May 01

Being Grateful | Scuba Diving

I love diving and am always on the lookout for the best dive sites around the world. My last dive (pictured above right) was done in June 2010 during a clean up campaign. Almost 2 years since, I hadn’t gone diving!!! Needless to say, my craving had reached to levels that I cannot explain. What did I decide? Night Dive!!! This was the best way I thought I could flush the 2 year long craving off my system!

When I mentioned this to a friend of mine, the response I got was “You want to jump off a plane at night?” So, let me be explicit this time around – I am referring to scuba diving at night :) Scuba diving is a form of underwater diving in which a diver uses breathing equipment to help him/her breathe underwater. I finally did the night dive couple of weekends ago and how was my experience? I have no words, all I can say is that I’d gone into a quiet mode pondering over life.

Enroute to the night dive spot, I had puked couple of times due to rough seas and was in two minds whether I should abort my dive or continue. A fellow diver mentioned that the puke was probably because of the sweets that I had prior to the journey. Never in my history of so many dives have I puked before. I eventually felt better and chose to continue with the dive! My dive buddy (Iman Khalid) & I did the necessary checks and off we were on the water. We had torches on us to assist us underwater. We began our descent and needless to say it was DARK. PITCH DARK!!!!!!!!!  I mean it – If there was a word to describe a darker version of pitch dark – I would use it. The torches that we had weren’t very bright either. Picture this – you are in a DARK SPACE with ZERO GRAVITY, you have no idea whether you are heading in your planned intended direction of north, south, etc… We were hoping not to hit ourselves against anything or anyone or at least not running into a shark! To make matters more magical, we spotted a school of fish swim past us. Thanks to the torch, we sometimes saw its striking eye, or its fin, etc… The torch was indeed our lifeline. My first thought when I saw the fish swimming – how can they see in this darkness?

Let me briefly mention about my first dive experience: It was back in December 2003. I booked myself for an all day cruise in Cairns, Australia. They took us to the Great Barrier Reef. For those who don’t know, this place boasts of one of the best dive sites in the world. Back then, I didn’t know this and wasn’t into adventurous activities. I had no intention of scuba diving and didn’t know that the cruise even had diving equipment onboard. I simply wanted to enjoy the cruise, scenic beauty and perhaps swim. The crew onboard projected some photographs, videos, and started their sales pitch on scuba diving. I was fascinated by people wearing fancy dive gear with oxygen tanks. It all looked very interesting and I decided to take the plunge! Fast forward few minutes and I was in a totally different world, seeing things that I could not have imagined. The visibility underwater was amazingly good. I still cannot describe the colours that I saw, the marine life, the types of plants, the types of fish, the types of sea creatures, each of their features were so different. This was probably the first time, I was constantly praising the Creator for his creation – may I add sincerely. So much perfection, so much variety, so many colours. If there was a social media page, it would call for a Super Mighty Infinite Like :)

Note: Excuse the panic look on my face courtesy my first dive and secondly, photos don’t do justice do what I saw there!

Fast forward to the night dive in April 2012, my buddy and I were still underwater “trying” to navigate using our compass. We came across a type of sea creature. OK – I’m going to try and explain this. We covered our torches for few seconds and had the torch focus on a given area for few seconds before covering the torch again. Magically we see a type of sea creature that glows underwater!!!! It has this fluorescent green look. It is very tiny – smaller than the ring one wears on their finger – and these were in dozens. We were moving our fingers around it and it was dodging us. Simply unbelievable! After finishing the dive and while removing our equipment, I puked again *sigh*. Surprisingly, when I was underwater I was so focused on the task on hand that I forgot that I was unwell. As with most things, it’s all psychological. We need to divert & tune our minds in believing that we are well! Difficult process but gladly, it worked this time around and didn’t puke after that.

The following day, we decided to go for a deep dive. Recreational deep dive is generally diving between 18m and 30m. This time I had seasickness tablets to avoid a repeat telecast to show people what I’ve been eating :). The dive master who was accompanying us carried couple of items alongside to show us underwater tricks. At around 27m, the dive master gathered all divers around.

Item # 1: We were asked to guess the item – answers ranged from pears, green apple, green capsicum, etc…  What was it? A striking red tomato! It is known that there are seven colours in the spectrum, including red, yellow, blue, green, etc. When we dive down into the depths of the ocean, these colours disappear one after another, and the disappearance of each colour results in more darkness. Red disappears first, then orange, then yellow the last colour to disappear is blue, at a depth of two hundred meters. Each colour that disappears adds to the darkness until it reaches total darkness.

Item # 2: The dive master then pulls another item – this time it was an egg! We weren’t asked to guess the name as its shell colour was retained at the depth we were at. Instead the dive master cracks the egg shell and shows us how the yolk stays intact. The moment we try to play with it, it turns into some sort of cotton candy!

Sample video on YouTube here:

This is probably done at shallower levels as it’s a lot prettier sight when done deeper :)

The fish navigating at night, the fluorescent glowing nameless sea creature, the colour results at depths, the egg experiment, marine life, the types of fish – their shapes, features, colours, amongst so much more. One response – All praises belong the Creator alone. He is indeed perfect in all ways! Just how a diver constantly checks his/her oxygen levels underwater and how the same diver increases this frequency when it comes to a night dive, we often forget to thank the Almighty who has blessed us with so much. He has provided us with countless blessings even without us asking. Many of us don’t necessarily contemplate, but how thankful should we be that He has provided us with air to breathe! We didn’t even ask for this blessing. We will not be able to thank for his infinite blessings bestowed upon us. To thank one breath alone would result in a never ending recursive cycle on the breath we took to thank him and so on.

I remember back in 2007 during my diving course, the instructor had closed the oxygen tank for couple of seconds so that we experience how it feels when our oxygen supply runs out. Needless to say, it was an eye opener! My eyes almost popped out and throat ran dry in a matter of milliseconds. We often neglect to thank Him for such simple & valuable blessing of the air we get to breathe.  Let us take this moment to thank the Almighty for all blessings that He has bestowed upon us despite us not asking. He is indeed the Sole provider.

Also, let us thank our family, colleagues, friends, strangers too for their kind actions. Let this not be a onetime affair. We should be grateful so let us try to build this in our lifestyle! We are indeed not perfect, but let us aim to be the best we can by such small measures. Let us leave our ego aside, it doesn’t hurt to thank the person serving your dish at the restaurant, it doesn’t hurt to thank the person filling your petrol, it doesn’t hurt to thank the person giving your change at various points of sale, it doesn’t hurt to thank someone who guards your residential or commercial building, it doesn’t hurt to thank a person who helped you with directions, it doesn’t hurt to thank someone who is ensuring orderly behavior in public spaces like malls, railway stations, bus stations, etc… This list could be endless and we will not be able to count the favors that people have directly or indirectly touched our lives.


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  1. Ashma Burathoki

    Truly awesome and inspirational :-) Thanks for sharing again:-)

  2. Moaaz Juned

    Your experience scares me and encourages me at the same time. I have just had two dives so far and just one dive was successful. I hope even I can reach your level soon and try to explore the marine life in greater detail. The glowing creature sounds amazing….Keep up the good work!!!!

  3. syed suhaib

    Noaman, thanks for sharing the experience. I’m all excited and would love to explore the water world!

  4. Neeil Bhatia

    The world down under! Awesome :)

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