Friday, February 24, 2012


It was a freezing cold day on the Ganga. Despite the sun having risen nearly 4 hours ago, the clouds did not allow it to warm the earth. The two oarsmen were relatively warm, the remaining four of us sat rolled up in our sleeping bags thinking dark thoughts of the day we had volunteered for this jaunt.

Because of the clamminess of the day, the river was deserted. No boats, farmers, fishermen or even dolphins. We hunkered down in our woolens to prevent our noses from freezing.

That's when I heard laughter. We looked incredulously at two young girls as they stood in the water. They were fully dressed, but the floral salwar-kameezes were thoroughly soaked. One of them was washing her hair, the other was not up to anything that lady-like.

As we watched, she ran down the slope to the river and without a pause jumped in. Watching her swim strongly out away from the bank I was taken back to my childhood. My sis and I, we were not the sporting types ever. But the one thing we did, did often, and loved to do was swim. She taught me all I know of swimming.

As I watched the girl swim in the Ganga as her sister bathed, I was envious for a moment. That envy was overtaken by pity, though. Not one of my childhood memories has either me or my sis standing on the banks while the other swam. With us it was always a double splash!

I don't do justice to a swimsuit, I don't have technique, and I can't dive to the bottom of a water body. But thanks to my sis, I can swim, and delight in it.

1 comment:

Grumpy Granny said...

There is something so primal about jumping into the water. This post reminds me that I simply must get back to it.