The Beginning of Water- Chapter III

His name was Golmak and he was named after two words- Gol (round) in the Hindi language as his mother was an Indian and there were very few Hindi words his father picked up from her and one was the word Gol meaning round and he combines it with another word, Mak in English. Mak was Golmak’s deceased uncle’s pet name, someone his father never forgot.

Soon after he was born, his father Robin realized that the world was serving him no good. So, one fine day he eloped with his ship alone when Golmak was just three.

His mother was a brave woman and raised him single-handedly only with occasional support from her sister and brother. All of them lived on a small fishing island called Minicoy where the water would rise and fall like the tides during the day and night. But when he was celebrating his twelfth birthday with a few friends by the sea with a pot full of cooked fish, he spotted his father’s ship returning towards the harbor. He had seen photos of the ship in his father’s study that had more books than the whole of Lakshadweep perhaps.

Reading the right books from his father’s library made him a failure in real life.

With no interest in sports, he tried hard to cope with his classes and his life turned out such that he would fail in one subject every term.

Sometimes he sat by the sea crying loud at his bad luck. But the sea seemed to be the one laughing at his tears. The sea spoke and blabbered and Golmak never understood it.

Sometimes, the see would touch his feet, or his cheeks and whisper in his ears but Golmak had not learned to hear the waters yet.

When he went home, he learned that his father had come to take his son with him to the Sea. His mother begged to accompany Golmak and only when Golmak stood by his mother did his father admit her journey.

Since then, Golmak has rarely been off the waters as he became a marine having failed to enter any of the defense wings of the country.

By the time he was 18, he had realized that failure was his only stable best friend. If he ever did not fall from the rocks on which he sat to catch schools of fish passing by, he knew something terribly wrong would follow in the remaining part of the day, such was his trust in failure now.

“Good, you never went to school that way,” his father patted his back one fine day when the Sun was bright and the wind was saltier than other days.

Golmak looked up to his father hoping to know why it was good for him.

“You see we catch schools of fish and people turn bright boys like you into idiots in man-made schools. Both processes have a strange similarity. Isn’t it?” His father guffawed down the rocks as Golmak stared blankly, not quite sure of what he heard.

He never could convince a girl as all he saw in them were flaws and none was close to his mother’s perfection ever. He had no interest in any human in any way and instead, he was more into understanding what he needed from a relationship.

It so happened that while meandering through the seas and oceans with his troop, he landed on many lands but nowhere did he find that soul or heart he wished to make his own.

Until the age of fifty, he tried but his hopelessness gave way to nothing.

As a marine, he did well but with very little scope of failure, he had a hard time training himself to lead such a life. On holidays when he came home to a frail mother and a tottering father, he was managing and repairing his ship or was in the waters again. His father had set up a good business and they trade everything from one land and sold or carried it to another land for a fee. Mostly acting as a cargo ship, there were only two instances when his father smuggled innocent lives out of places and put them in different lands. Those men remained loyal to him and their tribes promised his father generations of support.

But now that Golmak was forty five, his father had little hope of having another generation. Despite constant coaxing from his father, Golmak could never become the man, women meet everyday on the streets. No woman ever found his beauty and now he wished to remain single as that suited him- a queer, most termed him as in his ship.

But he was a man who could not be fairly defined under the umbrella term, he somehow felt within himself. However, he kept it to himself letting the world think what they wanted as it was nothing that bothered him in any way.

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