Saturday, 13 December 2014

That Time I Almost Drowned To Death...Almost.

  I'm the kind of person who makes a conscious effort to spread positive energy in the world. That is why I write posts titled stuff like, "Happiness among other lies". And along the same lines, I've been wanting to write about fear. And overcoming it to take the plunge. Then I saw this dew film by Mountain Dew. And I was finally inspired to write this.

   What better way to talk about rising above fear than by telling you what happened when I did jump? I drowned. Almost died. Almost. And here's my survival story.
  When I was eight years old, We lived in Singapore for about a year, and I went to school there. Our apartment building in Singapore had a huge swimming pool and naturally, I evolved to live like an amphibian. In other words, I was an eight year old mermaid.

  The pool became like a natural habitat. I had swim practice everyday, and I loved it. I was also a pretty arrogantly confident child, fastest flippers in the pool. I was always the kid in the deep end of the pool, splashing water on our coach. There's video proof of this, in our old home movie camcorders tapes. I even had a floating board with a cartoon shark on it. Not that I ever used the floating board, I was obviously a pro. And then as fate would have it, We moved back to India and my eyes burned up and shot up blood red in every single pool here. They put in too much chlorine in the water and none of the pools would work for me here. So of course, I promptly forgot all about swimming and traded in my shark floating board for tennis shoes and a racket.
  But then tennis didn't exactly draw me in the way the water did. And I still yearned to swim again. Years went by, and finally we found a pool that was perfect. Indoors, with lukewarm perfect water that would not burn my eyes. And I couldn't wait to dive straight in. The first time we visited the pool, The water lured me in. And its not like I wasn't a pro swimmer, So I jumped, didn't even take the stairs or the ladder at the edge of the pool. I nosedived straight into the water. Only, I hadn't considered Lamarck’s evolutionary theory about the use and disuse of organs. He was a smart French dude who believed that giraffes initially had short necks, and then eventually their necks grew longer because they had to stretch to reach the branches higher up on trees for food. Basically he believed that if you use a particular organ more, it will adapt to your usage and become stronger, the converse was also true according to his theory, i.e. if you didn't use a particular organ, it's disuse would cause it to deteriorate and eventually disappear. Too bad they only taught me this in high school. Because when I hit the water, I immediately started to drown. I was like Ariel with legs instead of her mermaid tail. And I don't care If Darwin disproved Lamarck's theory, because I'd just lost my mermaid tail, and Darwin couldn't explain that. It had been way too long since I was last in a pool and my muscles had forgotten how to swim. My legs did not kick, the water was pulling me in. And I started to gulp it down and choke. My brain had actually lost touch, and forgotten how to swim altogether even though my heart still remembered the joy that was the water. My limbs had failed me. And I was going under. I couldn't even do the dead man’s float. By this time I thought I was going to die. But I wasn't ready to give in just yet. I started screaming for help between taking lungfuls of air. But There was no one there, no life guard, Just a bunch of kids who were a little further away. I was beginning to hear and see flashes of my too short life. But Thankfully, these kids were older and on hearing me, knew to come rescue me. Those kids were heroes. Now I'll stop writing dramatic clichéd phrases that you've read one too many times. And then I didn't drown. I didn't die.
 But the real trouble came after that. I developed a phobia for diving. My parents enrolled me back in summer swimming classes at the same pool and I could even get over myself and get back into the water because that's how much I loved it but I could never dive in. I always walked down the steps or climbed the ladder. 
This picture is free. I got it from and later customized it.

  Eventually the summer's swim class progressed and they moved on to diving. We had an amazing coach. The man was like a shark himself. You'd see him at one side of the pool, he'd go under and you couldn't even see him in the water. Two seconds later he'd be at the other end of the pool. He was swift and so much like a fish. I respected him. But he could never get me to take the plunge. I'd stand in line to dive in to the pool. But I'd let all the other kids go ahead of me. Because I couldn't jump. Death didn't make the same mistake twice. I got lucky the first time around. Would I again? I wasn't willing to bet my life on that.
This picture is free. I got it from and later customized it.
   So I'd be standing there letting all the other kids go dive ahead of me. This went on for so long, that my dad decided to trick me and push me into the water. And that went on for almost the entire class. Every time I had to jump. I'd be standing there, telling them I'll jump when I was ready, and I'd never be. And they'd push me in. 
   The summer class had only two days left to draw to an end and I still hadn't overcome my fear of diving. And I knew then that if I didn't do it in those last two days, I'd never be able to. I was crunched for time. I was scared but I had to jump. I had to take the plunge. And quite literally too. The previous night, I steeled myself, told myself I'd do it. I'd take the plunge.
  The next morning I packed in some of my mom’s pictures of idols of gods, that she had collected from various temples along with my swimsuit. I needed all the magic and faith I could get. I had to survive. I had to take the plunge. It was now or never. And then that day, I jumped. I did. And I swam. And I didn't drown. And I didn't die. I was a survivor. And that was when I realized God was just a massive source of strength within yourself, a reserve that you can draw from, that had no idea even existed, when you couldn't count on yourself. Those last two days had to be my best memories at the pool, In the water. because ever since the fear hasn't returned. I've been quite fearless. I even went on to win some swim competitions at school. Even went river rafting in the Beas river in Manali, during my trip there.I had the best seat on our raft and fell off nearly twice. It was epic. And guess what I heard there? They told me, that that was the exact same stretch of river they'd shot the old Mountain Dew ads at.
I'm on one of  these rafts! This is us in 2011. I'm wearing a white helmet. and sitting on the far edge/nose of the raft.
My mom and I after river rafting. totally drenched.
This is the rock that we brought back as a ouvenir from river rafting.

Who would've known? Go over here to like the Mountain dew Facebook page

Have you ever had any near death experiences? How do you rise above the fear? What does it take to get you to take the plunge? Let me know in the comments below.


  1. I think my insides are better off not subjecting themselves to the neon green toxic waste that is Mountain Dew.

    My near death experience wasn't nearly as close as yours, but when I was a kid (around 6) I wanted nothing more than to see what a roller coaster was like. My dad took me to the theme park, and we found this rickety old roller coaster. The guy behind the counter wasn't even paying attention, and cut the line off at my dad, so I got to ride but my dad couldn't. And yet I was seated in the very back, alone, where the seat belt didn't even work (dude didn't even check). I had no idea what was going on, but once it started, I felt myself starting to fly out, so I had to huddle in the bottom until it was over, praying I didn't fly out and splat on the pavement.

    Never been on a roller coaster again to this day.

    1. To be honest, I can't stand any carbonated soft drink. Let alone mountain dew. They're all toxic waste. But their advertisements are so totally unrelated like if they didn't tell me this was a mountain dew ad, I'd think it was an ad for sky diving or jumping off a cliff, cause that seems to be a thing. And seeing this reminded me of the old mountain dew ad, which featured river rafting which they shot at the Beas river, where I did river rafting years later. Mountain dew really ought to pay me for advertising their advertisements though.

      And theme park security guards are the worst. They have ONE job. Ensure safety. and they never do it. My mom and I got on a drop tower that locked two seats with one rod like thing for safety, and we pushed our rod thing maybe half way down ( it definitely wasn't locked) and they started the ride anyway, and we were trying to scream that our seat wasn't locked, But No one could hear us and everyone just thought we were crazy and screaming from the adrenaline rush! It was like something straight out of a final destination movie.
      Another time, when I was in middle school, during a class trip, nearly twenty boys from my class decided to line up like a football huddle at the base of the water slide for no reason whatsoever after I had been pushed down it. I slammed straight into them with so much momentum that they all collapsed on top of me. How this was allowed to happen, I just fail to understand. You have one job, guy behind the counter. I couldn't feel my shoulders for a week after that. And winced whenever I breathed.

  2. Very nice and interesting post. As such I dont have any experience like wise so that I can share. But loved reading your experience....Thank u for the share. Keep posting with lots more.

    1. Thank you for commenting shreya! Glad you found it interesting. 😊 I'm also kinda happy for you for not having such experiences. Because, It was pretty scary at the time. So scary, the story still stuck with me so years later.

  3. You. Should. Start. A. YouTube. Channel. Right. Now.
    Well after your unit tests but yeah asap. You rock gay!!!!

    1. I don't know about Youtube channel. But maybe if you agree to do collabs with me. ;)
      And, Thank you so much Meg!

  4. I am extremely impressed along with your writing abilities, Thanks for this great share.


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