This year has been a roller-coaster ride for everyone, and I wanted to ensure that I am fully rejuvenated and refreshed before I resume shooting. I wanted to get rid of the fatigue of the past few months with a mini vacation. So, the mermaid in me picked the Maldives as the perfect getaway venue.
I am a complete water baby, and I love being in the ocean. So, whenever I take off to a sun-and-sand destination, I make sure that I go snorkelling and scuba diving.
This time, I wanted to take it a notch higher, and so, I enrolled for a three-day course, instead of a one-day activity. It wasn’t pre-planned, so my travel itinerary went for a toss. I spent my sightseeing time in a classroom where they taught me theory, and I had to take exams, too.
On the first day of the course, they made me watch a five-hour video on scuba diving, post which, I had to answer a quiz; the answers were reviewed later. On the second day, my trainer, Mohammed, asked me to be present at the centre at 8 am.
After a short theory session, he took me for a dive. But before I got to dive, I was taught to set up my own equipment. He taught me to set up the oxygen tank and connect it to the jacket that one wears. I was excited to be able to put my own equipment together; it felt liberating. Then he took me into the water, and all the skills that I had seen in the videos the previous day were put to use. I learnt how to breathe properly underwater with a regulator, how to remove it, and in case you are low on air, how to go to your dive buddy and use their regulator. He also taught me the sign language that’s used to communicate underwater. We did four dives on that day.
On the third day, which was the final day, I had to crack my final exams. However, the two friends who accompanied me had planned a cruise trip.
So, I requested my trainer for some leisure time before my exams. After this short break of a few hours, I was back at the centre. I surprised my trainer, as instead of an hour, I finished my paper in 20 minutes (laughs!). This literally felt like a school. While checking my paper, my trainer had a smile on his face as I had excelled in the test. ‘Congrats, you are a diver now!’, he announced, and those words gave me a sense of achievement. My last dive was the most memorable one. It lasted for 45 minutes and we went 18 meters deep. Apart from the beautiful reef and stunning marine life, I spotted a reef shark. Reef sharks are not dangerous in any way. The marine world is so beautiful; it’s an entirely different and unique ecosystem!