We had a small pond in our home. I had heard many stories about that from my dad and grand mother about it. I remember my dad telling me that he and his siblings used to compete each other on who would touch the other end of the pond and swim back to the starting point in the shortest time. It was in that pond that they all took bath before going to school everyday. My grandmother used to wash the clothes there before the motor and water tank days.
We cousins wanted to learn swimming too. I was in 5th Class then. On a rainy day, my uncle took us to the pond to teach swimming. He tied two dry coconuts together and asked us to lie flat on that, with either coconut on each side. in order to make double sure that we wont sink, he always held one hand on our tummy. We took turns to practice while the rest will go behind a frog or anything that catches our interest. My uncle always encouraged us. And slowly we kicked one leg downward, while moving the other leg upward, Extended one hand forward while moving the other downward. We kept our heads high in the water. And we were able to balance our body and float in no time. We were more and more thrilled to try new techniques day after day. We started diving. Then we competed each on who can hold the breath and stay beneath the water for the longest time. Gosh.. It was all fun.. Lovely childhood memories.
But as time passed by, we were busy with our school and studies. Or on weekends, we had nobody to supervise us in the pond, when dad and uncle were not around. So our mothers never allowed us to go unattended. Then we did not do much maintanence activity in the pond, since nobody was using it and is in a bad state now.
I never got a chance to swim again. I was of the belief that once you learn swimming, its forever. So, whenever somebody ask me if I can swim, I always showed off proudly. 😀
Fast forward 15 years..
I got married and came to US. We have a swimming pool in our apartment complex. Came summer, they cleaned the swimming pool, and everybody dove in. I wanted to swim too. My husband doesn’t know swimming, but he said he would accompany me late evenings or on weekends. But the water was too cold on evenings and early mornings. And it was very crowded on weekends.
The other day, when I was talking to my neighbour, she casually said that she along with her friends went to swimming pool and had fun. I was jealous instantly ;). I told her to let me also know when they plan next.
And one fine day, she pinged me and asked to get ready. I was super excited and ran to the pool. I stepped into the cold water. Since I thought I knew swimming, I tried to swim, only to see that I am not able to. I kept drowning. I was all depressed. We played in the water for sometime and left. I narrated my sad story to Jay when he came from office. I laughed til his belly ached. I was all the more frustrated then. He later consoled me telling I had been out of touch for a long time and that might me the reason I was not able to do.
We went again after a couple of days. And there was this lady doing breaststroke, butterflystroke, diving and all the galatta beneath and above water excellently and the whole pool was watching her. One of my neighbours gave me her kick board and asked me to try on that. But I was not able to do. By then the other lady who stole the show, came and helped me with tips to use a kickboard. I practiced for sometime.
Then I tried holding the pool edge and balancing myself kicking the leg upward and downward. That sweet lady gave me confidence. She gave me some tips and techniques.
At one point of time when I assured myself that nobody was watching me, I slowly pushed my legs against the wall and tried going forward.. Hurrayyyy.. I was able to swim, though I drank water a couple of times. I swam across the pool a couple of times that day. I came home and immediately called Jay to share the good news. He was excited too.. Now he is behind me requesting to teach him too..
I feel so so so happy 🙂