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Friday, August 24, 2012

Lakshadweep Adventure was the first story I wrote. The story came about because of my love for a sport called windsurfing.

It all began with this bunch of friends of mine in Pune, all die-hard windsurfers. We would meet every weekend and spend our time windsurfing on Khadakvasla Lake, just outside Pune. It was loads of fun but after a while we got bored and sought a different challenge. That was when someone suggested the Lakshadweep Islands. We came up with this crazy idea of windsurfing between the Lakshadweep Islands. It was only an idea, a dream, one of those yearnings guys love to brag about, and never really expect anything to come of it. But in our group we had this one determined and capable guy and he wangled a trip to Lakshadweep for all of us. This young man, an airforce pilot and highly resourceful at that, managed to get the Lakshadweep government involved. Can you believe it - the island authorities sponsored our whole trip. They gave us full back up and even called in Doordarshan to film our expedition.

Of course, dreaming about windsurfing on the high seas and actually going there and doing it are two entirely different things. Located 300 kms west of Kerala, the Lakshadweep Islands lie in the deep sea where the water plunges several thousand feet. There is a swell on the water – one moment you are up 10 feet and the next you are down 20. And when you fall in the water – which is a common occurrence in windsurfing – there are sharks and barracudas and jellyfish to contend with.

These were the hard facts and we did have to deal with the challenges. But the truth is that they hardly bothered us. It was the islands themselves that ensured that. We were overwhelmed by the beauty of the islands – the lagoons, the coral reefs, the undersea life, the beaches, the palm trees, and the people. I fell in love. And from my experiences and adventures emerged the story, Lakshadweep Adventure.

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