Two Potatoes in a Square # WOW Dream On

I have always been a dreamer. Not the idealistic kind but the one who actively dreams every night. Where my dreams are often better than my reality because of their sheer craziness. Sometimes I get up happy and actually wish I could go on dreaming. But there are times when I get up feeling that I should have woken earlier and broken the dream.

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One such dream is the Examination Dream. This is a common enough anxiety for all of us, especially as students and is an oft repeated theme in my repertoire of dreams. I first had it when I was doing a Maths paper as part of the Economics syllabus in my BA examination.

Now mathematics was never my strong suit ( gender bias???) and even though I was not petrified of numbers, I used to get anxious about getting the answers right.

“It’s not the answer. It’s the method” the teachers used to counsel and I took comfort from these words.

I also used this insight to develop my own method to score the marks that mattered – I approached each problem as something that could be tackled step-by- step devised a formula. I mastered the step -by-step solution to 5 problems that we would be tested on.( (We needed to answer only 5 questions with ONE problem each and several of these problems were repeated so statistically I knew which 5 were the likely questions) . This simple map helped me always make it through. However, despite having the formula right, it was not without its anxieties. I knew that I would score well above the passing marks, yet I was still worried. I spent a restless night in a fearful dream that is as clear as yesterday.

The Potatoes in a Square Dream

I am sitting in an examination hall filled with students bent over their answer sheets, staring at the problem in front of me.

The question paper consists of a clearly marked out  square . A basket of potatoes of assorted sizes is kept on the desk. There was only question I had to answer :

How many potatoes will fit in the square? 

Herein in lay the problem. Now what was the right answer? Do I put potatoes of different sizes? Or only choose similar sized potatoes?

I break out into a cold sweat. The invigilator walking down the aisles sees my predicament and slowly comes behind me. He stares down my shoulder and with his cane tapping on his side, continues to bore through my skull.  I can feel the sweat begin to trickle down my spine. The tick-tock of the clock becomes louder with each tap. And the fan whirring on top becomes bigger and bigger as it comes down towards my head. My heart begins to pound as I place one potato in the square and the next and the next and…….the bell rings out shrilly. The Chief Invigilator shouts ” Last 5 minutes”.

I am paralysed. Suddenly he bellows “Pens Down” and I scribble  the answer 2 potatoes in the Square, in haste.  The final bell rings.

Immediately, the invigilators begin picking up the answer sheets and we sit quietly looking around. There are some triumphant grins, some sweaty palms, furrowed brows and sheer relief!

Just before I wake up, a stern voice roars

” What only 2 potatoes in the Square?”

I knew I had failed the test.


We all have dreams and this dream often recurs whenever I have a stressful situation ahead, particularly examination related. When my children were giving examinations, I often dreamed of potatoes in the square. Each time waking up grateful that it was only a dream. It’s been a while now since anyone in my family has appeared for an examination and I haven’t dreamed this dream for a while.

But wait, my little Wow Dinga has just begun big school. Will the potato dream make a come back?

Image for BellyBytes

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Author: Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!


  1. You just took me back to my class 10th board exam! :/
    The last time I ever have a math exam!
    I still remember feeling every bit of what you felt in the dream ???
    No jokes!!!

    I’m happy that it was just a dream for you ?

    Nicely narrated!

    Ps – who is the little dinga you say ha started big school? ( if I may ask)

    My kids are in 6th & tomorrow IS there maths paper!!!

    1. Sorry for this late reply I thought I answered it on my PC. Wow Dinga is my 4 year old grandson, Ms Papaya is my 2 year old granddaughter and Little Po is Wow Dinga’s 2 year old brother . So so you have twins ? And I hope their maths paper went off well . A little secret we all did well in Maths despite the dream!

  2. Haha! I haven’t had a potato dream. Ever. I have had dreams where I am hopelessly lost, but I usually wake up just as I am about to end up in a worse predicament. I have never had a dream or nightmare before the math exam either. Math would calm me down actually. my Achilles heel was Hindi. I would dream that I mixed up all the questions and the professor would chase me around the classroom telling all my mistakes.
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    1. Oh yes mathematical phobia is quite gender specific. More men than women have this fear of numbers. Of course this is only while they are in school. Somehow they become excellent calculators as grown women and can add and subtract faster than a computer at times
      I think most of us had a problem with Hindi because what we learn is hardly what we hear…… unless of course you only listen to Hindi Doordarshan news

  3. That’s a strange potato dream you had… And you are solving problems in your dreams too… a very active brain you got there ? I too have the occasional examination dream, specially when I am nervous about something. I loved your problem solving technique. We used to get marks for the steps too, which I believe is a good method of evaluation.
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  4. Two potatoes in a square!I was laughing throughout.It’s so cute .You will need to solve the problem before you can stop this dream /What was the answer?Now I will always wonder!

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