Thursday, April 25, 2013

"Fear me most", said Fear...

“Looking at the reflection in the water of the man standing behind her, she…”

tried not to move. Still as the water, she closed her large, brown eyes and wished him away. It was futile. She could feel his presence inching in on her. She had only seen from a distance, the fate the others of her kind had met at the hands of men driven by unreasoned passion. There was only one option left. To dash across the rivulet, swim even, through the muddy and croc' infested waters. She needed to fight the lesser fear first.

Well, this is the short story that I was working on and as expected of me, I took up too much on my plate and couldn't finish it . And I never learn. But what I did learn from this activity is to try and identify a very strong emotion that makes the essence of this write up. 

Fear. We all have it. We've all succumbed to it, braved it, fought with it and let it win at times but how often do we reason with it? Or better still, negotiate with it. 

My greatest fear in life is that of water. Yes, that beautiful, clear, life-giving thing called water. The sight of a water-body any bigger than a puddle makes me either balk or break out into a run. If my car was ever to pull up in front of a rain-battered road, smocked with standing water here and there, you are likely to see me turn around and find another road to my destination. Oddly enough, as I am a strong swimmer and even though, I'm no champion material but I surely have no reason to fear a death by drowning. 

I remember when I started to learn to swim, I was nearly 15 years old. I was the quickest learner in my group and the most daring one too. It was a proud moment when it didn't take me a moment's thought to jump of a 20 feet high diving board! However, there's something that no one ever came to know. I nurtured a paralyzing fear of water, especially if I couldn't see the bottom of the area that is holding it. 

It was a rainy, drizzly kind of a morning. Nobody had turned up for the class; not even my coach! I was dedicated enough to be there. Since I was there already and had been diving and swimming independently in the deep end of the pool for a month now(with a lot of people around); I decided to enjoy my time in the water. So I stepped into the pool on the shallow side and started to swim towards the other end. I was nearly across the Olympic size pool, when I realised that I couldn't see the base of the pool. I was surrounded on all sides by turbid water because of the drizzle. My internal alarm system went haywire as panic gripped me at the ankles and dragged me down. Mercifully, I wasn't too far from the side and after splashing like  a maniac ( while imagining that some huge, dark octopus was pulling me down), I somehow got a hold on the pool's side-gutter. Needless to say, I sprang out of the water and nearly swore never to swim alone ever again!

Unreasonable, unfounded fear! The most vicious, cruel enemy. You never know when or how it'll strike you and leave you lame for any excuse! I even try to reason with it by associating it to a childhood incident when while frolicking at Juhu Beach, both hands held firmly by my parents, I ran into the approaching wave only to find my feet entangled in some stray weeds. That was enough to make me scream. However, acknowledging that incident and trying to negotiate terms with my fear, doesn't seem to help at all. If any, it only makes it bigger, better and stronger.

Not the one to give up, I keep trying water-sports with my heart pounding in my mouth! I have tried a few and the aftermath makes me laugh each time I think about it, but that's another story for another day! Meanwhile, do you have any fears that you wish to acknowledge/confront/address? Do it right now, right here! Tear apart the fear, before it does that to you. "Fear me most," said Fear...

I'll be back with those funny fear stories too.

Till then
Cheers and clinks and 40 winks!

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