Please Not Entering the Water If You are Having a Heart Attack

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I will never forget the beauty of Pattaya. The resort, nestled amidst lazy palm trees and lush greenery was a delight to a Mumbaiker who had lived amidst tall…taller… tallest… concrete for so long.

Add to that the cushiony hotel bed (that’s why I love hotel beds!) with its inviting sink-in mattress and the gorgeous view from the balcony. It was like being in a tropical forest, complete with multi-hued butterflies and chirping birds.

To add to our enchantment, the skies suddenly opened up and droplets of rain came hurtling down. They had told us the weather was unpredictable, but this was something else. More than any temperamental female!

Driving in to Pattaya and feasting our eyes on the endless patches of greenery was a sheer delight. You know what? Had those green parks been located in my beloved Mumbai, they would have been promptly declared as forest land!

Next day they told us that the dress code was a tee, shorts and slippers. What liberation I felt walking on the white sands of Pattaya! Surely this was paradise?

My denouement was soon to come. Wading through tee-deep waters, we began heading towards the boat that would carry us to Coral Island. The others of the group—mostly males were hopping onto the boat much before us. I waded leisurely behind, enjoying the crunchiness of the white sand beneath my bare feet. One hand held the pretty cap I had hastily shopped for at the beach (girls will be girls!).

Feeling on top of the world, I stood just below the very high vertical ladder steps leading to the boat. Of course I could do it all by myself! In fact it would be quite an adventure! Hauling myself up the steps, I felt wonderfully free, like a retired Ballerina, remembering her days of glory!

The next moment I was on the ocean bed, spluttering, gargling and gagging on sea water. A male arm had extended towards me, and in the process, taken both of us under water.

The helpful arm was Indian, weather beaten, age-gnarled. Miscalculating his strength and my weight, the geriatric gentleman had slipped, carrying me into the ocean. I still have that cut on my knee to remind me of my adventure. The adventure lay in my having to save him instead!

To get even with Fate, I decided to take nobody’s help as we changed one boat after another and kept wobbling in the waters. I was fascinated by the glass-bottomed boat through which we could see the amazingly beautiful Corals and fish. Finally, we got onto the boat from where we had to go inside the waters for an Ocean Walk.

We indulged in our favorite pastime— frantically shopping for sarongs, shirts  and skirts on the boat (girls will be girls!) as if these were our final moments on Earth.  Just then our eyes fell on this wonderfully painted advice–

If you have high or low pressure or heart attack, please to not go inside the Ocean.

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