Space is out of bounds. The hills are too jaded. The beaches are done to death. Just when cynicism nags at you while you mull in hopelessness at the lack of escapes, there's a spurt of hope. One can always go underwater. Handing out this refreshing respite to Bangaloreans is a modest office tucked away in Indiranagar that calls itself 'Planet Scuba India (PSI)' with the reputation of being the first inland Scuba diving training institute in the country.
Testifying after his first underwater experience in the sea, Zeeshan Rahman, an ardent 21-year-old explains, "Initially it feels a little strange, but soon you get used to it and it's wonderful."
For the young student of economics, the journey to the sea began with a cursor. Busy with an online research on the Scuba diving industry, he wandered to an online link of PSI. He reveals that he was quite surprised that one could learn Scuba diving right here in our landlocked city. He soon signed up for a dive trip to Netrani Island. But you can't just wear Scuba gear and dive right in to the sea if you're not certified (and you don't want to!). So he gives a quick recap of how it works, "After I signed up for the trip, we had classes in Bangalore for two days. We are required to read a PADI course book and answer tests. Two dives in a swimming pool in the city were also part of the training." Now seven dives old, Rahman says he has included becoming a Scuba diving instructor as one of his career options.
Among the 40 more divers who joined him on PSI's dive trip to Netrani Island off Murudeshwar, was 10-year-old P Shravan Kumar's family. "When Shravan was just four or five, I remember him inventing his own Scuba gear that included a water bottle and other things and diving onto our carpet," says mother PV Sunita with a chuckle. She also explains how both Shravan and his father studied for the PADI tests and even dived in the sea together. While both father and son are now proud certified open water divers, she let's in on another secret: "We're already considering a Scuba diving trip to Thailand or the Andamans next year."
For Mohan M Dani, a software professional from the city, Scuba diving is a great recreational activity. Wanting to try the sport for years, fate had him wait till 2009. Having been an adventurous person all his life, looking out for some water sport activities in town had him stumble upon PSI in June this year. Dani who has currently completed 36 dives, and is a certified specialty diver says that a Scuba diving centre in a city like Bangalore is a great idea "Bangalore is a good stopover even to go to places like Maldives and it makes sense for people to train in diving here. There's also a huge crowd of people from the technology industry who can afford something like this and would want to try out Scuba diving," he informs.
But what keeps Dani going back to the underwater world is its contrast from our own. "It's so relaxing and calming down there. It's a world of its own," he concludes.
Copyright 2009 DNA Media, distributed by Contify.com
"Breathing underwater in Bangalore; One can get a PADI certification for scuba diving right here in the city." DNA [Daily News & Analysis] 9 Nov. 2009. Educator's Reference Complete. Web. 26 Nov. 2009.
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