Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Underwater world

Splash! Splash! Splash!

"Hmmm....."

"What hmmmm..?"

"I wonder if I'll drown if I try to stand in the deep end."

"You won't drown. Go ahead and stand. It's a good start to get over that fear."

"Naah, it looks too deep, I'll drown."

"You won't drown, you moron! "The deep end is 1.6 m. That's 160 cm. You're 165 cm tall. You do the math."

"Naah, I think I'm too short for this pool."

"Gosh, no one is 'too short for a pool'!"

"Oh yeah? Then explain why models wear high heels with their swimsuits, huh huh huh?"

"Sheesh!"

Yupp, this was me, having a conversation with myself in the swimming pool a couple of hours ago, while the kids playing badminton near the pool wondered why 'that aunty in the black and pink swimsuit was swimming like a dog'.

They say that children often attribute their phobias to something bad that happened in their childhood. I wonder if my phobia of water - specifically that of putting my head under water - has anything to do with the long pink dress I wore at my school play in 1985.

So as I mentioned, it was 1985, I was 5 and getting ready for my school play. It was a musical and I was one of the girls in the long frilly pink dresses being woo'ed by the little guys in black suits and bowties. I even remember bits of the song, "I'll give you a bouquet of roses. Will you marry, will you marry, will you marry me?" We girls had to act all coy and sing "I won't marry, I won't marry, I won't marry you!" Finally when the boys got down on their knees with "diamonds" and sang "I'll give you a diamond ring. Will you marry, will you marry, will you marry me?" we had to sing, "I will marry, I will marry, I will marry you." The problem was that I hated my partner (let's call him Chintu). Chintu would pull my hair, and hide my pencils and chase me around the classroom with a bug. And so, the teachers had a tough time when incidentally Chintu was paired with me.

So Chintu would put forth the diamond and I'd shriek, "I won't marry, I won't marry, I won't marry you!"

"No Sayesha, you have to say "I will marry, I will marry, I will marry you." my teachers would plead.

"I won't marry, I won't marry, I won't marry you!"

It was a nightmare. For my teachers too, but more so for me. I hated the sight of Chintu. But there was a silver lining, and that was my dress. It was a long pink frilly gown kind of a dress that the teachers had commissioned for all of us, and I loved it to bits. I think it was what got me through the final performance. To tell the truth, looking at him, down on his knees, pleadingly holding the diamond, I had half a mind to deliver a nice kick but it didn't go with my dress so I abandoned the idea and very indignantly said, "I will marry, I will marry, I will marry you."

And my teachers, hidden in the wings, finally breathed.

The best part was - the dresses had been individually stitched for us, so we got to keep them! I was ecstatic. I told my mom that I wanted to wear it on a really nice occasion. So when I took it out for a family picnic to some lake, my mom was aghast.

"It's too fancy for this picnic, my dear. You should wear something more comfortable."

"No no no no no I wanna wear this I wanna wear this I wanna wear this!" You could see that the rhythm of my school dance had not left me yet.

I cried so hard that Mom had to let me wear it. My evil cousin Sid kept tugging the bows and frills on the way - he was totally amused. Considering that he was 4, I did not punch him.

So here we were, boating on this lake, and I was sitting on the edge enjoying the view. At the end of the trip, when the boat reached the bank, it didn't do so quite smoothly. The boat kinda collided with the steps at the bank and... SPLASH! next thing I know I'm in the water.

It was totally scary - the only thing that would come close was my recent bungy-jump stunt. The water was not as shallow as one would think. I went totally underwater at first, and then somehow struggled back up. My dress not only weighed me down, it also got entangled in some aquatic plants. Somehow I managed to free it, upon which it proceeded to form a balloon-like structure around me, which I believed was instrumental in saving my life. Anyway, many hands were extended and I was pulled up, soaking wet, and really really freaked out.

After about half an hour of crying - most of which was because the damn dress wouldn't dry - Sid got me an ice-cream. I remember because it was the nicest thing he'd done for me. Ever.

I wonder if that boating incident was what made me scared of water. Come to think of it, I'm not scared of water per se, I can snorkel comfortably and all that, but if my face goes underwater without any artificial breathing mechanism, I panic. Which is a real pity because swimming (correctly) is such a good whole body workout. Much as I love my weekly badminton session, there's nothing as refreshing and relaxing as swimming - working out without working a sweat.

And so for the exercise value, I continue to go to the pool three times a week.
Except for the conversations I have with myself, I think I'm doing okay. I have mastered my own versions of swimming freestyle and breaststroke without having to put my head under water.

Hell, I have even come up with my own cool 'strokes' that can be performed with ease if you suffer from the same weird underwater phobia as me.

Crocodile stroke, anyone?




29 comments:

Aethyr said...

i dont remember any incident i can relate to my phobia from water...may be something that happened in previous birth... but i am scared of even getting into toddlers pool!

Thisisme said...

silverrr!!
n how much even i wanna learn swimming..but the same thot petrifies me..!!but m defntly gonna learn it..coz its a great body workout!
n croc stroke?? how is that :D:D

shub said...

stop.making.us.aam.junta.feel.jealous.
I oredi explained the advantage no?!

hmphhhhhhh!
crocodile stroke?! :D hahahahahahaha!! I'd LOVE to see that :D

satish said...

okk! i have got to perform the duty of a responsible guy here and ask for the swimsuit pics. 8)

They say that children often attribute their phobias to something bad that happened in their childhood.

i was not wrong wen i thot it was a child marriage.

Sayesha said...

#Aethyr,
//may be something that happened in previous birth...

Hahahahaha! :D

#Thisisme,
Ever seen a jobless croc? Noticed how it swims? Yeah, that's the one. :)

#Shub,
Look who's talking - the lady with the figure.to.die.for! :/

//I'd LOVE to see that :D

Naah, not gonna happen. I dun wear a swimsuit in front of women who're hotter! :P :P

#Satish,
Responsible guy ke bache, kuchh toh sharam kar! :D

One kaan ke neeche to you! Sudhar ja Sattu!

Neihal said...

we had swimming pools but no water, then we moved, we had water but no pools. That in short is the reason why I cant swim till date.

And the fact that I have some chota-chota phobia, is not to be held responsible. ;-P

Neihal said...

"working out without working a sweat"
very smart :D

but Crocodile stroke :0
did you not watch 'khoon bhari mang'
Rekha wali.... that movie left me all shaky....
Rakesh Roshan made lot of crap before his son grew up :P

Sakshi said...

I nearly drowned twice and I know swimming!
Does that reassure you :/

Iday said...

Swimming??? :O :O :O
Is swimming in the computer allowed??? ;)

I can just press a few keys and finish it na? no sweat :D

Sayesha said...

#Neihal,
Wah wah what a reason! :D

Hahahah yeah I watched KBM, wotta load of crap hehehe... luckily my croc stroke doesn't have anything to do with real crocs! :D

//Rakesh Roshan made lot of crap before his son grew up :P

Rakesh Roshan made a lot of crap after his son grew up too! :P

#Sakshi,
Gee, thanksssss! :/ Ab mera kya hoga? :(

#Iday,
Huh huh huh?? Errrm... if you just spoke to me in jargon which only techies like you or Viv will understand, I will pull out all keys from your keyboard and throw them at you! :/

Dhaval Faria said...

swimming is one of the best thing to do.. like u mentioned about exercise.. I never gone through any classes for swimming pool.. I was always inside a ring and would swim at 3feet water :D it was fun.. once my cousin bro came and he asked me why dont u come there.. I said no.. I will drown.. he was like... u stupid ur in ring u wont.. I asked whats the gurantee?? :P he said.. ok trust me.. I will take u.. and u will not drown.. so he asks me to remove ring and then told me to put my hands on his shoulder and swim behind him.. and his shoulder will support me.. he took me to deep water.. abt 12 feet... and poor me 5 feet that time.. and suddenly he went down.. and I was without support.. struggeling to swim.. hehe.. but I managed to return back without ring.. it was lifetime of experience, but it dint freak me out.. instead I got more guts and started going in deep water without ring.. and finally know swimming :D

now I miss swimming :(.. planning to join again.. swimming pool was not operating for abt 6-7 years due to some problem.. and another swimming pool is very far from my place, so I didnt bother to join that.. and after it opened again... I m just too busy to join.. but now am planning to join again. Its a lot of fun.

cool said...

I wonder ...

How many times have you actually done it?? (I mean freestyle with head under water)

Now,
(Assuming that this post was not for just a good read's sake :))
this time around, in one of your (valuable) work out sessions, forget the working out bit, (just for a couple of times), and go near a ladder/wall, and genuinely practice breathing.

I mean, be very comfortable with the fact that no water doesn't matter, underwater, if you only breathe out.(Some basic physics abt. pressure and all ... reassurance for an engineer).

Do this for like 2 sessions, keep doing it even if you get the hang in like the secnod attempt. (It needs to be hardwired).

and you'll be just fine.

**an aside**
I've seen a li'l kid choke up on something he couldn't swallow. He didn't give up on eating and is doing just fine. :)

All the best

Sayesha said...

#Dhaval,
Wow you're lucky someone took time to teach you. For me it was more like - oh darn everyone around me is swimming, so I gotta do it too and SPLASH! :P

#Cool,
//How many times have you actually done it?? (I mean freestyle with head under water)

Correctly? Never. Even if a part of my face goes into the water, I panic. :(

I'll keep your pointers in mind the next time I hit the pool. Thanks. :)

Jeevan Baretto said...

I learnt swimmin only when I was in Engg.

I am sure u can have that Crocodile stroke only in bed..!!

Sayesha said...

#Jeevan,
//I learnt swimmin only when I was in Engg.

Well, I learnt it AFTER Engg.! :O

//I am sure u can have that Crocodile stroke only in bed..!!

I dunno what the hell you mean by that, but a crocodile stroke is when you swim across the pool without moving your hands, and without making any noise whatsoever.

Iday said...

I just imagined u doing what u said (pulling out keys from the keyboard and throwing them at me) and i cannot stop laughing :P

PizzaDude said...

kids playing badminton near the pool wondered why 'that aunty in the black and pink swimsuit was swimming like a dog'
That seriously got me ROTFL!

I should learn swimming too.. god know from how long I have been postponing it..

there's nothing as refreshing and relaxing as swimming - working out without working a sweat
I so agree!!

Dhaval Faria said...

haha time.. it was worst experience. I will never forget.. I was literally drownning.. and it was not teaching.. it was actually teasing :P but by that I actually managed to swim without ring but not properly.. but then he just put me in middle of swimming pool. I still remind him of the same.. and he just burst in laughter.. and I look at him blankly.. :P

Rebellion said...

heheheh. That was a cute one, your convos with yourself that is :P
Even I wanna learn swimming, since ages and I can't believe you have that "head underwater phobia" coz I got it too :O:O :/

Arrre you won't believe yaar, I can't put my head underwater for more than 2 secs and I really wanna learn swimming. In fact, remind me il tell you of an incident about it ;)

2 sports I dont know and would love to know, wading in the pool & zooming thru air.. swimming & skating that is :)

Bivas said...

//working out without working a sweat
u know i really love dat part of swimming...goes pretty well with lazybones like me :-)

crocodile strokes...jobless crocs!!!
wo r u talking abt Sash...lagta hai those kids u taught recently really drove u crazy...i mean crocs and jobs!!! seriously...how much do they get paid?
On second thots am reminded of some cartoon program on tv whr crocs actually went to office carrying handbags n wearing suits...

Basanti said...

You know, I got similar story to tell. I'm afraid of getting into water. In 6th standard, we went to this waterpark in school picnic, and after one of those rides, little me could not come out of the water, and a friend had to pull me out! I was so freaked out!

Btw, is Sid single?

Sayesha said...

#Iday,
Hahaha! Meee tooooo! :P

#Pizzadude,
Do it do it do it!! :D

#Dhaval,
:O

#Rebellion,
Babe we seriously need to live in the same city, we have way too many common interests! Move to Singapore!!!!!!!!!! :D

#Bivas,
Hey bhagwan, and I thought I had a wild imagination! :D Arre jobless crocs yaani ki the way they behave when they're not looking for food or croc-babes, just-chill types :P

#Basanti,
Sheesh, can't imagine you being scared of anything! Others scared of you? Yeah! :D

//Btw, is Sid single?

Very much so. And he's cute too. Will send you his pic later! :D

Sakshi said...

@Sayesha - Very much so. And he's cute too. Will send you his pic later!

What is dis?? Why don't we all get to see this cute, single (?) guy??
Unfair!!

soleil said...

At least you still step into the pool and go snorkelling despite this water phobia. Me? Haha. Been telling myself that I have to learn to swim properly and all that but it hasn't happened :p procrastination at its best...

Sayesha said...

#Sakshi,
Hahaha! First come first serve and all that! Hahaha! :D

#Soleil,
Oh my first snorkelling experience was a disaster. That was like - dip once and ok I'm done. You mean I was supposed to look at fish?? Hahaha! :D
ps: Come over in the weekends and use my pool! :)

Rebellion said...

Haiiiiiii! Sash! Aapne mere muh ki baat cheen li. Common interests n co-incidences too ;)

U know I'm trying that, dont you? ;) But if I'm not successful, how about 2 of u shifting to Mumbai? :P

Think about it Sash. You'll get the worlds best panipuri, everydayyy! hehehe, I know how much you hate me now :P

Sayesha said...

#Rebellion,
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! :'(

Jeevan Baretto said...

//but a crocodile stroke is when you swim across the pool without moving your hands, and without making any noise whatsoever.

Thats news for me..!!

Sayesha said...

#Jeevan,
Yeah. Cos it's my own invention! :D