Twenty Six Feet Under

The usual way to plan a trip is to do your research and make sure you’re getting a good experience for the money you’re spending, but every once in a while you leave it to chance. You take the next plane out and reach out to the people you know. Suddenly, just like that you’re on a magical island with people you don’t know very well but people open enough to take you into their fold, no questions asked.

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The Lacadives Dive shop in Chidiya Tapu is one such place. Headed by Sumer Verma and his fantastic crew, these people really know how to show you a good time! More than that, you can see that they love what they do!

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While there are many dive shops in Havelock and others strewn around the islands, the beauty of Lacadives is it’s remoteness. Nestled in the forest area, at the bottom most tip of Port Blair, this little haven helps you disconnect with the world and soak in the beauty of the Andamans.

Now, a couple of truths about diving. You don’t need to be a swimmer! And you don’t need to be adventurous or a go-getter to be able to enjoy diving. I was lucky enough to go for a personal dive with Sumer and Nayantara, only to realize that I didn’t need any major skills except common sense to enjoy the underwater experience! Also, I feel I would trust Sumer and his boys with my life!!

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The dive shop offers basic food and options for basic accommodation around the dive shop. These places are not luxurious places and provide basic comforts but given that the outdoors is so stunning, I don’t believe there’s a point being indoors. If you don’t wish to avail of these options then you can choose to book stay and food on your own but ideally, the package deal is just easier. Gives you a chance to truly kick back and relax!

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Another brilliant collaboration is their tie-up with ReefWatch India, a marine conservation NGO headed by Nayantara Jain. So, if you’re a family with kids, teach them a little more about the oceans and get them to do volunteer walks with the ReefWatch. They will go back a little richer and a little more humbled by the beauty of our oceans.

What’s nice is that the people start treating you like family and these connections remain even once you leave them and return to your everyday life. And when you leave, you promise yourself that you will return and hopefully these are promises kept!