Tag Archives: #maldives

The Perfect Moment

2006 lunch on dhiddu

The perfect moment. Sunshine. A group of delighted scuba divers whom I had guided throughout the morning. Jackfish. Chilli Sauce. Sand as soft a velvet. Palm Trees. A blazing azure sky and turquoise sea all around us.

I enjoyed myself. Enjoyed to guide, coach, and drink in our surroundings with all my senses. It didn’t really matter who we all were that day. Social status, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation and all those things tending to divide us, gave way to simply breathing in the untainted tropical air and enjoying life together. Just for a little while, yesterday and tomorrow became so insignificant as to be non-existent.

Close Encounters of the Ocean Kind

2008 green turtle on surface

Another small excerpt from Paralian… a once-in-a-lifetime moment… experiencing my first close encounter with a sea turtle in the Maldives:

“The Green Sea Turtle rose slowly to the surface. I floated, staying completely still… Her head softly broke the surface only fifteen feet away from me. She took a deep breath, which sounded almost like a reverse sigh.

The gorgeous animal stayed floating comfortably on the calm water surface of the lagoon. Meanwhile, I let myself drift carefully closer. She was beautiful, a creature of the ages, perfect since the beginning of time. I closed my eyes to paint the image in my memory. When I opened them again the unearthly turtle lady was right next to me, still enjoying her rest on the gentle turquoise waves.

The long five minutes during which she stayed with me etched themselves forever into my heart. The turtle’s large eyes held a tranquility and innocence I had never before encountered. With an unwavering gaze, she seemed to see straight into my soul.

Her colors were myriads of green. Her scales reminded me of autumn leaves. Did I see a net of barely visible, fragile veins, or did my enraptured mind imagine them? What if they were nerve endings, letting her feel plankton and every droplet of the sea that touched her? Feeling everything, she would literally become one with the seas embracing her.
Small barnacles held on to her carapace. I envied them and wished I could trade places for a little while. Could there be a better place to be than perched on the strong back of a sea turtle?

She took one last, long breath and descended leisurely towards her underwater domicile. I swam back to shore in a dreamlike state, happy, and almost delirious….
The ocean was my true home. Now that I’d found it, I intended to consciously absorb every precious second I spent embraced by it.”

A Maldivian Evening

2009 riding shoulders boat crew dinner

Here another little taste of Paralian, just for you… only 20 more days until official launch!

“It was a glorious evening. Everyone was touched. Captain Ismail had whittled a beautiful scale-model dhoni for me, so I would never forget my life on the remodeled Maldivian fishing boats. Anecdotes were exchanged, most rather unfavorable of me – such as the full-day trip when I had decided to take a dump in the dhoni’s head just as we stopped to pick up a group of divers. My turds had floated right by them, creating a memory to amuse boat crews for years to come.
After dinner, the boat crews broke out in song and carried me on their shoulders. For an instant, I was concerned they might be able to feel the absent penis between my legs. Then I told myself to stop being silly, relax, and enjoy the moment. After all, I had always been safe in their capable hands. We shared tea and ate more delicious reef fish, celebrating our mutual respect until very late.” (Excerpt from Chapter 27 – Noonu Atoll)

Paralian is available for preorder from Apple iBooks store, Troubador.co.uk, Amazon.co.uk (and other countries), Waterstones, and WHSmith.