Let’s go diving!
When you think of scuba diving, do you think about that revolting scene from Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara where our love-struck couple share the same mouthpiece?
Well, I am here to change that!
In November 2019, I did my first scuba dive ever in Koh Tao, Thailand and it was my best decision yet. I completed 3 scuba diving courses (Open water diver, Advanced Open water diver and a speciality course). Although some of my friends and I spent most of our time studying scuba diving theory, we soon realized it wasn’t just about knowing the theory. There was a skill to applying it. Sitting in an air-conditioned room we could easily use a compass. But at about 30 ft underwater you just forget how to. Comfort does come with time.
This discomfort went away so soon. I didn’t realize when I started getting more comfortable underwater than on the land. I am sure someday some of you will want to dive as well and you should definitely do so. There was a beauty to all of the noise underwater. It was not silent at all. That is the most common misconception about diving. And yet we successfully manage to do underwater what we can’t do outside. We drown out the noise. You will be able to hear your thoughts. Unfortunately not Farhan Akhtar’s Shayari (unless you are thinking about it).
You can’t speak, and yet there has never been more clarity in instruction. You realise that you have such little control over your own life, but still more control than you have ever had. You can experience bliss for 20-50 mins and then you’ll do it again.
Apart from corals and aquatic life which is no doubt the main attraction, there are so many fascinating things you can see.
Here is something you have never thought of! An underwater river at the bottom of the black sea. In many places you can also see underwater waterfalls, volcanoes etc.
In many places you can also see underwater waterfalls, volcanoes etc. There are deep sea thermal-vents which are formed when magma and seawater combine. This causes a large amount of black ‘smoke’ or water of temperature as high as 370 degrees C.
Shipwrecks are beautiful. I did manage to see this one. It is called Sattakut in Thailand. She was awarded 3 battle stars during her active service in the second world war.
Underwater kelp forests are certainly on the bucket list. These are just as dangerous as intriguing. Chances of getting entangled or ambushed much higher here.
Here are 3 reasons why diving is a culture!
You can communicate with anyone underwater:– A common language is created in its most simplified . Language is fundamental for understanding, interaction and respect between people.
You want to go up (thumb up), down (thumb down) etc. The first picture hand sign is ‘THINK’. It as an insult and a sure sign that you are doing something wrong. I realised that I was quite the ‘ thinker ’!
You trust your buddy with your life:- Buddy system is where everyone is assigned a partner. He is not only supposed to do all your safety checks with you, but also look out for you during the dive. This forms a lot of interpersonal experiences which is the best way to forget our prejudices and fears.
When it comes to protecting the seas, race, religion, age is forgotten:- Recently all around the world scuba divers have come together to ban shark finning, to protect corals, to reduce plastic waste and to spread information about diving.
Drew Richardson, the director and CEO of PADI says-
Diving cannot, by itself, bring about the intercultural communication and cooperation the world needs to rise against these global challenges. But, diving is absolutely a needed unifying force pushing back against a myriad of social forces that try to divide and defeat us (meaning everyone, not just divers). In my opinion, this by itself, is a reason to be a diver, and a reason to invite others into diving.
And I absolutely agree with him! Diving can be a great way to unify people, to explore the unexplored and to connect people with the nature you can’t easily see.
Quite recently I also read an article about divers who create paintings underwater. I had a million unanswered questions with regards to how that would even work! Something definitely worth trying!
To all the readers who have added scuba diving to their ‘10 things to do before I die’ list, let me make something very clear. You probably won’t cry after your first dive. It is important to know how to swim. You also probably will not get aesthetic pictures on your first dive.
But I can promise you some things. No shark will kill you. You probably won’t be able to stop smiling. You will be safe and sound if you do not try dangerous stunts. And most importantly you will desperately want food!!!!!!
Finally, here’s to us forgetting about Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’s highly inaccurate diving!
SY B.Sc Economics