August 1995 and we were trudged off on various chores to get started the supposed scuba diving training school at Kadmat. Went along blindly doing what was assigned for God alone knew what school. Come September and we found ourselves on a train bound to Cochin with 17 cases of cargo - all for the school. Add to it 10 bicycles and we were on our way to Kadmat, most of us on our first ship voysage.
Meandering through a buoyed channel of mediocre - hued water belonging undisputedly to the mainland, to the marvels of the well-marked deep blue and some of us realised we were really at sea as far as our systems were concerned. Nothing wanting to stay inside but still wanting to fill our bellies. The only respite was the fading Cochin skyline in the distance and a beautiful, placid, orange sun on its course to light up the other hemisphere.
With the moon deciding not to show up, the soul reaches out far away from the "self" trying to validate its evolution and equating its existence in the vast blackness dotted with possible life systems light years away.
As the sun rises, rejuvenated through the night, the first sight of land seems like an oasis, a hue of blue-green over the vast expanse of the azure around the immediate body of steel. The approach reveals the underlying secret - crystal clear water showing off bright colours 15 metres below sea level. After the night's journey past the ionosphere, you long to delve into the depths of what you didn't know was here along for 20 years of your life. But not a chance. The longing only increases hoping one day you would - just for curiosity sake.
Kadmat, the next day appeared to stretch from end to end on the horizon, cordoned off by a ribbon of blue paler than the turquoise of the fringing deep that I was told was the lagoon. Journey to the school was on a single lane : road winding, avoiding coconut palms, illuminated only by the light of the vehicle - a never-ending, head-spinning journey to nowhere. After getting a hold on yourself and a couple of hours of sorting out the cases of cargo, the compressor had started rattling, filling air into tanks to dive with. Sleep was blissful and instantaneous on cold granular sand with sounds of waves at arm's length away. It was my first dreamless night attributed to the very basic necessity of that moment - a good night's sleep after a hard day's work. Nothing to worry about the next day - it was going to be a new morning with lots of new things to see and experience and learn.