Updated: May 21
Thalassophile – It is a new word that shows up on Instagram posts these days.
It is a newly coined term based on ‘thalaso’ – the sea. Thalassophile refers to a person who is fond of the sea, the ocean, and any other body of water.
A Thalassophile is what Meghana decided she was going to label herself. She had always been fond of the water as far as she could remember. She had grown up in Mangalore, a city next to the sea. Some of her fondest memories in life were next to the water. Eating cotton candy while walking barefoot on the wet sand and feeling the waves crash against her ankles while her mother and father played chess in the background was one she had told her children about a hundred times over.
Her 14-year-old daughter, Rhea could recite an account of the picnics as if she had been there herself, thirty years ago.
Her younger brother had referred to her as a ‘mermaid’ after he had come across Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” at a Paris bookstore in the 90s on their trip to Europe. It had seemed right, and Meghana had wished that technology would create a way for it to become a reality. She hoped and dreamed for a way to breathe under the water but alas, the dream never came true.
But how was one to be a Thalassophile in a city without even an actual lake, much less the sea or the ocean?
Meghana had moved to Delhi with her husband Rahul and their daughter. The reason for the move was a new business opportunity for Rahul, whose company designed metro interiors. The new pink line of the Delhi metro had been designed by a team personally headed by her husband. Every time she saw someone marvelling at a coloured seat or the digital displays inside the train, she felt a spark of joy and pride.
“We could’ve taken an Uber”. Rhea said, jokingly.
“Shh, ungrateful child, we should support your father’s work.” Meghana said.
“Doesn’t dad earn well so his darling daughter doesn’t have to stand for hours while travelling from one end of the city to another?” Rhea replied.
Meghana laughed and said, “Your dad and I can never earn well enough to support the lifestyle you want, our darling prodigal daughter.”
Rhea laughed as well and said, “How lucky for you that I love you anyway.”
The two were travelling to Chhatarpur, a part of Delhi famous for its lush green farmhouses and relatively cleaner air. Apparently, someone had invited Rahul for a party at a farmhouse there and he had decided to come later after finishing up some work. So, Meghana and Rhea were travelling to the farmhouse on their own.
When the two arrived at the address they were greeted by the guard who took their names and graciously welcomed them.
Meghana walked inside and beheld the most beautiful sight she had encountered since setting foot in Delhi. Next to the magnificent white house was the biggest swimming pool Meghana had ever seen. It was tiled with beautiful navy and aqua blue tiles, giving the water the touch of a golden kiss on the surface. It looked refreshing and inviting and Meghana walked right into the water as if in a trance.
Rhea shouted, “I think she likes it!”
Rahul, who had been standing at the other end of the pool all this while, walked up to his wife with a bottle of beer and said, “What do you think?”
Meghana looked around and noticed several of her friends sitting with their feet in the pool. Holding the chilled bottle she said, “This pool - and my favourite beer. I don’t understand, it isn’t even my birthday.”
Rahul laughed and said, “We are celebrating a new project our company just received and our purchase of this farmhouse.”
Rhea came and sat down next to her father. She said, “Wait, we can afford a farmhouse?”
Rahul chuckled and said, “No darling, we are very poor.” He stopped and winked at his wife. “But your mother must always have a swimming pool because you can’t keep a mermaid out of water for long.”
He turned to look at his wife and saw the biggest smile on Meghana’s face. She said, “I don’t care if we go bankrupt because I love it, I love this place so much!”
“Ha-ha! Don’t worry, we are fine. How do you like my incredible summer pool party though?” Rahul asked.
All of their friends around them raised their glasses and hooted.
Rhea reached for her father’s Outer Woods Bottle Cooler Bag and asked, “Can I have a beer?”
Rahul said, “Absolutely not, but there is some Tropicana Juice for you in the Navy-Blue Outer Woods Bag over there darling daughter.”
“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” – Lao Tzu
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