I was a child, I used to love running around in the park as much as any other kid. I could swing for hours and other parents had to literally intervene so that their kids could have a go at it too. I would push myself to go higher and higher, hoping that one day I would reach the sky and play with the clouds. Swinging used to be the highlight of my life till that fateful day.
I was on my beloved swing, as usual, aiming to go higher and higher when I lost control. I don’t what happened but one moment I was calling out my mom to help me stop the swing and in the other, I was on the ground groaning in pain. I had fallen off the swing and the doctor told my mom that I was lucky that I did not end up fracturing my both legs. The wounds were deep and took their own sweet time to heal.
Once I was fit enough to walk, I rushed to the nearest park to get on my swing again. My friends were so glad to see me that they let me have their turns. I sat on the swing and started off slowly, but instead of exhilaration, I could feel a clutch of fear in my heart. I avoided the swings from that day onwards. In hindsight, it was really silly but I wasn’t really a smart eight year old.
I never thought about my fear of swinging as I grew up. After all which teenager would like to walk in a park of little boys and girls and attempt to swing. So uncool, right? And it certainly wasn’t a priority in my 20’s.
I came face to face with my fear just a few months back. I was out for a fieldwork in a village called Apsinga in Osmanabad district, Maharashtra and I saw a swing tied to a tree. I faced the familiar sensation of fear in my heart. How was it possible I thought to myself? Was I just a kid then? Why do I still fear it?
I resolved to get on the swing right away. But once I sat on it, I just couldn’t bring myself to move. That’s when my friends decided to intervene. They had heard my story and thought it was too silly of me never swing again. One of them forced me to sit and started pushing me, a big task in itself, seeing how much I weigh 🙂
And as I went higher and I higher, I realized that I wanted to touch the sky again. And that day, the children of Apsinga laughed and giggled as they saw a didi go crazy after a swing.