Drowning Lessons

Before there were lighthouses and before the world understood its own morbidity, the sea was a beautiful place. The wreckage of our past littered the shores. Masts taller than the Himalayas, anchors heavier than what Atlas lifted everyday.


In a desolate sea, before the advent of sonar technology and all the ways we have learned to distance ourselves, a man was shipwrecked. After days and days of waiting, when the abandonment set in, he realised that loneliness hurt him worse than hunger.


Before we created treasures worth looting and people worth leaving behind, this man was stuck in the sea, floating towards nothing. He put his head under water, breathed out and began to learn how to drown.


Before we created submarines to take us to the bottom of our nightmares and before the Greek sirens gave up and returned home, this man breathed out, but self preservation always won over. “Eventually,” he whispered into the wind, “there will be no more air left to breathe out.”


And before poetry polluted our veins and before the romantic growth of disdain, this man scratched into the back of his boat a message with his fingernails, that the water eroded. The sirens lured him, some said. The sea has him others replied. But the message on the back of the boat read, “Of all the diseases I have suffered, hope is the worst.”


~ Sanjeet Vikram Singh | Edited by Soumya Chakraborty


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