For past two hours I am staring in blank, tried ‘n’ number of different ways to write it; but my mind completely deprived of any thought would not let me. It is already 3 at night in India, and my brain functioning hours have long been over [time at night during which my brain activity is at its peak, if you don’t know about it then read ‘The Odd Hour Affair’] and still there isn’t any sign of improvement. I guess this is what serene natural beauty dos to you.
Sitting besides the pool, deep blue sea in front of me, rocky beach, green patches of tall palm trees, continuous sound of small sea waves emerging from nowhere crashing on the rocks and then a brief moment of complete silence, with cool wind in my hair and a clear sky in which you can see all the stars you could imagine.
These are the words I wrote almost a month back on 26th September, while sitting in the back yard of a Mauritian B&B. That was my first night in Mauritius; after attending my first two business meetings abroad and already planned for Sky diving next morning, I could not have been more happy and satisfied.
For the past one month there has not been one single day on which I have not thought about writing about the experience, but as lazy I am, it is now while sitting at the shanghai Airport, waiting for my flight back home that I finally am doing it. but I am sure before I can complete it, I’ll either run out of time or my laptop out of battery; not because I am not sure about what to write, but because there is so much to talk. But nonetheless it is better to utilize whatever little time I have, and may be if luck would have it then the third sitting I’ll be able to complete it.
Anyways, when I didn’t find any words that night I knew it was better to sleep over it, as tomorrow was again a big day, [not because I had any more important business meeting], because that night just while surfing on the net I came to know about sky diving in Mauritius, and I was already determined to go for it first thing in the morning. Sky diving has always been on my to do list [which by the way is very long, and except for few things in this world, almost any and everything is there on it].
Guess it was the excitement, anxiety or just time difference perhaps, but I didn’t have a long sleep that night and I was up early on my first morning in Mauritius. My boss was still sleeping and so was everyone else in the B&B, not sure of what to do, I just went for a run. It was nice running in the Mauritian neighborhood with serene beauty all around, cool wind blowing and sounds from beach coming every now and then, and after climbing a small hill and coming down I knew it was time to go back. I remember while running I was actually writing this post, nice villas, fairly big by Delhi standards, and each one of them atleast had a dog. I don’t know if it is the trend of that particular neighborhood or of complete Mauritius; from safety point of view or out of pure love for the animals, every house there had a dog; the B&B in which we were staying had its fair amount of wildlife in form of a dog and 3 or may be 4 cats.
On the breakfast table I formally met with Sam. In the B&B besides me and Raj [my boss] there were 3 other men living at that point. Sam was originally from UK but had lived last 20 years of his life in US and after selling his business there, for past 1 year he was travelling. Currently he was staying in Madagascar for last 3 months and due to immigration reasons he came to Mauritius for a week and told me will again leave for Madagascar the next morning. Other two were Italian business men. One of them named Marino, country head of . . . . was there on business trip and am not sure about the name, profession or the reason for the visit of the other Italian man. Also there was the family which owned the B&B, a Belgian man with Mauritian wife Mary and two little kids; the Belgian came to Mauritius some 15-20 years ago, how I don’t know, and going by his looks I knew he has to be atleast 60 or 65. His wife very young may be in here early 30s teach English in a nearby school. Their kids, one boy and girl are small and I can put their age anywhere between 5 to 7.
Anyways, talk with Sam began with little chit chat about our life, business and nature of work, and then from there went to about India, the social and political conditions there and from there to world politics. By the time Marino joined us we were already talking for an hour and with his entry discussions shifted to Italy and then again back to the world scenario, Barack Obama, Bush and of course global terrorism and Islam. Raj and other Italian guy joined us for very brief period of time and when it was 10 in the morning I got up to call the sky diving guy. He told me if I can come before 12 then I can jump today as after 1 he was already booked. The Danish owner of the B&B told me it is about hour’s drive from there and he can call a cab for me. Without wasting anymore time I went to get ready and asked Raj if he is interested in coming. Although he had already refused to jump out of an airplane last night but I asked him again, hoping he might change his mind and I’ll also get some support; but the answer was no.
Anwar my cab driver was originally from India, his ancestors were from some part of Bihar, and were brought there as slaves during the colonial rule to work on the sugarcane fields. Infact more than half of the Mauritian population is from India, brought as laborers, and rest from Africa; but now they are just Mauritian. Anwar knew little Hindi and after negotiating the taxi fare with him to 700 Mauritian Rupees I left for Austral Sky dive. As told by the Belgian and then confirmed by Anwar I was there by 12. The place was on the outskirts of Mauritius, what we can call a village with a sugar factory nearby and sugarcane fields all around. Anwar asked me if he should wait for me to go back, but I never liked the idea of roaming in a closed taxi; there is no scope of exploring it on your own, so I sent him back and decided to take a bus on my way back.
Sky dive Austral is again owned by a Belgian guy, I don’t remember his name, born in South Africa, and after marrying a Mauritian girl he got settled in Mauritius and started this business. After getting my card swiped for 15,300 Mauritian Rupees [11,800 for the dive and 3,500 for the Video DVD of the experience] I met Leo, my jumping instructor and partner. I don’t remember from which part of the world Leo is, but he is from Europe and came to Mauritius for a holiday, jumped at the site as a tourist and stayed then stayed there as an instructor. As I was getting in my jump suit I was having mixed feelings, happy, excited and of course scared and little worried as well.
Its call for my flight being boarded and this is where the story comes to a halt. Hopefully the next part won’t be delayed by a month.