One of the reasons to head to Mauritius was in fact my love for diving deep and seeing the sea in all it’s natural beauty up close and dangerous. I had caught some action at the Andamans – but somehow the water and the natural beauty seemed a bit lacking. Kaviraj meanwhile had found a scuba diving club called Scuba Doo near the Troux Aux Biches in the North of Mauritius for me to dive. We negotiated a rate of 50 US dollars per dive with each dive lasting 40 minutes. This is a standard rate around the world for holiday divers I had noted. I’d paid the same at the Maldives and in the Andamans also. I flashed my PADI certification card at the instructor and filled up the necessary forms when we arrived at the dive club office in the morning. The dive club was a good two hours drive from the Hotel Coco Villa. Scuba for the uninitiated – is an acronym for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus – the whole point being you can dive deeper and have more freedom so to speak to navigate, explore and truly take it in.
Their was a couple from South Korea who had come to dive with me and I could not resist and broke into conversation with them around the Buddhist faith “ Do you know Buddha was a rich prince in India , his father made sure that he stayed in the comfort of his palace all his life . One day Buddha out of curiosity left his palace to see the world outside .He saw a dying man , a sick man and a weeping widow . That was the time he renounced his riches and his kingdom to find how he could put an end to world misery and bring joy to people .”
The couple were listening to me eyes wide open, maybe it was my story, or perhaps it was the way I said it! ” Then he sat under the tree in Bodh Gaya and became enlightened . I have seen the tree and have also meditated under it .You can see it’s pictures on my blog .” I announced and passed them the URL of my blog (like where you are now!) to the Korean couple on a piece of paper forgetting to mention the fun I had in Korea – but I am sure they will notice if they do actually visit my blog.
The owner of the Dive Club a South African Gentlemen by the name of Mr. Louis very enthusiastically took my photo when i had put on my Scuba Diving gear.
His lovely wife offered me a glass of coke and then we were off to the beach to hop on the Scuba Doo Boat, which took us to the coral reeves, our diving spot.
I was greeted by three young local Mauritians who would be my dive buddies and instructors not that I needed instructions.
I pride myself as a good diver with enough experience to back my claim. “ Hi i am Pawan .” a strapping Mauritian lad greeted me .” Oh you mean Pawan Putra Hanuman .” I replied. ”Yes I can fly like Hanuman and bet I can dive like him too.” he laughed. Ah well with Hanuman as my dive buddy I guess I haven’t a lot to fear now do I ?!!
I put on my weight belt and my oxygen cylinder was strapped to my back. I checked the pressure gauge and the regulator to see the free flow of oxygen and on 1,2,3…. I was in the water. Pawan took me down till we reached depths of about 12 meters or so and then the dance of nature began.
Colours all bright and vivid as one fish and another whizzed passed me like meteors from the sky . After a while I became calm and just floated around seeing the fishes and ranching with them as if I was them. Pawan took my pictures and the suddenly took out a piece of bread and gave it to me.
At first I could not figure out what his intent was but then suddenly fishes and other seas life from all around started surrounding me to eat the bread fragments and I was swamped by them and they were all around. A surreal feeling and Pawan started filming a video of me. This is the first time I’d ever fed the fishes underwater and I was sure it was a breathtaking experience. I did my two dives and we strolled back to the dive club singing and dancing with joy, high on a life experience that needs to be felt! Mr. Louis, professional as ever and since he had done this for as long as he could remember gave me the photos and videos of me frolicking with Neptune on a pen drive which I promptly uploaded on to my social media pages!!
By the time Kavi Raj drove me back it was late in the evening and I felt hungry and exhausted but was deeply satisfied with my diving expedition and can’t wait to go back to do it again!