I have three memorable dives in my life even though I had many during my Lakshadweep life. Obviously, the very first one is the most memorable and the next was adventurous where I have to dive over the 30m, during the advanced dive course. Besides from these experiences, my third dive persist my thoughts because it was on a rainy day and my diving partner was a pretty girl.
I had that best experience in life around three years back on a shiny rainy day of April. I was a Research Fellow in CMLRE Field Research Station at Agatti island in Lakshadweep. She visited my office while she was doing her Ph.D. at Indian Institute of Sciences on “Fish foraging behavior” She made a proposal for me to dive with her. I was thrilled because whatever the event be if it is related to water or ocean I love to get engaged in it. From the deep blue color of water and corals I heard the voice of a girl “Dude if you are willing, let’s go for a dive tomorrow itself” which woke me up from a beautiful dream. Then only I realized that I am on earth and I said, “yes, of course”.
We packed our gears; she had already hired a boat for the diving. Total two diving sites, 14-18m depth, on 45 mins-1 hour interval, that was the plan. We started our voyage to the paradise of beauty. I have been seated on the side of our boat, while I was talking to the boat crew.Suddenly I noticed, she was driving the boat. I was so excited as she was beyond my thoughts. From my expression real driver told me, “Don’t worry Sibi, it is gonna be fine, the boat is in safe hands”. She was smiling while scrutinizing the GPS.When we reached the first mission site boat engine turned off, silence pampered the ocean waves. I started to unpack the gear with all my eagerness, then I heard the splashing sound of water along with water droplets on my hand.I turned back, yes it was her whirling in the water like a fish born and brought up in water.
The driver unwrapped his experience with her that, it’s usual since she can’t resist herself on diving spots. She can’t wait to stay in the boat, I appreciated that she just loved the water more than herself. When I was ready for the dive, she told me that “I don’t know, whether we make a second dive, its ok, let’s go for this one“. Because apparently, some light current was there. Right, we both got ready and descend into the Laccadives coral paradise. Yes, the current therein was deep too. She queried, are you ok? I signaled, “yes I am”. She carried an OHP sheet folded in her left hand, attaches to a PVC pipe. While sighted the group of fishes she just swims towards them and followed with a keen observation, how did they swim and feed? Actually, I was interestingly observing her because she seemed to be a marine creature. While diving she behaved as if she is at home because that much was her attention on diving.
She was a well-experienced diver, completed more than 200 hours diving in her life. After 30-40 mins, she just looked up, and gestured me to look up, when I followed her signals, my mind became blissful because it was raining. I was really happy to observe from underwater those raindrops kissing the water surface. We were able to count each and every raindrop. I didn’t expect this; I was totally thrilled with that fabulous view and the currents were getting stronger and stronger. She gestured that, “We can stop the dive, let’s ascend”. I agreed.
When we reached the surface, oh my God, it is hard to explain the intensity of rain along with huge waves. While feeling the beauty of nature my aesthetic sense stimulated and I was like in heaven. But the happiness was suddenly blasted with shocking news from her mouth that she couldn’t find the boat, and then only I realized, yes our boat was missing. We searched around. While thinking about the next plan, again she shocked me by saying “ don’t worry, we can swim towards the shore, someone will definitely see us”. I replied, “Yes, maybe”. After a 10mins swim, we found our boat was coming towards us, we waved our hands like the character Rose did in the movie Titanic. Our attempt succeeded and yes they noticed us.
When we got into the boat they said that anchor has got broken in the rain and boat was floating on the sea. The beauty of rain was putting down because it was getting stronger and stronger. While traveling on the boat, water was splashing to my face hard, she asked me “how is the rain Sibi?” I didn’t utter a single word, I simply smiled, sometimes words can’t explain the feelings that we really felt. It was really a nice experience in my life; as she stunned me with her diving experiences and boldness. Nature surprised me with lovely rain. However, I really enjoyed the occasion because she and nature were beyond my thoughts.