A news story in The Hindu today.
A boy who swam to reach the central hall of the temple tank located near the Kapaleeswarar Temple in Mylapore here on Monday drowned midway. According to police sources, the unidentified boy aged about 13 years was seen swimming towards the central hall of the tank holding a thermocol sheet around 7 a.m. A few metres ahead of the hall, he drowned.
It is sad that it had to end this way, but the boy deserves a salute for displaying the spirit of a…boy.
When one is a 13-year old boy, there is no such thing as ‘impossible’ or ‘too dangerous’. Doing things the ‘done’ way is unthinkable. Climbing down the stairs from the third floor is not an option, when a perfectly good system of sunshades and pipes exist. Tall trees need to be climbed to untangle kites, 8-ft high walls need to be jumped over to retrieve the cricket ball, cycles have to be monkey-pedalled, swings need to be subjected to rigorous testing to establish its escape velocity, dad’s razor sets have to be tried out and experienced, puddles must be dived into and water splashed all around, bee hives must be stoned at…. This is a very basic instinct hardwired in the brains of boys and, in the days when food had to be hunted, probably helped them prepare for the hard years ahead.
So, the boy who spotted the thermocol sheet near a water body must have immediately converted it into a raft and set sail for a distant land- the central hall of the tank in this case. It was the only logical thing to do. The thermocol sheet couldn’t have existed for any other purpose.