The Discover Scuba Diving Course is like the introduction to scuba diving-the bumper cars rush for a first time driver- and the perfect step one experience for any beginner apprehensive to block a lump sum for their PADI license.

Prior to signing up, our instructor explained to us the 4 thrills of scuba diving-weightlessness, breathing in an unfamiliar environment, observing different life forms and the aquatic beauty in general and donning equipment that resembles a space suit!- adding that we will get to experience only 3 of those in the pool. Also, that all NASA astronauts have to be certified divers.

The DSD is a 5 hour session- an hour in the classroom and 4 hours in the pool.

Diving with me last Saturday were Shyamala, Prasanna, Narayan and Shirley. Of the 5 of us Shyamala, Prasanna and Shirley are non swimmers and had only ever dipped their legs in a pool upto their knees!

The most fascinating reactions to the DSD for me, were those of Prasanna and Shyamala as both otherwise claim to suffer from hydrophobia.

“It was amazing” was Prasanna’s one line summary.

“I was initially scared that I wont come up in the water with my equipment on, but I am now inspired to learn how to swim”

“It was my first time underwater. This is an experience that I would love for my son to have!” is what Shyamala had to say.

Diving came naturally to Narayan, who only had to say “I fully enjoyed” and is on his way to pursuing to be a dive master.

Shirley claims that she did initially panic, but was soon enough fascinated by how easily one could breathe underwater. She went on to say that “This is something thrilling that I will encourage everyone to try at least once”

On the whole my last first time is something I’m always going to remember. Considering my left arm is paralyzed, it was a blessing that our instructor was always at an arm’s length. I do now realize that diving isn’t as physically demanding as I imagined it would be. “If I can do it-you can do it!” Also, you get to lose 900 calories while you’re enjoying yourself underwater-it doesn’t get any better than that.