When I saw Medha and Jags being dragged into the deep, helpless and tired it was a rude reminder that fragility is the very core of existence. Because, dear reader, life is like those stupid mint gums with jelly in the middle. It feels like it will endure the cruel intent of the molars of external forces. But effortlessly cave in, be chewed and spat out on sand to be discarded as an inessential atom of a future landfill.

On our outbound at Cherai before we visited Jose’s wedding we landed late, drank a few beers to numb the journey and retired early. Some of us woke up early to see the sunrise over the backwaters and headed to the beach. Medha and Jags were in those few. The sea was hard with the waves breaking like a stand-alone woofer playing drum and bass in a small car. I always hated getting into the sea. I keep complaining that I feel like a pickle in brine. So I was walking along the beach line not far from the swimmers.

M and J are probably the best swimmers that we have in the team. They are the ones who look and behave confidently in the water. They rode or ducked with delight, the way one should, making it all look easy. As they moved deeper, Medha later said, they suddenly could not feel the land beneath their legs. They swam lightly and realized they were being dragged in. We at the beach could see them losing control and of course the humor. They swam harder towards us and seemed to go farther. I was sure that I had lost them. One of us ran towards some fishermen to call for help. A passerby jumped in and helped them ashore. The sea had ravaged and returned them.

As they curled on the sand and brought up all the seawater that they had ingested I was consumed with a feeling of innate responsibility and relief. I felt grateful that the sea restored their existence back on land.

They rested, dried, washed and were back as before.

Medha and Jags, if you are reading this post, a note I want to share. Our lives are a network of weak threads. Weak threads of emotions, relationships and decisive moments that feel significant then. These webs of life could be effaced with ease. They are delicate and precious. Look at this as a shot to create one anew. Depart from the usual and try a new thought, an action or a connection.

Ride and duck with this earned mettle.