Today I went for my usual morning swim. Mornings in Kerala are the best. Kilometers of untouched white sand and the water so warm it feels like you are taking a bath. Best of all – no people. Locals don’t swim - it has something to do with imaginary tides, cultural timidness and lack of basic swimming skills. And creepy guys that gather around to watch you swim in the afternoon are too lazy to come in the early hours.
This morning was different. On my beautiful unoccupied beach there was a bunch of students. School pupils. A bunch in India means there were 50 or 60 or them. Equivalent to a small crowd in Europe. All in the same uniforms, they were running around the beach. Girls – giggling and taking selfies. Boys – manfully building sand castles.
Trying to avoid the unwanted attention I enfolded deeper in my towel and quietly walked pass. Unexpectedly loud burst of sounds forced me to look right. And what I saw made me dive into the water as quickly as I possibly could. People running towards me. Not walking, not pacing. A fast approaching crowd of students making erratic movements with their hands and sounds I could probably take as “hellllooo”.
They were not scary. They seemed even nice. But their number was alarming. So was their eagerness. I thought they might go away. But after an hour of swim they were still there. Girls waited in the water (in by the waistline – who cares about wet cloths). Guys took with a more strategic position – sitting just next to my towel.
I won’t describe the next hour of my desperate attempts to get out. An overwhelming amount of questions and a more than wanted amount of hands. Hello. How are you. What’s you name. Where are you from? We are from India. What’s you secret swimming? We don’t swim. We – study.