On a hot summer afternoon in Hyderabad, my kids were swimming and I was sitting besides the pool, reading a book, at 4.30 PM, sun was out, temperature was close to 40, very humid, no wind and with the sweating, it was sheer torture.
Why was I not in the pool?
Because I cannot swim.
This problem would not have arisen if there were no pools, wells, lakes, rivers, seas and oceans in the world. Or as a human race, we had decided water is for drinking and supporting life, not for getting inside the water. Would have been much better if we had restricted the game to “water inside humans is OK, humans inside water not OK”.
But since we did not do it, and there are swimming lessons in Singapore, I have been suffering the consequences. I tried to learn but my coach after 17 years of trying told me that I would drown in the dead sea. I surely believe it. My life is restricted to poolside, outside a well, lakeside, riverside, seaside, and oceanside.
When people go for swimming the rituals that are followed include the following
- Buy an expensive swimsuit made of speedo material which is not a material but an actual very ugly living thing as you can see it sticking, rippling, contorting with the body part that it is attached to
- Then you have to take a shower before swimming to ensure that only very clean bodies get into the pool
- Then you have to put on funny caps which prevent hair from going into the pool (I have heard there are much worse things in the pool then hair – like water)
- Then you put on goggles which do not allow you to see anything in general but swimmers claim that they can see everything inside the pool which is nothing. So they claim that they can see nothing using these million dollar speedo goggles.
- Play stupid games in the pool, like find the coin – this is how the game goes.
A very proud non-swimming parent on the poolside takes a 1 rupee coin and throws it randomly in between the 200 kids who are swimming in a 1-meter square area. Then the kids disappear for a while. A proud parent very quickly finishes his book. The kids finally resurface, with one of them holding the 1 rupee coin. The other 199 kids emerge crying foul. The proud parent then calls for an emergency supreme court meeting to decide the case. After 78 years, the verdict is announced and by that time, the kids have grown up and have become the proud parent sitting outside. The next generation starts the game all over again.
- Get out of the pool and shower again to wash water off. So shower before to wash off home water before getting into the pool. Get wet in the pool. Shower again to wash off pool water. Get home and finally shower again to wash off shower water. Something is not correct here. Pool has to trust home and home has to trust pool.
- Become hungry and eat like mad and put on 200% more calories compared to what was lost while searching for 1 rupee coin
As you can see, swimming has resulted in some very stupid activities. For me, there is no such problem. I just have to pick up a book and 1 rupee coin and I am all set for an enjoyable though sweaty outing.
About the Author: Ashwini Mathur is a resident of Hyderabad. In the past he has worked at GSK Pharmaceuticals as a Senior General Manager and at Novartis after that. He has a Master’s degree in Mathematics from IIT Delhi, a PhD in bio-statistics from University and College Berkeley, California and an executive MBA from IIM Bangalore.