Our Divemaster trainee narrates her love story with the ocean
My diving journey started on a lark for me, three years ago. I used to be a graphic designer in Delhi, working idiotic hours but loving it. The little money I could save was instantly spent on traveling and the one place that had always been on the periphery of my mind was the Andamans. I was drawn to the romanticism of this Island, its history under British rule and the fact that it was so close to the mainland and yet so far. These factors instigated me to buy a return ticket, six months in advance for a solo trip to the Andamans.
An old school friend changed not only the course of my trip but also my life (however corny that sounds) when he wheedled me into doing the Open Water course. And just like that, from the first breath underwater I was hooked. I could think of nothing but diving for the next whole year. I’d save and dive and save and dive some more.
Each trip was a new course and then a couple of trips fun diving. I came to do my Advanced Open Water course to Havelock and finally had the pleasure of meeting Jurgen and Mandira, the creators of Scubalov, whose big hearts and energy gave me a way to do my Rescue and Divemaster courses.
I returned in a few months to start my Rescue course which was definitely the hardest one – there’s no mercy. You’ve mock saved the victim a few hundred times in the three days of the course so much that by the end of it your victim is just bored and you’re tearing your hair out in exasperation! You know that you’re being taught by the crème so there won’t be any short cuts for you. You come out of the course exhausted but exhilarated. You realize you had to work hard to get each step right because at the end of the day, someone’s life is going to be in your hands.
Then came the Divemaster course. I am utterly blessed to have had a plethora of teachers who have spent a great deal of time and patience teaching me everything they know. I have been lucky to work with amazing instructors from Scubalov; Nigel, Jurgen, Prashant, Raoul, Wini, Karishma, Donald, Danny who have each given me knowledge of the underwater in their own special way with their different strengths and teaching methods. I still have some skills and theory left to finish my DM and I spend my time improving on them.
Being in the water comes naturally to me. I’ve been swimming since I was three and swimming competitively since I was 10, but I realized diving is a different ballgame. My instructor Nigel once asked me why I loved it so much and this was my response on text:
“The non gravity, the blue, the deep, breathing, the little surprises at every turn, the bubbles, the stillness, the silence, the exhaustion, once you’re in- the amnesia, once you’re out the hunger, once you’re out the boat ride back to shore, the breakfast with rice and fish, the necessity to be calm, the non stress, the non doubt, the freeness, i felt it needless to add the aquatic life”
Another instructor once asked me why I wanted to go pro. Isn’t it enough to go around the world fun diving? I realized that because I loved it so much I wanted to spread that love for the water. I want to introduce people to the ocean and help them get rid of any fear they might have. Most of all, I want them to know what it is like to feel free in this wonderful blue dimension and take into account the responsibility we all have towards protecting it.