Dive, action and safety

The Oceanscape, a motivational book by adventure swimmer S P Muraleedharan, is a simple instruction manual meant for children and first timers

Published: 11th April 2017 10:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th April 2017 05:22 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI: As he swam the 19 nautical miles in a tempestuous sea crossing Palk Strait, S P Muraleedhran was thinking about a small boy.

During his childhood he used to dash out of the village pond, all exhausted and out of breath, none of his stints were successful. But fate took him to an upscale spa in Mumbai, his job, scooping moss and debris from their swimming pool. 

The pool cleaner was left with no other option, but to overcome the fear factor and take the plunge. He had his first scientific swimming lessons there, his initial steps in acing the sport. “At Mumbai I realised our teaching method was faulty.

There is a particular breathing pattern for swimmers exhaling through nose, but we ask the kids to hold their breath underwater,” says the noted adventure swimmer.

 Prompted by the lack of swimming literacy in Kerala, he authored The Oceanscape, a simple instruction manual meant for children and first timers. “I learned proper swimming at 24 and soon I was a coach and adventure swimmer.

I was inspired by Anand, another trainer and now I want to motivate others. Jalarashi, the original in Malayalam was translated to English, so that it reaches maximum readers,” he says about the book released last month.   

He hopes his book will pique the interest of the public, slowly and steadily generating an awareness. “A lot of children and youngsters drown to death every year.

The numbers are staggering and they keep going up. Swimming is an essential life skill, especially in a place like Kerala full of water bodies. It’s also the best exercise which offers a range of health benefits,” he says. 

 Oceanscape features the base rules, techniques and tricks of swimming along with instructions to keep afloat even if you are a non-swimmer.

“Most people think swimming is a difficult task and some others are scared of water. The book inspires them to take up swimming step by step so that there is no unnecessary pressure. The method of sculling is explained clearly through a string of visual representations,” he adds.

There is another section dedicated to various strokes in swimming and how to manoeuvre using each movement. “It explains everything from how to enter the pool to how to breathe underwater. You will also find chapters on how to take proper safety measures and precautions.”]

 It’s also a motivational book giving  glimpses of the author’s life and achievements. “I hope it helps the young readers overcome their inhibitions and start learning. 

I know there are lot of kids with genuine interest in swimming, but unfortunately there is no one to guide them properly.” Muraleedharan says lack of infrastructure is an important aspect that makes it difficult for swimming aspirants.“Now most of our pools are filthy and muddied.

In cities not all can afford the fees at star hotels and elite clubs that offer coaching. This situation must change,” he adds.


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