The Guy who Swam

So 4 years ago, we went to Murshidabad, in my Summer Vacations. My grand-parents live there, so we often make a trip to Murshidabad, just like that.

That time, like every other time, me and dad went near the banks of River Ganges, and we had the camera with us. We were just walking along the banks, while we noticed that a skinny guy (like me ) was swimming in the shallow parts of the river, just a few meter away from the bank. He was looking quiet cheerful, and to be honest, quiet photogenic. We had not used the camera till that point of the trip, so we decided that we’d make that guy our subject. (Our scapegoat, to be honest.)

Look Closely. It’s him.

We went to the jetty, from where he was diving in to the river. He went above the jetty, dived, smiled, and repeated the process again. He was certainly not aware of our presence. I, along with Dad, sat in little pillars made in the flat part of the jetty, and noticed that guy from the corner of our eyes.

We were eager to talk to him. Sitting in silence, we occasionally took photos of the river to show that we were actually interested in the ever-flowing (and quiet boring) polluted water of Ganges.

After sometime, we just ran out of patience. We called out, and as we were not knowing his name, we just shouted “Hey”. He was about to take yet another dive from the jetty-bridge, but he heard our voice and came to us with a suspicious face. It looked like we were of the same age. I asked him his name, he answered in one single word: “Irfan.” I was tempted by the style with which he dived, as I once had a passion for swimming as well. We continued to talk with him, which probably reduced the tension between us, and softened the situation a little bit.

We asked if we could take photos of him while he was diving. He, for the first time since we interacted, gave us a smile. He said “Why not”.

That’s it. The social part was done, we then started taking photos of him. Here are the most astonishing photos that we took there.

Out of everything else, this is my personal favorite:

We got to know that he was from a poor family, and lived in slum. He came here daily. I have already mentioned that it was 4 years ago, in 2013. My dad talked with him further, but I don’t remember anything. I was 11 years old at that time, and didn’t know much about the world around us.

However, now I know that he must’ve been going through difficulties in his life. He must be around 15 right now, which means he must be going through even greater problems presently, just like any 15 year old, living in the slum.

I, quiet naturally, never heard from him again. I wonder if he still does that back-flip.

I noticed the smile in his face while he was diving; And looking back, now I acknowledge the fact that I’m fortunate. I’m quite fortunate.

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