The underwater man
For scuba diving instructor Anees Adenwala, the sea is his world and its creatures his best friends. In a chat with Kaveri Waghela, he talks about his love for diving and why his pals envy his job
During a holiday in Lakshadweep in 1995, Anees Adenwala, who was into advertising production and his friend, veteran ad man Prahlad Kakkar, decided to explore the blue waters of the Arabian Sea. “We wanted to take part in water sports and decided to go scuba diving. From the moment I touched the water, I knew that I belonged to the sea,” he tells us.
So intrigued was Adenwala by the underwater world that he quit his job as a production assistant and enrolled in the Lacadives diving school in Lakshadweep to become a professional diving expert. “I was among the first students to enroll at Lacadives,” he says.
Once he got the hang of things, Adenwala became a full-time diving instructor in Lakshadweep. He taught diving to scores of tourists between 1997 and 2003 before he decided to marry his knowledge for advertising and scuba diving and established Underwater Films Services in 2003. He shot underwater sequences for films and trained actors such as Katrina Kaif for Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Kareena Kapoor and Aamir Khan for Talaash and Prateik Babbar for Issaq apart from filming adfilms and documentaries.
But all through this, he wanted to let people know about the thrill attached to scuba diving, which led him to open Orca Diving Club in 2008 in Mumbai. “I wanted to help people experience the sheer thrill involved while being underwater,” he says. People who want to learn diving have to visit Padi.com
(Professional Association of Diving Instructors), register their personal details and learn the basic nuances of scuba diving through various videos and tutorials. Of course, one must know swimming to be eligible for the course,” Adenwala explains, “We have four sessions in the pool The first two sessions involve people getting accustomed to the equipment, their first dive in the water, going to the deep end of the pool and coming back. The last two dives focus on free diving and breathing techniques under water after which they get a diving training certification from us.” he adds.
After the training is complete, the school takes students to various dive trips in Maldives, Maurititus and the Andamans. Adenwala says, “Scuba diving is not about learning in the pool. The sea is very different and nobody should miss a chance to experience the real thing. I always tell my students that unless they have played with fish or let a school of fish pass by, they haven’t done real scuba diving. It is a life-changing experience.”
Are there any underwater emergencies he has faced? “Not until now. Whenever I am in doubt, I always go back to the basics I learnt during my training period,” he says. There are a total of 12 trips that he conducts in a year with 20 people each time. “There are so many people who envy my job. I love what I do and it makes me happy. This is my way of making others happy too,” he concludes.
Register at www.Padi.com To know about diving lessons log on to www.orcadiveclub.in or call 24928175/ 24921541