Monday, October 6, 2014

Dangling Feet

   I’m borderline aqua-phobic. The line lies between that simple stance that my feet can touch the floor of the water bed and the assurance that drowning is not a possibility. It lies submerged in the sea-green blues of the waters, the fear of not death but suffocation unto death and the helplessness of it.

   Sixteen years of age was when I set out to Calcutta for the first time in my life en-route to Manipur. The train chugged away, pulling with ease the coaches that followed, sculpted with steel carrying people full of dreams. The locomotive sped at an immense speed as I edged my way to the doors of my bogie, swaying with the whims of the vehicle itself.

  It was noon and everyone had slept into obliviousness. The door was wide open, as I held the handles just on the outside and lunged my body forward for the erstwhile breezing wind to scream in my ears. Drawn to the avenues open to my senses; I merely collapsed and sat down on the steps, still holding on to the rails, feet dangling to the moving Jelly stones. The rhythmic lull of the wagons over the railway tracks seemed like the ritual of love-making between two as I closed my eyes; unaware of the people around me, singled out within.

   I don’t know how many minutes passed before my eyes opened to a change in sound, the return of the breeze alongside the summer sun. The rhythm was the same, but the echoes and sounds that emanated, completely different.  I gazed ahead to look at the calm blues staring back at me, its ripples moving from one to another, in constant motion.

   My fingers tightened around the handles as I peered down. Hundred feet below were deep waters that could devour me alive. It was the first time I saw seemingly bottomless waters below my own dangling feet. The initial flutters of anxiety and fear had drowned in the overwhelming feeling that was caught at my throat. I had never felt this comfortable, alive and fearless of waters. Transience and permanence loomed to and fro, as the moving waters coupled with the climax of the lulling pleasures put me in the moment, in complete awareness of my senses.

   I was neither in the past, nor an eon later. I lived that moment, completely, without the fear of suffocation and drowning lest I fall. In that unknown place, over an unknown water body somewhere in North-east India, I could then do nothing but smile as the cool wind kissed my face.
I have never felt that liberated, thoughtless and free in all my life, ever since.


I do NOT own this image. Source: Google images 


  1. I have the exact feelings around water as you. Exactly the same, though I call it 'more-than-six-feet hydrophobia' (because that is the maximum depth in a swimming pool that I am comfortable with. :P) And hence I could relate to everything that was written in the first paragraph.

    The fear for me all about the fear of the unknown that lies in the depth of the water; a fear that springs from the fact that you cannot SEE what lies at the base, under the water. Experienced similar exhilaration in other experiences/fear. But when it comes to water, I am yet to experience a liberation of this sort. :).

    1. Hey! It was only about a couple of weeks before since I went for swimming lessons. But I think I'm still scared of deep waters. Hi-five! We're on the same boat!
      Liberation didn't happen wholly. But that particular moment on the train, it most definitely did.
      Glad to have connected with you here. Please do keep in touch.



  2. One clear benefit of aimlessly drifting on the net today has been that I landed on this blog. Was a pleasure to read the posts. Extremely well written ones. But what I loved the most is the accompanying instagram art page. The sketches were brilliant, particularly the architectural ones.

    1. Hey Rajesh,
      The test comment wouldn't have been visible as the comments are moderated owing to spam! Thank you so much for writing in and letting me know. I really appreciate it. It helps me motivated and makes me move on to do what I do. Do keep in touch here as well as on Instagram. It was a pleasure to connect with you here. :)

  3. Never realised that pair of feet, naked, anonymous, and dangled from a bridge over water could hold anyone's attention, let alone that of an accomplished camera person.


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