Author: Ms Jeena Fernandez, Director, Soman’s Leisure Tours
Our planet is called Earth, World, Globe, Sphere and even Orb. I have often thought that Maldives, should be called G&B. You know why?
When our astronauts see our planet from their visiting planet, what do they observe? Nothing but Greens & Blues.. G&B. A little brown, lots of green & lots and lots of blue! The world is nurturing plenty of lush greenery on brown soil. We go here and there to admire its beauty. But when we enjoy the beauty of the green world, we seldom think of the greater waters, the pleasing, soothing green & blue coloured waters that lie beyond us; our human eye-span neither beholds nor contains this vast phenomenon.
“To these unexploited waters and their tempting beaches will I go?” My decision was made. I looked up all the oceans with their habitable banks and islands and had no hesitation in fixing Maldives as my dream spot.
The next campaign was to do my bit of homework before embarking on this much desired journey. I found out that the Maldivian ethnical group of population was a mix of various peoples from South Indian Tamilians and Sinhalese from Sri Lanka who were settling in these islands successively as well as successfully. They speak the language Dhivehi; strange at first but later seemed soft and sweet which I could easily fathom, aided by their body language. The Maldivians lead simple lives, fishing, boat making and boat repairing and selling cute handicrafts to tourists.
We boarded the flight from Kochi International Airport at 10.30 am on 22nd August 2021 by SpiceJet Airlines. We arrived at the Male International Airport at 11.45 am. The excitement I habitually feel when landing at a new place had started. So used to road transport and air travel, I found that my journey to the resort was by a speed boat! The momentum of the boat, its tip tearing like a knife through the blue waters and the foam being sprayed on me, made me realise with joy that I was not on land but in a water world.
We were taken to the Alimata Resort, a sanctum by itself. We checked into our luxurious suites. The rest of the day was left to us to roam around and take stock of the land around us. A sumptuous dinner awaited us in the spacious dining hall. The aroma of seafood I had never tasted till then, pervaded the hall, acting as a catalyst to the demands of my hungry belly. The palate satisfying food was indeed a treat. I suddenly realized that my eyelids were drooping. Yes, it had been a tiring day. Like a complacent bunny, I burrowed into the soft pillows and dropped off to sweet slumber on the cozy mattress.
Breakfast on the second morning had a variety of food that was fascinating. Being a buffet, I treated my taste buds to a little bit from everything.
The resort gave us the advantage of choosing plenty of water sports. I was a little scared but my friends literally gave me a hand and helped me out. After the first five minutes I got used to the tepid water and tried out various thrilling water games and sports.
The rest of the day was left to us. Most of us retired to our rooms and indulged in a morning snooze. Tea was exotic and filling. In spite of that, dinner with a different menu looked very inviting.
Day 2 saw me waking up to a tingling sense of anticipation. The famous shark feeding expedition was scheduled for that day. There are more than 2000 sea lives in Maldives but the sharks are the greatest attraction. In the golden beaches close to the crystal clear waters, we all gathered much ahead of the stipulated time because the sharks arrived 20 minutes earlier than us for their meals! A whole shoal of them appeared from nowhere and circussed around in glee. The resort staff brought buckets of meat and fish pieces. As he scattered a few handfuls in preplanned spots, the spectacular scene of watching the seemingly harmless sharks at close quarters unfolded. The feed had disappeared in the blink of an eye, putting to shame even our bike-riding chain snatchers! What snatchers those sharks were! It was obvious that they were waiting for their meals by conditioned reflex. Though they crowded around jostling and pushing, I could see an innate discipline of ‘live and let live’ among those lovable creatures.
Reading the book and seeing the movie ’Jaws’ had made me extremely afraid of those man-eaters. But in those Maldivian green and blue waters, I could see the baby sharks very near the shores, and the bigger ones, exposing their dorsal fins were a little farther away, biding and waiting ever so patiently for their turn.
A humorous comparison flashed through my mind. Such an eager, impatient yet disciplined wait can be seen only outside our beverage outlets in Kerala!!
The underwater illumination in the lagoons showed us clearly the unforgettable and famous shark feeding to the fullest, leaving the spectators craving for more.
Though thrilled and satisfied, many in our group yearned for rest. Following the earlier pattern, we lounged, ate, slept and relaxed.
The short but sweet sojourn was drawing to a close. The fourth day saw us checking out of the beautiful resort post breakfast, only to return to Male International airport to board the plane back to Kochi.
Dear readers, those tourists among you who want the hustle-buzzle of great cities and civilisations and rush from spot to spot in flights, buses, trams, trains and cars, see jaw-dropping skyscrapers, and the most modern manmade mechanisms, please do not make the mistake of choosing Maldives.
This place I have been telling you about, is anything but that. It is as different, as distinct as the sky is from the sea and the sea is from land. When we see the amalgam of this trio, we start wondering at the awe inspiring, indivisible, inseparable microcosm-macrocosm principle of the Universe, where The Earth Day-Sky Day-Water Day all become a Single Day.
Untainted by the black spots of civilization, the Male Islands spread before you simplicity and unuttered Green-Blue theory, with the simple population giving you its innocent and welcoming smile.
In this era of increasing burn outs and decreasing morale and the malaise of sitting at home is found depressing, you can take a refreshing holiday to this place.
If you want a hideout from problems —– go to Maldives.
If you want a hide away from anxiety —– go to Maldives.
If you want a perfect hidey hole ———– go to Maldives.
If you need a soothing therapy ————- go to Maldives.
If you look for absolute calm of mind ——- go to Maldives.
You can move heaven and earth and water to be there.
Such is the Mesmerism of Maldives.