yesterday, in the pool


i lay my head back.. further, further.. and all at once, i feel the water soaking the back of my head. lower and lower, now it covers my ears. meanwhile, my legs move to get me afloat in the water; and before i know it i’m on my back floating down the swimming pool.

i stare at the blue ceiling passing overhead, my hands and legs moving lazily, slowly.. keeping me moving, keeping me floating. the world is mute, sounds do not percolate through the water to my ears. i vaguely note a swishing sounds.. some experimentation soon tells me that it is me.

my eyes peer through goggles, i continue to examine a nondescript ceiling, my body remains afloat as it has been trained for the last 18 years. my eyes glaze over as i continue to move down the pool. thoughts unbidden come to me. the first thought is that i should write about this feeling of calm that floating down the pool always gives me. the second is whether i’m gonna bang my head against the wall of the pool. i dare not change position, i don’t want to lose this tranquility. there are days when i crave it, the absolute silence, and the sheer contrast it usually has to the sounds of the swimming pool.

swimming is one of the few activities that i can enjoy physically, knowing that i am halfway decent at it. when i first hit the pool after a long time, i realized just how much i had missed it. and just how out of shape i had managed to get. i’m a long way from that day now, but i’m not regular enough for my own good.

there were times in school, where, being one of the more advanced swimmers in class, i was given the freedom to pretty much do as i pleased in the water. sinking down to the deep end was a favourite. it was silent, it was blue with rays of sunlight shining through the water.. and no-one else could come down there. solitude is a rarity today, and for someone who has learnt to enjoy it to some extent, it is something to miss. not to the extent that i want to run away from the world, but rather a five minutes devoted to myself. silence, lack of activity, lack of companionship… these are weird things to wish to have once a day. but i do. not due to lack of company, but more due to a need to find someone who has been put away for a while. me.

it is something that hit me when i was reminiscing recently about my life at this time 2 years ago. the sheer difference in attitude, in living, in so many ways… and suddenly the reason that i don’t think on the blog anymore was clear as well. such is life, that standing and staring at everything but what is going on in your mind… doesn’t really help.

eventually, in school, others joined me at the deep end, having mastered the concept of swimming.. and the peace was gone. no matter how deep i went, it was hard to find a peace that just wasn’t there.

today, it is less about peace, and more about trying to hear myself. a voice that has been drowned out by everything else – the work, the company, the hobbies, the work… it still exists somewhere deep deep down though.

i heard it yesterday in the pool.


2 thoughts on “yesterday, in the pool

  1. Rahul

    It is interesting how you talk about being at peace more during the early stages of swimming and the others catching up later… Maybe when you feel at peace notwithstanding the crowd, that would be good too..

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