Diving has always been a liberating experience. The beauty of the sea life below, the free flow, the breathing control, it is a rush to say the least. I had a good few days of going underwater and it was my last day of deep see (pun alert!) and I wanted to make the most of it. I decided to go deeper into the sea.
“ Pawan can we go deep today say to 22 meters plus .” I asked of my new found god named diver buddy.”Yes we can but you will have to be careful my friend , don’t touch anything at depth’s like this you get poisonous eel’s that can be very dangerous , also we will have to come up slowly so that you don’t suffer from de compression .” he explained hesitantly. But I was ready and jumped in with a neatly executed back flip.
As we reached deep i started fishing for shell’s and Pawan got busy picking corrals. I wanted to get a beautiful orange shell back with me and as I held it in my hand Pawan signalled that I had to leave it underwater. It is illegal to pick up shells and nature’s bounty is to remain untouched.
My thoughtlessness for a moment there struck me, enjoy why attempt to destroy the natural beauty of the place I realised.
We took a lot of photos of various fishes and sea creatures and spotted a deadly stingray the type that kills !
22 meters was the deepest I have ever dived and a calm feeling washed over me.
There was tranquil peace and I felt I could do this all day (the oxygen tanks permitting) and it as the most relaxing rejuvenating thing that I had ever experienced.
There were no thoughts occupying my mind and it was like meditating .
After coming up from the deep where I had frolicked for an hour or two and back at the Scuba Doo dive club, Louis and I got involved in a conversation about the caste system in India .” you see Anuj you guy’s have a rigid caste system, the whole Brahman, the Kshatriya , Vaishya and the Chamar scene . My friend had a butler once who was thrown out by his family for marrying out of caste .” he said with amazement. Surreal I thought being told about the caste system at India and all it’s attributes by a South African white man!! But I knew where he was coming from and confirmed his feelings “ I know I also married within my community because of family pressure and that marriage did not last long and she ran away with her lover and we got divorced. I am a brahman and I was in love with a girl from Calcutta in the East of India who was not and well my family was against it .”
“ Here also in Mauritius we have 52% Hindu’s 24% muslim and then the rest but the country has alway been ruled by a man from the Vaishya community amongst the Hindus and that has been going on for ages .” The political over view of Mauritius from Louis made me hungry and I ventured out in search of food with Kaviraj – my new found guide, philosopher and friend. We stopped over at Nando’s for a chicken steak and periperi . On the drive back it started raining and two huge rainbows appeared in the sky criss crossing each other.
I asked Kaviraj to stop the car and took some beautiful photo’s with my phone. I repeated the exercise till I got what I though the perfect shot since I cannot honestly call myself a photographer! It is then that i spotted a huge mountain in front of us called the Pieter Both Mountain, named I realised after the first Dutch Governor General of the Dutch East Indies.
Kaviraj told me .” you know Anuj legend has it that a shepherd boy once climbed this mountain looking for milk. He saw a few fairies having a bath here all wet and naked . They saw the boy and asked him not to talk to anyone about the incident. But the boy went back and told his mother . In anger and rage the fairies turned the boy into a rock . That is why the top of the mountain look’s like a boy with the stone as his head . See it carefully .” Indeed the top most peak of the mountain looked like the shape of a human with the head jutting out I noted !!
So there we had it and another great day at Mauritius comes to an end and the evening came together with a lovely Mauritian story and the Legend of The Mountain. More is certainly on the way!!