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Scuba diving is a wonderful sport for us to explore – here’s my story of how it completely enlarged my world and gave me a different perspective.
I always loved being in water; unfortunately, when I was a kid growing up in UP, swimming pools were rare and our rivers are too polluted to explore for a casual swim. Having said that, there was always a desire to swim in open water and explore the sea and marine life. So, as soon as I started working and had saved enough money, I explored my much awaited dream of scuba diving.
The first time I tried diving was at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, during a Discover Scuba Diving session or DSD as they call it. Mainly designed for tourists, a DSD program is the first orientation towards scuba diving. There is no need to be a swimmer for the same, although it is always helpful if you are one.
Post exploring the blue waters and rich corals of the Great Barrier Reef which is the largest reef in the world, I got addicted to the sport. I got myself certified as an Open Water Diver from PADI at Temple Adventures in Pondicherry. With in a few months I logged in 15 dives in 3 months, and learnt many underwater skills. That was just the beginning; from then on, we made sure that every vacation we took had a couple of days of diving included in it. The beautiful marine life in different parts of the world kept drawing me to it; eventually, however there were many other things that I became conscious of in this process.
Love for Nature: We all love greenery, clean air, clean water and good weather, but our modern lifestyles are in a way responsible for the damage of nature as well in making us unaware of the beautiful and fragile world outside our homes and malls. On many dives we found polythene, sachets, and bottles even 30 meters deep in the sea. Research says that if we do not become cautious, by 2050 there could be more plastic in the sea than fishes. Many times we saw turtles trapped in fishing nets and unable to come up to the surface to breathe. Experienced divers in our group tried rescuing them with some success at times. There are many volunteering groups and NGOs who try to work on conserving the marine life; however it needs to become a larger movement.
Sense of accomplishment: Learning a new skill is very humbling, as we become better at things which we have been doing over a period of time. Going 30m deep in the sea requires controlling and balancing many things, which comes with discipline and practice; the good thing is that certified instructors are very patient and helpful as this is a new sport in India. With every dive, I got better and that served as an encouragement.
Traveling alone: As a working couple , it is difficult for us to travel together all the time, so I ensure that whenever I travel alone for work, if there is a nearby destination where I can dive, I do try that. Traveling alone gives me a lot of perspective which is different from mine and helps me meet new people .
Inspiration for my 6 year old boy: My son loves super heroes. He thinks men are more adventurous than women, since there are very few women super heroes – Gamora, Wonder Woman, Black Widow to name a few, but when he sees me diving or going for diving trips alone, he feels proud enough to boast about it to his friends.
World is a different place now: Three-fourths of the world being covered with water, scuba diving is an opportunity to explore new places and see the same world differently. The beautiful turtles, manta rays, tiger sharks, lion fish, angel fish, groupers and abundant sea life makes you wonder what a beautiful place this earth is and how gifted we are.
We need to keep this world beautiful for the coming generations. That can be our biggest gift to them.
Image via Pexels
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Radhika Shukla is Regional Business Development Director for News Republic at Cheetah Mobile. She is
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