Posts Tagged ‘swim’


Balance …

   Posted by: aman    in Other

I must be around 10 years old when my father took me to see the movie 36 Chamber of Shaolin. It is a movie in which an underdog learns Kung-Fu and becomes a champion, avenges his family’s defeat. A scene in the movie stayed with me.

The hero has to go for breakfast but the path has a pool in the middle. In the water are bundles of sticks tied together. He has to step on the bundle and leap across. He fails, repeatedly. The task is further hardened when the sticks are opened up. The hero keeps falling into the water, getting drenched.

The master comes with a heap of plates. He asks the hero to throw the plate across the water onto the other side. The hero throws one, it drowns. He throws another, that too drowns. You must have done this, thrown a pebble on a lake to see how many times it touches the water top. The master then throws a plate, which grazes the pool top and reaches the other end. The hero is amazed and the master says, ‘Balance your weight.’

These days at my swimming pool I see so many people trying to swim. Their heads out of water, they making an effort to keep their legs afloat. It just does not work. One evening Z was coming towards me, rapidly. His neck moving from side to side, his arms trying to push the water behind, he crashed near me. The top of his head was not even wet. I do not know how it came to me to say to him, ‘The water is not dangerous. Do not fear.’

He looked at me surprised, ‘But I have to swim.’

‘Have you seen a log float?’

He nodded.

‘And a ship? But a needle drowns.’

‘Yes,’ he said.

‘Because the water does not want to drown you. It wants to keep you afloat. You are not allowing it to do so.’


I said, ‘Submerge your feet and head both in water. Straighten out your belly. That will give the body buoyancy. You will float.’

Over two days he tried … It works. If we float we do not drown. We drown when we make ourselves a needle and angle ourselves into the water.

I wonder about life too. It tries to drag us in, jumble us up. The key is to balance our weight and float. The pool is teaching me a lot.

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