with in real life. Either way, I think they’re lots of fun to mull over.

Take the dream I dreamt this morning for instance. I was shipwrecked along with six or seven other people and we were left paddling in the sea holding on to just a wooden raft-like board. We weren’t afraid because there was an island close by that we could easily make our way towards, but we stayed where we were, just waiting. The afternoon wore on and we were quite comfortable in the water until suddenly a humungus whale rose out of the water quite close to us and crashed resoundingly back into the sea. We looked at each other, stunned. 

Then I noticed a dolphin peeking at us, swimming around, and I thought where there are dolphins there must be sharks too. Sure enough, I looked to my left and there was a huge shark swimming slowly around us. I began to get a bit alarmed, and I realized it would soon be evening and we should really be rescued soon. 

That’s when we spotted a boat in the distance and someone who was with me began to holler at the top of his lungs and we all joined in until they heard us and came over. There were four men in a small motorboat and they told us that we’d have to stay in the water as their boat could not carry any more people than it already was, but they tied our wooden board to their boat and we all hung on to it as they pulled us through the water, hopefully back to civilization. There were two little kids, brother and sister, who were hanging on for dear life and the girl seemed to be struggling and swallowing seawater as the boy told her to stop doing that or she would drown. The dream ended then, as I woke up.

Now I know that dreaming of water of any kind is extremely meaningful. But I’ll stick to the symbols in this particular dream. I looked them all up and strangely enough (or not at all strangely) they all point towards the same things. 

Being shipwrecked:

‘To see or dream that you are shipwrecked suggests that you are experiencing some emotional conflict or are having difficulties in expressing your feelings. Additionally, the dream means that you are ready to confront some issues in your subconscious.’

The Sea:

 ‘To see the sea in your dream represents your subconscious and the transition between your subconscious and conscious. As with all water symbols, it also represents your emotions. The dream may also be a pun on your understanding and perception of a situation. “I see” or perhaps there is something you need to “see” more clearly. Alternatively, the dream indicates a need to reassure yourself or to offer reassurance to someone. It brings about hope, a new perspective and a positive outlook on life no matter how difficult your current problems may be.

To dream that you are lost at sea suggests that you are drifting around in life without any direction.  You are feeling overwhelmed by emotions.’ 



‘To see a raft in your dream indicates that you have not built a firm foundation for success. There is still much work ahead. 

To dream that you are floating on a raft suggests that you are drifting through life, not knowing where you are headed. You are confused about your purpose and direction in life.’



To see or dream that you are on an island signifies ease, relaxation and comfort. The dream is telling you that you need a vacation and escape the stresses in your life. It is time for some solitude. 

To dream that you are stranded on an island suggests that you need to get away from the demands of your daily life. Or perhaps you are running away from a situation instead of trying to confront it.  Alternatively, the dream means that you feel cut off from society. You are in a rut and do not know what to do with your life.’


‘To dream of wading in water symbolizes your power and control over your emotions. 

Consider the depth and clarity of the water to determine how much power and control you have over the circumstances and situations in your life.’


‘To see a whale in your dream represents your intuition and awareness. You are in tune with your sense of spirituality. Alternatively, a whale symbolizes a relationship or business project that may be too big to handle. You are feeling overwhelmed. The dream may also be a pun on “wailing” and a desire to cry out about something.’



‘To see a dolphin in your dream symbolizes spiritual guidance, intellect, mental attributes and emotional trust. The dream is usually an inspirational one, encouraging you to utilize your mind to its capacity and move upward in life. Alternatively, it suggests that a line of communication has been established between the conscious and subconscious aspects of yourself. Dolphins represent your willingness and ability to explore and navigate through your emotions.

To dream that you are riding a dolphin represents your optimism and social altruism.

To dream that a dolphin is dying indicates feelings of despair. You are feeling disconnected.’


‘To see a shark in your dream indicates feelings of anger, hostility, and fierceness. You are undergoing a long and difficult emotional period and may be an emotional threat to yourself or to others. Perhaps, you are struggling with your individuality and independence, especially in some aspect of your relationship. Alternatively, a shark represents a person in your life who is greedy and unscrupulous. This person goes after what he or she wants with no regards to the well-being and sensitivity of others. The shark may also be an aspect of your own personality with these qualities.’



‘To dream that you are being rescued or rescuing others represents an aspect of yourself that has been neglected or ignored. You are trying to find a way to express this neglected part of yourself. Alternatively, it symbolizes a subconscious cry for help. Perhaps you are too proud in your waking life to ask for assistance. 

In particular, to dream that you rescue someone from drowning indicates that you have successfully ackowledged certain emotions and characteristics that are symbolized by the drowning victim.’


So there you have it. I seem to be grappling with some serious s*** in my waking life, aren’t I? Apparently I am an aimless, emotionally distraught bum. But I could be coming to grips with it…..

Pinning my hopes on that dolphin. The ones in my dream looked friendly and amused and curious, just like these ones. 🙂


What kind of dreams do you get? How symbolic do you think they are?


  1. fatookh says:


  2. What a wonderful interpretation! I also look to my dreams for how they can help me understand my life. I have gotten up in the night to put wood in the stove, gone back to bed after several minutes, and picked up a dream right where I left it. Thank you for a lovely post!

    1. Munira says:

      I had fun with this one 🙂 How cool that you can continue an interrupted dream! That’s extraordinary 🙂

  3. indiajones says:

    Nice read. Beautiful pics. I know that’s rather a trite comment, nevertheless. And your dreams are night-time dreams, like those of almost all of us humanity, so relatively harmless. Guess Sigmund Freud would have had the most to say about it though !

    1. Munira says:

      I get my most vivid dreams during afternoon naps. Those can leave you really disoriented 😐

  4. Heather says:

    Love the way you ended this. “Pinning my hopes on that dolphin.” Doesn’t seem like a bad way to go.
    Every now and then I have a dream where my husband acts like a huge jerk to me (seriously out of character), and I wake up mad at him. I always have to apologize if I’m being cold, then explain: “You were such a jerk last night…in my dreams.”

    1. Munira says:

      I love what dolphins symbolize!

      Heheh, your recurrent dream sounds familiar 😉

  5. Kathy says:

    I’m pinning my hopes on the dolphin, too. I can’t believe those school-test dreams are prevalent world-wide. Had ’em too. Lately I’ve been dreaming of bats. Then saw a bat in real life with an injured right wing.

    1. Munira says:

      Where there are school tests, there must be bad school test dreams I say.
      You seem to come across a lot of bats Kathy. The dream dictionary says: To see a bat in your dream symbolizes uncleanness, demons, and annoyances. Alternatively, bats represent rebirth and unrealized potential. You need to let go of old habits. Your current path is not compatible with your new growth and new goals. It may also indicate some unknown situation and how you are blindly entering into a situation or deal. You need to evaluate the facts more carefully. The dream may also be a pun on feeling “batty” or feeling crazy. 🙂

      1. Kathy says:

        Yep, sister. Entering unknown situation blind. Needing to let go of old habits. Current path not compatible. Darn those bats for knowing my secrets!

  6. Before reading on to your own analysis, I thought I’d write down mine and see if it jibes with yours: At first you were in a difficult, scary situation, but not afraid — feeling that it would turn out well in the end because you were comfortable in a sea of dangerous things that weren’t touching you.

    As the nearby danger became more apparent, you raised your voices to get the attention of those who might help. When it came, it wasn’t quite enough, or all you’d hoped, but it was something, so you went along and did your best. The young siblings who were struggling at the end of your dream and the brother expressing his concern, seem to represent the parts of you that are struggling with the dangerous parts of the surroundings you’re dealing with in your waking life.

    I see a wakening to confusion in your dream, and an attempt to acknowledge it and find a way back to emotional comfort. If you woke up on your own, it appears that you haven’t worked out the answer, only tried to get in touch with the feeling of confusion itself and work on it as you slept.

    *I’m back now after reading the rest of your post. I think almost everything in a dream is symbolic, but not universally so. I think the ‘symbols’ always have a very personal, individual spin. My shark may be similar, but not mean the exact same thing yours does.

    I spent one year as a teen dreaming off an on of a sleepy, stereotypical little old lady on a sky-high elevated commuter train that had no walls. She wobbled on her seat unlike the rest of us (me scared of falling out into the clouds — no else seeming to notice.) She terrified me because I was afraid to see her fall out. A therapist told me I was the only one who could tell who this little old lady represented in this recurring nightmare, and said I should think about it and try to figure out her identity. After a few tries, I thought of my father and realized it was him. I had that dream once more and woke up laughing after the old woman fell out of the train. (I’ll spare you the personal history that explains that.)

    Point is, as I’m sure you can tell, I’m really into dream interpretation. 🙂 Sometimes my daughter and my sister come to me with their dreams for help in figuring them out.

    1. Munira says:

      Take it away Re! 🙂
      Reading your comment today felt like a cozy discussion over a mug of tea. I should have known you’d be into dream interpretation……
      You know, I dreamt the dream and I looked up the symbols and was kind of blown away by the significance of it all. Of course this dream has complete relevance, and I thought about explaining it but I couldn’t really gather my thoughts in a coherent way. It sufficed to just recognize the symbolism and see the relevance 🙂
      Your interpretation reinforced my belief in your extraordinary perception and intuition. I couldn’t have put it better even if I had tried. There is one more symbol that I did not mention here, and that is saltwater….which apparently symbolizes tears and heartache. The little girl was gulping mouthfuls of it and the boy was telling her to keep her mouth closed and to do what he was doing to hold on.
      I agree with what you said about getting in touch with the feeling of confusion. I really haven’t worked it out, but I haven’t lost hope yet, which I see as a good sign 🙂
      It was interesting to hear about your dream and now I really want to know the personal history that explains it! 🙂
      Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me today.

    2. Munira says:

      ….but mostly, thanks for taking my dream seriously! ❤

  7. berlioz1935 says:

    Dreams !? Each one of has their own kind of dreams, I suppose. They must be cultural orientated, too, as we have different symbols.

    I don’t attach much symbolism to my dreams. I think they are just confused signals coming from a confused mind. Some say dreams are just the rubbish our brain wants to get rid of.

    I sometimes dream of my father and we try to talk to each other. The message is clear, we did not communicate well while he was alive.

    Another recurring dream is. that I be called back to work and so many things have changed that I can’t cope with the job any more. It becomes a nightmare.

    Some of my dreams were so intense that I have not forgotten them after years. Others go in a flash. As soon as I open my eyes they are gone. One I had, when I was young, I have made part of an fictional story:

    The woman in the dream was real, but not the war situation. The message? At the time I was between girl friends and in my mind I must have been wondering whether to give her up. I did.

    1. Munira says:

      A lot of dreams are definitely rubbish Peter, I’d agree with you there. But some dreams are just…..kind of poignant I think, and that makes me remember them even after days have gone by. That’s the only reason why I’d say they can be telling us something subconsciously. Which is kind of cool, isn’t it? 🙂
      Going to read your story now!

  8. Very interesting. Dreams are full of power and confusion, aren’t they? I like the idea of you having whacky dreams in the afternoon and then wandering around all evening with your head fried…. in a nice way, you understand. 🙂
    I just hate those frustrating dreams, though. They make me want to scream. The frustrating dream that I always get when there is some uncertainty around is one of me getting ready to go out to play football. I loved football as a teenager and as a young adult and played every weekend. My superstitious “thing” was always to be one of the last out of the dressing room before kick-off. So now, in my frustrating dream, I can’t tie my laces properly and by the time I’m finished getting ready the game is over. Damn, if that doesn’t make me mad. And I know now that when I have this dream I am having some uncertainty around my fear of not being good enough at whatever…. and it makes me think.

    1. Munira says:

      Power and confusion….yup! Heheh, they certainly give me food for thought.
      Your football dream is pretty interesting too (and yes, very frustrating!)
      Connecting the dots, that’s what they help us do, these dreams… 🙂

  9. satsumaart says:

    Earlier this year I was reading a book by a neuroscientist and (if I understood this right) he said that our dreams are just a disconnected series of images and sensations; they’re not narratives, but our left brain compiles those pieces into stories in an effort to try to make sense of them. I love that because it means we really can interpret our dreams however we like; they literally have no meaning other than the meaning we assign to them.

    Coincidence or not? My formerly incredibly vivid dreams fell off dramatically after about the time that I read that book. In fact, for months I barely remembered any dreams at all, which for me is as bizarre as not wanting to eat (thank goodness, that hasn’t happened!). Only recently I’ve started remembering dreams again. No idea what that means.

    1. Munira says:

      Just read your Hawaii post where you mentioned some of the dreams you’ve been having (begging for haircuts from strangers?! Terrifying!)

  10. auntyuta says:

    This is a beautiful read. I very much like all the pictures too. They’re very well chosen and amazingly beautiful. Thanks, Munira, to take the time for writing so comprehensively about your dreams.

    ‘Dolphins represent your willingness and ability to explore and navigate through your emotions…..’
    I have the feeling this says a lot about you.

    1. Munira says:

      I’m so glad you said you liked the pictures Aunty Uta, I chose them very carefully (from what’s available on the internet, I hope nobody minds) to represent exactly the way i saw those things in my dream 🙂
      And I’m glad you think I am dolphin-like…..I think I’m very willing and am fairly confident I can explore my emotions and come out on top……*fingers crossed*
      Thank you so much for your comment!

  11. indiajones says:

    About a month since you wrote anything, Munira ji, It would be much too awful of me to ask if you are still dreaming on, so I think I should send you this song link, (hope youtube is no longer unavailable), which has the late Dev Anand and the inimitable Waheeda Rehman with Mohammed Rafi singing about “dreams” – hopefully augurs well for the joint future of Pak and Ind:
    As to who should represent which country, anybody’s choice !

    1. Munira says:

      Ah! What song is this? I’m afraid I still can’t see it 😦

  12. auntyuta says:

    Thanks for liking my story, Munira. I’m thinking of you. Best wishes, Uta

    1. auntyuta says:

      Just noticed you looked at my childhood memories again. Thanks for this, Munira. Best wishes, Uta.

      1. Munira says:

        I’m glad I was one of your earliest readers Aunty Uta 🙂

  13. Kathy says:

    Oh my goodness! I used the word “perchance” in a blog title yesterday. Maybe I subconsciously stole this title from you. If so, please forgive my thieving subconscious. Please, Munira.

    1. Munira says:

      I just finished reading your wonderful post Kathy, and you used the word wisely 🙂

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