In my life, almost everything came my way somewhat late. I learnt to cycle at the age of 15 years, learnt to drive a scooter (I can’t drive a motorbike even today) at the age of 26 years and I learnt to drive a car at the age of 38 years. The popular song of Henna (1991), sung by Suresh Wadkar (with Lata Mangeshkar) seems to be meant for me – Main Der Karta Nahin, Der Ho Jaati Hai (I am not deliberately late for anything, the delay just happens). The same thing applies to swimming. I learnt swimming at the age of 32-33 years in the swimming pool in the township of NPCIL (Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd.), Rawatbhata (Rajasthan). Thereafter I taught swimming to my daughter there itself and I have been successful in teaching it to my son also after shifting to Hyderabad (in the swimming pool in the BHEL township). Now my son has become an expert swimmer and diver by practising and trying new things on his own. A few years back, when I was swimming in the swimming pool there in the evening hours, some thoughts flashed in my mind all of a sudden which I am sharing through this blog.
Due to regular swimming at Rawatbhata (I used to swim almost everyday and sometimes twice in a day), it has become quite normal for me to remain floating in the water without doing anything with my body. Without any movement from my side, I am able to stand upright in the deep water or lie on its surface treating it like a bed. I remember, those days my fellow-swimmers used to express surprise over this skill (if any) of myself, asking me – ‘How are you able to stand in the water without any movement of your hands or legs or the likewise ?’
Well, the answer appears to be – now my body has become friendly with the water. It has become habituated to float even when I am not trying to swim or doing anything at all (except breathing). But then the question emerges when the body is the same as it was when I could not swim, then what’s the difference between the time when I did not know how to swim and now ? Why could I not swim then and felt like drowning whenever I entered the water-body ?
These questions were churning my mind like anything when I was swimming (in fact, relaxing without doing anything) in the pool that evening. And just like the lightning in the clouded sky, my mind got illuminated with the answer. The perfect answer ! Those days, I used to remain under the fear of drowning, for my subconscious constantly reminded me – ‘You don’t know swimming. You may drown.’ And it’s the fear which made me feel like drowning. Else the body was the same, the water was the same (similar), the conditions were the same (similar). But the wall of fear is no longer there, blocking my urge to enter the water-body and now feeling within my subconscious that I cannot drown, I fearlessly lie down on the surface of the water-body or stand upright in it. In Goa, I swam in the deep sea too (faraway from the shore, my body was loosely tied by a rope though whose other end was in the hands of the boatman). The thing which I suddenly learnt today (like the illumination of some GYAAN in one’s heart), it’s the fear in a man (or a woman) which leads to his (or her) doom. Get rid of fear and sooner or later, you will get rid of failure too.
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