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Lakshadweep Series with OHOT: Snorkelling on New Years’ Eve

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January 1, 2022 Agatti Island, Lakshadweep: As the sand crumbles under my feet, I don my life jacket and enter the water. I wade through but find the water rising up to my chest and then neck swiftly. A surprised me realizes that its high tide. With swift strokes, I swim to the coral reef.

Over the next hour, my heart’s full. Hundreds and hundreds of fish flit through coral pockets, some looking curiously at us wondering why we are there, some plain ignoring us. Colourful, beautiful, silver, red, yellow, golden, azure, and a thousand more colours, of all sizes and shapes, it is like looking into a kaleidoscope. The sea bed is white sand and makes the water gleam. Touch me nots sway in the water, as if waving at us.

The previous day, 31st, the last day of the year, I was snorkelling for almost three four hours. Head in the water, silence all around, staring at the fishes, feels so peaceful. I am in another world and its magical.

As I surface, I see my trippers. We have been staying up till 5 am every day, talking, laughing. Through 31st evening, I see them whisper to each other, making plans for my birthday and trying everything they can to not let me figure out any surprise. It makes me smile so much. Later at night, they break off into multiple dance performances. Not just them, the manager and the staff – simple island people are all smiling and doing everything they can to give us a great new years eve, in this island that still feels as if it’s India in the 90s. A little past midnight, as the rest of the world is bursting crackers to bring in the new year, we all lie down on the grass and see shooting stars illuminate our sky.

Same time last year, I was in Kashmir, with snow falling all around me, and again 20 old and new trippers making me feel very loved. 2021 has been such a special year. Treks in Kashmir, living in water villas in Maldives, being stunned by the landscape in Gurez, living with one family for a month in a Arunachali village, seeing snow, hail, rainbows, shooting stars, waterfalls. And every day, for 365 days, people giving so much love to me.

Thank you everyone for a very happy year and for all the messages on my birthday 🙂

Read more about the other series here :

Lakshadweep Series with OHOT: The Surreal Island Life in Agatti

Lakshadweep Series with OHOT: India’s Most Beautiful Airport Landing

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Neeraj Narayanan

Neeraj Narayanan, a.k.a Captain Nero, is the founder of OHOT. In the summer of 2013, he quit his corporate job and went backpacking around the world. In a year full of (mis)adventures, he ended up being chased by a bear in a Croatian forest, being held at gunpoint by a mafia gang lord in Turkey, running with the bulls in Spain, and dancing in the clubs of Spain and Italy. A year later, he started leading group trips for people.

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