Gratitude Expressed and Carried Forward
by Manohar Naidu
My daughter Jaya had come on vacation from the States with her family – husband, a grown up son and a daughter. She expressed her desire to re-visit Juhu Beach with her children. It was almost 25 years back, at Juhu Beach she was swept into the sea due to high tide, when she was just 15 years old. She had gone with her friends after finishing her board exams to have fun at sea shore. She had entered the water,as the waves retreated and she further went into the sea. She was not knowing swimming. High rising tide, tossed her. Other girls started shouting “ Bachao..Bachao (Help..Help)." There was no lifeguard seen around. Suddenly, one girl, who appeared to be a foreigner, swimming around, rushed towards my drowning daughter, caught hold of my her long hair, pulled her out to a safe area,pumped out the salt water from her stomach, with her quick and trained maneuver. It was only because of fast and prompt act of gratitude of this unknown angle, my daughter was saved.
This incident was a turning point for Jaya. She enrolled herself for swimming classes and by the time she was 3rd year Engineering College, she was University champion. She had an inner desire to express God and as well to the unknown foreigner, her gratitude for saving her life from almost drowning. Various options were discussed, and finally she volunteered to work 2 hours every
Sunday at Juhu Beach as LIFE GUARD. In the next two years,she could save seven lives!
Later, she was married and joined her husband in US. Her love and zeal for swimming never diminished. She continued her swimming activity but not as LIFE GUARD, since in U.S. all public pools and sea shores are provided with licensed lifeguards. Jaya encouraged and ensured that her children are fully trained in swimming and champion in their schools in U.S. and always reminded her children, the importance of saving human life.
Today, she was again at Juhu Beach with her children in their swim suit. While sitting on sand, it appeared that Jaya was lost in old euphoria and sweet memories of past. Son Daksh and daughter Mehak had come out of water and were drying their body with towel. Suddenly panic-stricken shout was heard “ BACHAO...... BACHAO . Jaya looked at Daksh and Daksh looked into his mother’s eyes and understood her silent but expressive ordain. He rushed and leaped into the sea, Mehak followed to assist him and caught hold of the drowning girl and brought her to safe place on sand. One more life was saved. As usual there was no lifeguard around. Jaya hugged both her children with tears of happiness and thanked them for their act of bravery towards society. *** Note: This story was originally published on 7/12/2014 in my book “Short stories@7SeventySeven7+Plus” >/i>
A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016