It was a small hesitant step from the boat into the water. As I put my other foot into the water, I was struck with some hard-hitting facts – that I had not learnt swimming till date, that I will now have to forget that I have a nose and breathe through my mouth into the respiratory instrument I was carrying and that the waters that I have stepped into encompass the islands of Lakshadweep (about 350 kms from the Indian mainland) to eventually merge with the vast Indian ocean.
But that one small step introduced me to an unknown world. There was some sort of calmness there, probably because humans cannot talk or blow horns inside water? But I was already in love with the peace out there. The colourful electric orange coloured fish were swimming like they were in no rush to reach wherever they were going. I wanted to stop and ask them, where are you going? Even this big wise turtle that was wading through the waters did not stop to look at me, the intruder. There were corals all around and this particular one looked like a human brain. Then I saw this sea cucumber almost at my arm’s distance, I wanted to touch one and feel it but realised it was not as near as it appeared to be.
This is how it is when you are inside, it is a different landscape, a different terrain and a different world altogether. The underwater world has its own hillocks, pathways and probably the channels of communication are different.
The feeling of being underwater and being a witness to all this cannot be compared to anything else. A experience of Lakshadweep scuba diving is one top most “alive is awesome” feeling. You just need to be careful about a few things like controlling your breathing underwater, getting used to the sensation, understanding when your body says NO, remembering to not touch anything and communicating using symbols.