The Swimming Pool.

Often in the empty moments, one of the most distinct memories that keeps me company is that from 10-11 years ago, the one at the swimming pool. Like any ordinary 11 years old kid, I had joined the swimming coaching in summer vacations. You see, my mom is hell bent on teaching me everything she never had a chance to learn.

So, reluctantly, early in the morning, I used to go to the pool. After around a month, I started bragging to my mom about how I have learnt swimming. She was so happy that she decided that she wanted to see me swim. Ours was an Olympic-sized swimming pool. And up till then I had never crossed the pool from one end to the other. In a bid to out-do myself, I decided that I wanted to swim the complete length.
Confidently, I jumped into the pool. At first, it was almost effortless. The after a few strokes, I started to lose my breath. And before I knew it, I was almost drowning in water, struggling to breathe. Somehow, I managed to stay afloat. It was horrible. I just lost the stamina and couldn’t keep going. So without as much as a glance to the end ahead of me, I turned back and swam towards my beginning point.
I felt so terrible. My mom had come especially to see the feat and I had failed. When driving me back home, she told me in the calmest possible way- Beta, when you were struggling for your breath, you had already covered 3/4th of the distance. It would have been easier for you to move ahead. Coming back was way more difficult.
I went completely numb when I heard her. I was already sad about not being able to complete the distance. Now, something else was added to the sadness – regret. I didn’t know whether to feel proud that I had covered more distance or feel ashamed that I gave up and didn’t reach the goal. I thought if I reach the goal tomorrow, I would stop feeling bad. How very wrong I was! I felt absolutely nothing. That “nothing-ness” still resides in my heart.
I guess, it is definitely a moment that accurately shows how most people react (including myself). We get so overwhelmed that we stop believing in our capabilities. We doubt ourselves to the point that we don’t even know who we are. When our demons are choking us, we rush back to the safety of our comfort zones. Nine out of ten times, we fail to see that our demons are easier to defeat than the run back home. It’s so disturbing to realize that we are stronger than we thought and the demons could have been defeated had we not acted on the instinctual panic.
So I would like to dedicate this post to the people who are drowning in the sea of reality, struggling for breath, ready to give up, to those who are battling their demons and are on the verge of running back home- hang in there. It’s way more difficult to give up and live with regret. You are stronger than you think you are. You are closer to the end of the pool than you think you are. Slow down, if you want. But don’t give up.
I truly understand the meaning of the popular line now- Darr ke aage jeet hai! (Victory comes after you conquer your fears).


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