"He lives the poetry that he cannot write"
~ Oscar Wilde

SCUBA Diving
Jottings of an Instructor

Adarsh Vansay is a 2-star instructor, who lives in the island of Kadmat, throughout the diving season.

As is most urbanites' dream of wanting to work in a big city, working in Bombay, India's "Big Apple" just happened to me. Genesis Film Productions was my stop. Not knowing whether I was cut out to be a film maker, or would make it anywhere in the field, just went on from ad film to ad film liking it right through - the hectic activity, odd hours, sleepless nights, dust, dirt, oily food, fizzy drinks, occasional parties but never really gelling into slick, city life. There was something amiss - my own time, own space - life as I wanted to lead it. Quiet, yet busy and satisfying.

During my time in Genesis I always used to hear the name "Kadmat" being dropped among peers as though it were just a place in the suburbs of Bombay but then came to know it was off the mainland and that Prahlad Kakar - our so called boss was into "scuba diving". Didn't have the faintest idea what it was or, what it entailed.

Scuba Diving
Diving Experience
Discovering Diving
Ocean of Joy

Islands of Adventure
Islands in the Sun

Adventure activities
Rock climbing
Scuba Diving

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.

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Editor: Romola Butalia       (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.