Drowning

The other day we read in the newspapers about some college students drowning in a lake. They had gone for a day’s outing away from the city. In spite of repeated warnings from the local people, they went in for a swim. One of them was sucked in. Others went to rescue him and all of them had drowned. We hear about incidents of death by drowning specially during monsoon seasons. It is tragic. I think we usually believe that nothing will happen to us.

I remember the day when my daughter was as small as her son is now. She had missed her footing and slipped into the natural pool in our village. The pool is not very deep and over the years children of the family have learnt swimming there. Then they graduate to a much deeper pool. Both get filled about a month after the rains start. Our daughter surfaced gasping for breath and a cousin jumped in and brought her up. It was a tense moment. Fortunately she forgot that incident and learnt to enjoy swimming. The very word ‘drowning’ brings to mind drowning in the physical sense. That moment of awareness when the person realizes that there is no going back must be a traumatic one.

On the other hand there is drowning in the mental sense. One withdraws into oneself and is unable to surface completely. It is like drowning. There are moments of surfacing and connection, but they are just moments. But those moments are precious. There is a calling out for comfort, for a familiar touch and loving words. Maybe they give a feeling of reassurance that someone loving is nearby. Then the outer world recedes and there is a slipping back into that inner world where none can follow. Such moments are like a roller coaster ride for those at hand. There is happiness when there is connection and unhappiness and a feeling of helplessness when one cannot reach out and pull back the drowning person. They are heart-rending moments. Such moments keep happening and maybe one day the withdrawal will be complete. There is a drowning but there is life somewhere in that inner world. One has to keep talking and touching to keep the connection until that final moment.

Life is so strange, we plan so much and many a time think  we are in command but so much is not in our hands and we come to believe that whatever has to happen will happen.

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By Lakshmi Bhat

I am a person who believes there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of a small candle. We live in a small place in South India. I love reading, blogging, stitching, traveling, photography, listening to people and many other things which make life so very nice and interesting. Blogging is a fun experience, it has brought me into contact with people in different parts of the world and it is good to read about their everyday life. In spite of the differences there is a sameness which is fascinating. I have learnt and am learning something everyday. I have learnt to write haikus. I enjoy combining the thought and the number of syllables. I have always read books and I was happy to write short fiction. I had thought I would not be able to do so. Stream of Consciousness and photo challenges are fun too. Yes, there is so much in life that is sad and that hurts us. Many a time I wonder why life is so unfair to so many. We all have problems in life but the problems of many seems unbearable. This makes me feel so helpless. It is not possible to help everyone but we can do our bit, we can do something to help some in whatever way we can. I go to the Home for the Mentally challenged in our campus twice a week. I have been going there since 2011. The members are an important part of my life. The Covid has made it difficult for me to go there regularly. There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made life so much more richer.

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