The bubbles burst and dispersed as I slowly dived in. The sound was fuller but muffled and gradually it dribbled down to a dullness my ears couldn’t quite catch. The outside world, the world I belong to, was blocked shut, and the world I was descending into had its own set of rules which a visitor like me was expected to adhere to. After hand-signalling a nervous OK to the diving instructor, I plunged deeper into the sea, farther into the semi-opaque waters which seemed a few shades lighter than unpolished jade. Here the daylight is allowed to infiltrate but only with an intensity which had been agreed upon by the sea and the sun all those years ago when the earth was created. It’s amazing how they still respect an agreement which had been forged billions of years ago.
Plummeting deeper, closer to the sea-bed, the temperature dropped. Through the neoprene suit, I felt the chill slowly penetrating my skin. However, the underwater world held a plethora of distractions that ensnared me and shielded any kind of thoughts that would remind me of my physical discomfort. Honestly, the cold temperature felt kind of good. It was a delightful relief from the searing heat outside. Besides, there were vibrant sea dwellers, oblivious to my presence, quietly going about their routine around me. I swam alongside strips of coral belts - both hard and soft, colourful schools of fish, and gaily sea turtles. The marine world, which enclosed me from all directions, left me in awe and wonder. For the first time in my life, I was experiencing a kind of beauty which didn’t overwhelm me with its perfection; neither did it expect me to display my excitement through loud or visible acts of exuberance. This world was calm and undemanding. And for once, I felt at peace too. All my fears, uncertainties and hesitation before going for the dive somehow had died down as I began to pave my path beneath the surface of the water.
When it was time for me to resurface, some wavelets with thick foamy mouths followed me back to the shore. They angrily lapped at my feet as I stepped out on to the sand. After regurgitating a heap of rubbish, they looked at me reproachfully, as if silently chastising me, “Keep your waste to yourself. Don’t bring your dirty world into ours.” I stared down at the maze of candy wrappers, bags of potato wafers, and plastic bottles with metal caps, on the sand as the waves swiftly recede to the sea. And just like that, I was back to my world.
The creepy weirdo (in the pic) is me