“I am on my surfboard, maybe a few hundred metres from the shore. While waiting for the next ‘right’ wave I am going to attempt, I am admiring the view around me; a vantage just not possible from the beach. Every so often, the beach seems lower than me, it feels like I am on a hillock of water; and it’s just endless ocean everywhere and I have become one with it. Waves coming at me are as tall as 10-12 feet; and have an obvious commanding majesty. To be clear, I am no daredevil; and the odd big wave does scare me, but that’s what also inspires peak performance across all my faculties. I have been “wiped out” too many times to count. Those few seconds of the wave tumbling and crushing after a fall lay bare my helplessness, they are so humbling. But the thrill, joy and satisfaction of catching a wave and surfing it all the way back to the shore is unparalleled freedom. It’s precisely that rare moment when I feel alive. Why would anyone come to this beach and not surf? It’s like a toddler in a toy-room not wanting to play; it’s just beyond my understanding. What’s the point of life if not pursuit of such thrills?! My loser friend is sun-bathing on the beach, he did not want to surf. Good for me, he can take my pictures.”

“My friend is surfing.  Why, I just can’t understand. I tried it a couple of times, and that was it for me. I didn’t quit soon enough. I got wiped out a few times, and they were moments that felt death-like; no control, no power. Why even venture into a realm of vulnerability? Just getting to the point where the waves break and to afford a slight chance of ‘fun’ involves non-stop paddling and hard-work. And it’s not like every attempt to catch a break is successful, I had a success rate of 20% during lessons on smaller waves. Over the whole day my friend will be lucky if he manages to properly catch three or four waves. The amount of hard-work involved in hope for a few fleeting moments of so-called thrill and satisfaction is simply not justifiable. Not to mention the rashes, bruises and risk of serious injuries. It’s a no-brainer lying on the beach, feeling the breeze, appreciating the ocean’s vastness, sipping coconut water, taking some pictures, but mostly enjoying doing nothing. If I need some more action, I can play the surfing game on PS4.”

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Dinesh Om

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