Friday, October 9, 2015

my mission - Talkatora swimming complex

or Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Swimming Pool in the heart of Delhi
is the pool complex built for the 
Commonwealth Games in 2010
huge complex that can hold more than  3000 spectators
two olympic pools, one 25 pool, diving, water polo, gyms 
unfortunately the pool was for some reason closed after the games 
( sad to say that some of the stadiums after the games where closed and have stayed so ever since ! )
  year ? this complex reopened and now holds the national swimming academy 
an academy with swimmers working out towards the Olympics
kind of like  Swedish NEC,  the national elite centre in Stockholm
same same but a lot different

 I have been on a mission ever since I moved here, to get in through the huge gates that surrounds this stadium
well, really not just to get inside the gates
I have had a mission of getting into one of the pools also

it's been a long journey
with many ups and downs

major obstacle with this whole mission has been the first couple of guards that I've met 
I  have been laughed at, ignored, yelled at, etc etc
so I've given up a couple of times 
(yes I've had my driver try to speak hindi with them but they have just ignored him)

but you who know me also know that I'm quite stubborn so....
two weeks ago I set out for a new expedition 
how do I find a way around those first guards so that I can get in to the next couple of guards !!

what to do ?
I mailed the director that we actually met some time ago and got the right kind of application forms 
(3 pages of info regarding everything from me to my dead father)
after that I booked an appointment with  a doctor since I needed a Medical Fitness certificate
I also needed passport copies
passport pictures
proof of residence copies
and then I should be all set to go and apply for a membership 
so off I went
to my surprise, or not,
those first guards did not let me through even though I was standing there with all my papers
so I picked up the phone and called the director to let me in to the next set of guards who
surprise surprise said 
NO no no
and again I called the director who talked to someone and asked me to join her assistance in his room
so I did but after an hour I was told that there's no possibility to do any trials today
trials ????
yes you have to show a coach that you can swim and then it's decided if you can join the pool or not
"you will have to come back for trials tomorrow between 10-11"
and we will talk to the guards so they let you through !!

back I went today and you get one guess dear reader
do you think the first guards let me through without a hassle ?
of course not
somehow I got through and somehow I managed to get pass the next not so smiling guard 
and ended up in some kind of office 
paid my 100 rupees only fee for the trials
then I was followed by guards to the locker room
finally I was actually at the pool
and a "coach" told me to get in and swim 200 meters but told me
"Mam, if you get very tired you can stop after a 100 meters"

when I stopped one of the coaches told me that I can swim !!
to tell you the truth
I already knew that
I got to sign up for an hour a day at a specific time to come and swim
you see there's a law regarding how many swimmers there can be in one lane at the same time
namely 10 people in one lane (50m pool) !

then this mission took another turn
I was invited into the directors office and found myself in a discussion about swimming
and coaching 
tomorrow morning I'll be at the poolside to have a look at their practise
that is if the guards let me pass
but still mission accomplished

have a cozy Friday everyone
I'm filling up on chicken burgers with sweet potato wedges


  1. Dear Susanna, Thank you for sharing your exciting experience. You brought a smile to my busy life... Miss YOU

  2. I miss u 2....u seem really busy!
    R u settled in ?