A gunshot fired up in the air and there was a huge thud sound with the contestants jumping inside the pool. The contestants flew their arms in the water, with their heads inside the water. Their bodies floated like a fish. The first contestant reached the other end of the pool, within 5.2 seconds. She placed her head on the edge for a second, then lifted it up and waved to the crowd.
A few minutes later, an anchor called up all the contestants on the stage. He asked the Judge Mr. Adhiraj Sinha to give away the awards.
Judge announced, “the winner of the Senior State Swimming Championship is Tina Verma.”
The claps echoed all over the place while Tina collected the award. She smiled and raised her award up high in the sky.
The crowd cleared within minutes. Tina held her award close to her chest. Then she moved to the changing room after having a brief discussion with her friends. She kept the award and the certificate inside her locker and went to the washroom. The water from the geyser was hot and eased her stiff muscles.
After the shower, she dressed up in her usual jeans, t-shirt and picked up her phone. There were two calls from her mother. She was about to dial her mother. When notification came from Mycitykids4u the blog she follows every day about teachers day.
Tina smiled, remembering her teacher. The one who had played a major role in her, becoming a State level Swimming champion. Her memories ran to the first day of swimming classes.
Her mother had made her woke up early on a Sunday morning and taken her to the swimming class.
While walking towards the class, Tina revolted and said “Mom, please I get scared of water. I don’t want to take swimming classes.”
Her mother grabbed her arm and said, “if you don’t fight your fear now, you can never stand up for yourself.”
She followed her mother, taking small strides while her mother kept her dragging. They reached at the swimming class center. Her mother asked her to wait while she spoke to the teacher.
The teacher dressed in nylon swimming pant and t-shirt, greeted her mother with a smile. They spoke for two minutes. Then her mother gestured Tina to come.
Tina walked towards them and on reaching near them said, “Hi Aunty.”
The teacher cut her between and said “Tina, I am not your aunt here. I am a teacher so call me, mam.”
Tina nodded her head in acceptance. The teacher took Tina aside away from her mother and towards the pool. They talked about Tina’s school and her friends.
Tina blushed with twinkle in her eyes and at once started babbling about her friends. Suddenly, her body jerked of, as the teacher pushed her from behind. Tina landed straight inside the pool. She gasped for air and moved her ligaments frantically.
She felt as if she were to die within moments. A hand reached down her belly and another one held her leg. Tina’s body floated horizontal to the water surface and she breathe a little air felt alive.
The hand which held her was none other than the teachers. She held her tightly in her arms and said “See, it is not that scary. Nothing is scary in life more than, you not trying to face it.”
Tina was too panicked to hear and understand anything. The teacher was still holding her in her arms while Tina remained afloat flapping her legs.
At home, Tina revolted again saying “who throws someone like this in water?”
Her mother shouted “as if you would have jumped inside the pool, willingly. She had to push you to make you learn.”
Tina knew her mother won’t listen. The next day when Tina went to the swimming classes she told the teacher she isn’t well. And then the day after, she said my school timings have become strict and I can’t come here. I get late for school and get detention from the class teacher.
The teacher nodded her head, kept quiet for a minute. Tina let a small smile escape her pink lips, thinking she doesn’t have to go to the classes anymore.
The teacher then patted Tina’s back and said “Come here by 6. I will come a bit early.”
Tina’s mouth went dry thinking all her plans got ruined. Tina had to get up early and go to the swimming classes. By the time she reached, her teacher would have already reached there and practiced yoga.
One day while leaving from her class, Tina inquired her teacher “By what time does all your classes get over?”
The teacher said, “by noon.”
Tina questioned again, “so, you go home and cook?”
Teacher smiled and said “No. I get up at 5, cook breakfast, lunch and then come here.”
Tina paused for a minute. She wondered, how her teacher manages everything? taking care of her family, cooking as well as coaching.
“You don’t get tired working all day?” Tina asked again, tying her shoe laces.
The teacher smiled and said “I have my inspiration, my students, who give me all the energy.”
Tina realized, her teacher is taking pains of getting up early and adjusting her schedule to teach her. Henceforth the teacher became an inspiration for Tina.
She woke up early morning. Attended her classes regularly and never gave a chance for her teacher to complain.
“Tina, Adhiraj Sir wants to meet you.” said a girl who had entered the washroom.
Tina shook her head hearing her name and came back to her senses. Tina looked at the girl and said, “I am coming in a minute. Need to call someone.”
Tina dialed a number from her contact list. The phone kept ringing and finally a woman picked up and said, “Hi Tina. Tell me what happened?”
Tina face turned pink, her eyes watered and she said “Mam, I won the Senior State Swimming Championship”