“Sumin”

"Sumin", as my young daughter used to say, is what I do regularly in the summer. Sumin is such a great all-round exercise; and if there is a pool in your own apartment building, like I have, you don’t have to brave the city traffic to get to the pool, either. A quick change of costume, and there I am, ready to slip into the pool (this is a nice way of ssying that I am still afraid to jump in!).

I still do only the backstroke, as it gets far less water into my Ear-Nose-Throat system, and the other compelling reason is that…it’s far less boring.

I swim as dusk gathers. I watch the pigeons fluttering around, and settling on the many projections of my apartment blocks…and high, overhead, I watch the kites wheeling as, in the sinking light, they look for a last meal, made possible by an unwary rodent or a defenceless bird. An occasional pond heron flies past, too, and in the deepening darkness, just as the lights come on in the apartments, little pipestrelles flit about…delighting me, sometimes, by skimming the surface of the swimming pool for a quick sip.

The moon slowly rises and becomes brighter….an the outline of the palm trees and other plants against the evening sky, merges into the gloom of the night. Of course, with the pool lights on, there is never real darkness…except in the brief time between a shutdown of power, and the generator coming on. But in spite of the light, it is a time of magic. The colours of the sky as it deepens from blue to purple to deep mauve….the clouds floating across….they all add to it.

The water feels like silk on my warm body and cools it in such a pleasant way; I do think that regular exercise can only be sustainable when it is as enjoyable as this.

I finish my laps, and then lazily float on the surface of the water for a while. I am so relaxed, and the water holds me up like a mother would her newborn child….I smile when I think how scared I was to start learning how to swim, and how much I have been missing all the years that I didn’t learn.

I’m looking forward to this evening’s swim, now….a hot trip across town, scheduled for this afternoon, is going to make it even more pleasurable!

Deepa Mohan
About Deepa Mohan 710 Articles
Deepa Mohan is a freelance writer and avid naturalist.

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