If I were to think of the one thing I’ve spent most time and energy on while growing up, it’s definitely on coming up with excuses to avoid taking sports related classes. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching sport. There’s the drama, the sentiment, the thrill and great looking caucasian dudes taking their shirts off. But when it comes to playing, it’s just total trauma because I am an athletic disaster. No really, I’ve been told I have negative hand eye co-ordination, the stamina of a dead squirrel and that I’m generally doomed to be a total failure in sport by like 8 different instructors thus far. So if you think about it, I’m kinda like Abraham Lincoln except for the minor detail about him eventually overcoming his failures and becoming President and me still being a failure.  
My mother thinks I have a talent when it comes to coming up with excuses โ€“ but the one thing people donโ€™t usually understand about great excuses is that they arenโ€™t made. They just happen. When I was 5, my father apparently had this vision of me becoming a swimming champion (on an unrelated note, I see where my hyperactive imagination comes from) and just like that, I was enrolled into swimming classes at Savera. Have you guys seen the pool at Savera? In case you haven’t I MUST describe it – IT’S CREEPY AS HELL. You know, in normal-people-land, swimming pools are just like giant tubs with blue tiles, because that’s how they’re meant to be. But no, the pool at Savera has like mosaic sea creatures. They start out as friendly seeming fish in the shallow end, become mosaic mermaids (or whatever) in the 5′ – 7′ level and finally, very evil looking giant fish in 12′ deep, dark end. For a really long time I was convinced that the deep end had these bloodthirsty sharks which ate children. And were invisible. 
As if the invisible shark pool wasn’t intimidating enough, the swimming instructor (Terror Sir) was the stuff nightmares was made of. In our second class, he pulled us out of the nice, safe, shallow end and made us (about 6 of us, mostly 5, 6 year olds) line up near the deep end. And then, he pushed us in. Just like that. When you’re like roughly three feet tall, this is crazy scary – imagine being pushed in to this crazy mosaic fish pool (which probably had invisible sharks) with no warning, no floating aids and NO TRAINING. When I came back home after class that evening (I managed to escape the sharks thanks to my mad grab-the-nearest-adult-in-the-water-and-holler-until-he-helps-you-out-of-the-water skills) I was a mess. I begged, I pleaded, I even did the kicking that I was supposed to have done in the water to get out of swimming classes. My mom was unfazed ofcourse, even with my dramatic re-telling of how I nearly drowned to death. “The next time he makes you jump in, just say ‘Jai Anjaneya!’. Nothing will happen!” 
(In case you are wondering, I actually tried this the next class – Instead of my usual 500 decibel shriek, I went in with a 500 decibel JAI ANJANEYA! war-cry. I got out and didn’t burst into hysterical sobs after I was out of the pool – This was a huge deal, and not surprisingly, it caught on among my peers as well.  Pretty soon there was even like this mini-contest among us with respect to who can say JAI ANJANEYA! the loudest while jumping in. I still sucked at swimming though.)
Basically, my parents just wouldnโ€™t let anything deter them from their ambition to mould me into an Asian Games hopeful, which was really sad because I hated swimming, as much as I hated the times Terror Sir would like dunk my head in the water as punishment whenever I displayed my incapability in the water, which was all the time. I played sick (“Swimming will make you feel better!”), I played scared (“Anjaneya is there no? He’ll take care of you!”) and I even played the bad girl card – I kicked Terror Sir right on the stomach in the pretext of improving my freestyle. This did not go well either, because he went and told my parents that I had the legs of a swimming champion and that I should extend my classes.  
Just when I thought I had run out of excuses, one evening we were let into the kiddy pool for an entire hour because Terror Sir was too busy terrorizing his senior students for some competition the next day. The kiddy pool in Savera is also a piece of work – it’s a small pool made even smaller thanks to a GIANT Shiva-Parvati statue bang in the middle with a chlorine Ganga spouting from Shiva’s head. Some kids took it really seriously and would insist on playing “Temple Temple” during our splashing time and we’d form this line and go around the statue and drink some chlorinated water as our Prasadam. Anyway, so there we were, obediently circling Shiva-Parvati-Chlorine-Ganga when one of the boys (I’m just going to call him Oneboy cause I don’t remember his name) started yelling for his mother. Oneboy’s mom showed up looking all tired and exasperated snapped at him asking what the matter was. Apparently, Oneboy really really really needed to go use the loo on the other side of the pool to susu. 
But Oneboy’s mom just rolled her eyes and was like “Why can’t you just do it there?”  
Oneboy yelled right back at his Mom – “That is only in big pool! I can’t susu on God, okay!” 
My mother who was nearby, overhearing all this, quietly told me to get out of the pool – and just like that I was relieved from swimming classes. Goes to prove that if Lavanya cannot come up with an excuse, the excuse shall come to Lavanya. 

46 Comments on Why I Don’t Swim Anymore And Other Excuses

  1. Ayyo, first comment? Too flustered at being first at something, so will just say "Hilarious! Oneboy is a louly pun" and high tail outta here.

  2. You are one strange girl! All kids like swimming, especially in the sea or river. I used to spend 3-4 hours a day in the river during vacations along with my cousin. Sure, sometimes you might almost drown, especially when there are no adults, but we still loved it.

  3. Ok…excuse is not for Chlorinated but Urinated water !
    I hear some chemicals can ne used these days at the pools to identify the 'Onners' i-e as soon as they 'one' it'll turn red/pink colour!! (imagine the fun)
    …Thanks for the fun read!
    Thinking back, All I can say is atleast that 'One boy' was HONEST. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. ok… the last comment by anonymous is creepy. I'm hoping thats a friend of yours ribbing you. Anyway, before I lose my original thought… hilarious post. As a 'fellow zer0 stamina for sports-but enjoys watchin em', i know how much I made an ass of myself ( no pun intended considering my big butt ) while trying to learn swimming.. never once reached the deep end.. never once. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Same Pinch – (you pinch yourself)- i have been there/done that too..and i have bad memories of Savera's big pool- the idiots dont have clear demarcation of the depths- one minute you are splashing about in 3 feet and you take a couple steps the wrong side and next minute you are drowing at the deep end…thankfully after just a few sessions at Savera- i shifted to New Woodlands next door- they had bigger and better pool and their masala dosa(post-workout treat) tasted better….so have you ever tried over there?

  6. Lol!!! Makes me wonder what my kids will write about when they grow up. I must be prepared, cos i'd asked them to pray to Hanuman too when they're scared. Poor Anjaneya..he must have been in trauma during your swimming sessions ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Wow!!! that was a wonderful read. Could stop giggling at my workstation(ignoring the awkward stares of my boss). Take this compliment lavanya. You are awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. had a mighty good laugh…know the pool and terror sir…shd tell this to him someday…last line is mighty awesome..as usual well done.

  9. Try weightlifting. Its fun, healthy, challenging, and you get to eat all the good food you feel guilty about.

    Steer clear of Crossfit though. 'Starting Strength' is a good place to start.

  10. I just understood what LOL really meant ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for a good laugh! The Shiva parvati statue in the middle of the pool with chlorinated Ganga coming out of the spout is too hilarious for words. Our people come up with these awesome ideas of putting God images in places of their choice. There is this Jeeva park In K.K.Nagar which has become Sivan park because of the Shiva statue installed in the centre of the park which was actually done for a film shoot and was never removed.


  11. And to think the world was missing out on your stories!! I haven't laughed so hard in a while now. Please do write more often. You truly have a gift ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. We're in touch with him too….he knows exactly how scared I used to be ๐Ÿ™‚ Never forgets to remind me, either. ๐Ÿ˜

  13. //I kicked Terror Sir right on the stomach in the pretext of improving my
    freestyle. This did not go well either, because he went and told my
    parents that I had the legs of a swimming champion and that I should
    extend my classes.

    LOL. Good one.

  14. This reminded me of my swimming summer camp where I met this obnoxious girl who was a huge bully and thats all I remember of my summer camp ..Guess who she grew up to be..The same girl who gate-crashed at the Olympics!! No kidding!

  15. Hilarious! I've been through this too – and trust me, it is as scary in a heavenly blue pool!
    After being thrown in multiple time by mom, I developed the perfect strategy – grab-the-nearest-adult-and-yell-"I'm sorry mom I'll be good don't punish me by drowning me!"-and-cry-and-beg. It worked so well – twice! Mom would just take one embarassed look at all the people staring at us and we'd get the hell outa there.
    Then she enrolled me in classes where there were 20 other kids trying the same thing and no one cared :'(

  16. OMG!!! Same story here. Daddy took me there and the pool totally scared me. Even worse, I was wearing glasses.. those sharks were even more terrifying. And then the push! Next day, I just locked myself inside the bathroom at home and my parents had to promise to not take me to swimming class.
    I keep saying that that pool at Savera was creepy, no one believed me. Finally someone with the same experience! I am so showing this to my parents.

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