“Swim you naughty girl!!” yelled the coach. I made a face at him. He again yelled the same thing. I made another face. “I will come there and pull your ears!” he said. I made a face again, but this time I made feeble attempts to swim.
I was a kid.. maybe 10 or 11 years old. Somehow there are some incidents in your childhood which teach you something and you never forget them. This is one of them.
When I was in school, my parents used to take me to swimming classes. Forcibly. I never understood why they made me go where I didn’t want to.

manasi joshi (me)

I used to dislike swimming.
Moreover, the swimming coach under whom I learnt, was someone whom I thought of as Mogambo. Loud voice and villainish look. I really used to often think he looked like Amrish Puri. (An actor who played a villain in several Bollywood films)

Naturally my dislike to learn swimming increased when he was around.
He was a tough task master. He gave me punishments when I couldn’t do what he expected from me.

My parents, no matter how bugged up and adamant I was, regularly took me for these classes.
Everyday, I learnt to make new faces & new scowls at my coach. Swimming? err.. that I was hardly able to learn for a long time.

Still.. after quite sometime, I did manage to learn a little bit of swimming. The fact that I had learnt to swim a bit was more dreadful for me actually.

The reason was that those kids who managed to learn the basics were made to jump into a huge well for further practice & progression.

The well was pretty deep, dark & scary. It creeped me out everytime I looked at it. How the other kids found jumping in that as fun, was something I never understood. They all did it with much enjoyment and enthusiasm.

Soon enough, much to my horror, my Mogambo coach decided that I was eligible enough to jump in that awful well.
I was made to stand at the edge of the well, while Mr. Mogambo himself jumped inside the well.
He yelled at me to jump, assuring me nothing would happen to me since he was already in it.
I screamed & yelled. I moved away from the edge and decided that I can run away now that he is safely tucked away in that big awful well.

But Mr. Mogambo was smart. He knew I’d do something like that. To my utmost horror, two life guards stood behind me urging me to jump.
I closed my eyes. I went near the edge again. Sneeked open an eye & decided I wasn’t jumping. But this time, my coach’s reflexes were quick. He signalled the life guards and one of them pushed me hard!
I feel down that deep well with a loud splash.
Whilst I was falling down, all sorts of feelings came to me in those few seconds. feeling of fear, feeling of horror and then suddenly I was inside the water. I struggled hard and held my coach’s hand. I was alive!!!
That made me happy!
I swam for sometime in the well and we climbed up through the stairs that were attached.

This incident is one I could never forget in my entire life. After this incident, I did not hate swimming classes anymore. In fact today, I love being in water. Today I totally love beaches, lakes & everything related to water. I am a huge monsoon season lover today!!

Not that I became much of  a swimmer but could do the basics easily and without fear.

This incident taught me the importance of facing our fears. Running away is never the solution. We should face all our fears and problems head on. The feeling which we get after we face our fears is simply amazing.
Our problems and fears appear tough but I feel God gives us the strength to overcome each one of them.
He gives us only those fears to overcome and those problems to solve, which he knows we can get through. After we overcome any fear we thought we couldn’t or solve any problem we thought we couldn’t, we always get the feeling- “Oh! that wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be!!

Like they say- “What doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger”
I guess that’s true after all.

As for the coach Mr. Mogambo, I continued to make faces at him till the last day of my classes. On the last day he gave me a sweet and smiled. That was the only time I spared him of my scowls & smiled back. Haha!!!
Today as I look back, I only laugh at that incident!

Well folks that was the signing off incident for you all in this Monsoon Blog Festival of mine.
I hope you all enjoyed these three weeks.

You can find all the previous posts on this link- http://manasi23.blogspot.in/p/blog-festival-2014.html which can also be found as a tab if you look at the top of my blog, besides the Home and About Me pages. 🙂

 Thank you for being a part of the celebrations of this season by being my reader. Go out there and enjoy the rain!!!

Au revoir!!!

Your thoughts please?