Ever since I watched the movie Free Willy, I’ve always been in love with orcas. I dislike the term “killer whales”, as it stamps a false killer image to these beautiful sea mammals. Right from my single digit ages, I’ve always nurtured a desire to stroke an orca. Look at how God has created them, with a curvy muscular form under a sleek black and white coat.
Before I realised I had a writing pen, orcas, whales and dolphins were all that I could think of. Dreams starred myself going out into the ocean as a marine mammalogist, diving into the water, documenting my favourite creatures and basically spending a part of my life with them. My besties know how much of a nut I was about whales and dolphins in our last year of high school, and I bet they can also remember how I said I wanted to surf alongside a gigantic blue whale one time. But my main focus was orcas, and it remains to be the same. This special desire of mine has never left me, always nestled warmly in one corner of my heart. I admit large creatures scare the bejeezus out of me, which turns my dream of swimming beside any whale, let alone the blue whale, into a silly idea, but I can’t seem to let go of it. I can’t pursue a career in marine mammology now, but I can always go on a whale spotting holiday, to satiate my craving to look at whales and dolphins without a screen.
Everything to do with oceans and sea mammals always consume me subconsciously, I don’t know how or why I’m so attached to them, but it makes me happy to look at pictures of the underwater world or images of orcas and dolphins. I find my refuge within them, even if they are just a collection of pixels. Anytime I go to a beach, I stare off into the ocean hoping I can see a breaching or a lobbing of a fluke. Wishful thinking, I know, but a girl can always dream.
Fortunately, my desire to see a dolphin at least gave me justice once two years ago.
I was taking an early morning walk at the beach in Pondicherry with my mother and cousins, when we spotted a series of dorsal fins slicing through the water, just thirty feet away from the shore rocks. I first thought they were sharks and became shocked at what they were doing there, when the next second, I looked closely and noticed the unmistakable curve of the fins and backs, a style only dolphins adopted. My jaw dropped at the fact I was actually seeing dolphins, in the ocean. I wished they were jumping, but this was a blessed sight too. We jogged to keep up with them and they remained in our sights for quite a while before we had to stop and wave goodbye.
My affinity for oceans and marine mammals ended up having a little influence in my fantasy series. I hope I can see orcas without a screen one day too.