Notes from the pool

The pool is huge but there are troops and troops of tiny children and hairy adults. Underwater I constantly worry about banging into or kicking someone.

Yesterday, a little kid with down's syndrome sat on the lip of the pool and splashed me enthusiastically. So enthusiastically that he fell into the pool and had to be fished out.

All the coaches except one are terribly young, wiry Haryanvi men with washboard abs. My new coach told me he comes to the pool after 'office'. I wondered what kind of job he does during the day but didn't know whether to ask.

Everyone in the pool is looking to see if someone is looking at them. All except for one butterball-like eight year old. With an extremely meditative air he floated in the middle of the pool for long spells. Long spells between doing ballet-like sequences.

Under the communal shower you can watch women at different stages. The locker room attendant watchful and tired. The girls arranging their damp hair artfully in front of the mirror, others clutching clothes standing in wet swimsuits outside the stalls. More looking at themselves covertly before they head out to the pool. And always one boy whose mother has not realised he is too old to be brought into the women's changing room without panicking him.

While talking to SP enthusiastically I always wander into the men's locker room. Almost, that is. SP always pulls me back by my swimsuit.




3 comments:

I like these personal pieces which are impressionistic the best. If you collated it in a book will be the first to buy it :-)

Tis' the season for Haryanvi lads -spotted not so fit ones driving Brisbane's cabs by the dozens!

June 9, 2009 at 7:19 AM  

you are kind, Ms Anu!

June 10, 2009 at 1:19 AM  

I just read this and thought your readers would be interested. (Apologies if it's off topic, but it's Indian writing and has "shades of Kavya Vishvanathan" which needs to be called out:

http://blog.kridaya.com/2009/05/13/tishani-doshi-back-to-word-lifting-games/

http://blog.kridaya.com/2009/05/11/murdered-concept-watch/

http://www.wellpitched.com/2009/05/how-authentic-is-this-cricinfo-page-2.html

Ghastly stuff, a cricket writer called Tishani Doshi lifting from everyone from Penguin Classics to Sparks Notes to Gladwell to God alone knows what else.

June 12, 2009 at 9:42 AM  

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