By Mia Raghavi

I don’t believe in destiny. Whenever I’m asked why not, my reply is the same as that of Neo in The Matrix about fate: Because I don’t like the idea that I’m not in control of my life.

But that’s all it has been, a mere idea. To be honest, I have not been in control of everything in my life, but I have made certain decisions which were what I believe led me to where I am today. Long story short, I wanted to study English literature, ended up graduating in Journalism, didn’t become a journalist, worked as a PR professional, ventured into corporate communications, landed in marketing, and today, I refer to myself as a scuba diving instructor. Never in my wild dreams did I think that I would walk this path.

At 0430 hours, my dad heard me get up and called out, asking me to come to their room immediately. I went over, detecting a certain enthusiasm in his voice. He was all smiles when he handed over yet another old newspaper that he unearthed while searching for some stories he had written years ago. It was The Hindu supplement dated 02 September 1994.

It was a special issue on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands being a tourist destination of tomorrow. It talked about how the islands were beginning to be put on the global tourism map thanks to their exquisite beauty, rich culture, and friendly locals. It also said that the Water Sports Complex in Port Blair was commissioned earlier that year and that the first scuba diving centre was being planned.

Today, Andaman is the top destination for scuba diving in India, and people from all over the world are drawn to its pristine coral reefs, crystal-clear waters, and mystical rainforests. I am no exception. It’s been two years since I began working with Barefoot Scuba, one of the first scuba diving centres in Andaman that trains dive professionals and recreational divers.

What are the odds that my dad found this supplement on the night of the same date (02 September) 26 years later? And what made him keep this particular supplement aside back then when I was only 4 months shy of my 2nd birthday?

Is it destiny or a sweet September serendipity?

September serendipity