”You see sir we are the Kandurassefanu, the kings of the sea. We are the greatest divers in Maldives and now you are now going to be part of this elite club," said Dost my diving instructor. It was my first attempt at scuba diving. I loved every bit of it.
Having reached Maldives the previous day, I fell in instant love with the coconut palms thriving on more than a thousand islands that comprise the nation. Grouped into 26 low atolls in the Indian Ocean, less than 300 of the islands are inhabited. The Maldives is flat with white sandy beaches and excellent reefs with an abundance of marine life. Scuba diving is one of the major activities and is done at a leisurely pace.
The scuba guys had come to pick me up in the morning from my hotel. We took an old trawler deep into the sea in the reef areas. I wore my scuba gear as Dost, meaning ‘friend,’ in Hindi, barked instructions at me.
I jumped into the sea with my fins on and started breathing through the regulator. I began to sink into the cool blue waters and the bubbles from my mask rose upwards.
The feeling was like it must be for astronauts walking on the moon with zero gravity. My limbs became light as I sank deeper and deeper, almost to 25 metres below. The dance of nature started to take shape. Multicolored fish, the ray fish, the black frog fish, a giant sea turtle, all whizzed past me in a play of light and shadows. The dark green seaweeds danced amidst the swirl of the currents.
I stared chasing the turtle and was successful in touching it. I wanted to sit on it and go for a ride. But the reefs were thick and I lost the turtle. To be so close to nature, however, was a rare treat. How effortlessly nature moves and how infinite its scale! One infinite exists up in the universe the other exists below the sea in the abyss. This saltwater slammed up along the walls, stirring the sponges and soft corals clinging to the rock sides. Inside the lagoons the rock pinnacles vaulted up from the bottom to scratch the water’s surface. Nature at its best
Time slowed down as I sat on a rock absorbing the surreal life all around me. All this while Dost was taking pictures and recording the video for my blog. At 50 dollars a dive it was worth it, the vision of beauty and peace. Slowly Dost shook me out of my tranquility, held my hand and took me upwards to the surface. "You see many people go to the spa for meditation trying to lose themselves. I dive to lose myself this is my meditation," reflected Dost.
I agreed. I had forgotten all my worries during the dive. I had enjoyed the richness of nature. How strange it is that the more we take from it the more it gives us. If it can go on endlessly so could I. It is amazing, wondrous and boundless.