The Unusual Suspects
Our eclectic group of dive professionals all share one thing in common - they've all quit other (read: better paying) jobs to do this. The reason is that they love to dive. And thats why no big corporations back us, we dont offer fishing-snorkeling-seawalks-Indian-Chinese-continental. All we do is dive (and we like to think we do it well!)
aka: Persona Fictitious
Vinnie is a SSI Instructor Trainer, a PADI Staff Instructor and NAUI Instructor. In addition, he is an experienced cold-water trimix/technical diver. He claims to be a wreck diver, but spends more time shaving his legs (supposedly for cycling/triathlons, although we suspect it is simply because he likes his legs to be silky smooth) than actually diving. No one has ever seem him in scuba gear. And actually, many people haven’t seen him at all. We refuse to confirm or deny whether he really exists.
aka: Fearless Leader
Vikas used to teach in Goa and consequently, goes into raptures every time he sees his own fin in the water. There is a popular theory that Vikas only learned to wear clothes a few years ago, but we can neither confirm or deny these rumors – best to ask him. In addition to being the Chief Instructor/Dive Center Manager/General Terror At Large, Vikas is also a keen underwater videographer, now with 2 very impressive underwater rigs (neither of which anyone has actually seen him take underwater).
aka: The Tamil Heart-throb
Sayeed is the longest-tenured member of our team. He came in, all bright eyed and bushy tailed and bloodied Vinnie’s nose with his tank on a night dive during his Advanced course – from there, he has grown into an SSI Instructor Trainer (how quickly they grow!). He has a mortal fear of dehydration and can usually be seen ambling from his man cave, a place of legend and lore, to the water fountain in the cafe to ensure that his bottle is full. Sayeed also runs our outbound trips.
aka: The Man
Have you watched John Rambo? Us neither. But the Karens are the tribe that Rambo helps. Our Karens have been settled in the Andamans since WW2, and are not nearly as militant, unless you are a fish (fishing is one of their main occupations). In addition to being a Divemaster, Ivan also handles the back end of our operations – boat maintenance, crewing, supplies, etc. We would come to a halt without him!
Melissa holds the record as being the only person on the Diveindia team who actually asked for, and went through, an interview process. She’s also known as Manisha, Alisha, Michelle, Melanie, Lis and even Vanessa and has a deep-rooted fear of toads taking over the world. She also handles the dive center operations and, were this an Evil Organization bent on taking over the world, she would be Number 2 to Vikas’s Dr Evil. Without the eye-patch.
aka: Mr Money
Stephen is another of our Karen dive professionals, and also holds an MBA in management (although we dont hold it against him). He dives, he handles cash and he issues our paychecks. We all like Stephen and we wouldn’t dare to make fun of him on the website!
aka: The Don
The Don is the Fixer and the A-Team, rolled into one. He’s a dive instructor, he is Luca Brazzi, he’s the guy who knows people who know people. In fact, we suspect he may actually be Batman, but we haven’t been able to prove it yet.
aka: The Stomach
Sahil has been known to do 2 things only: dive & eat (and eat some more). Sahil used to be a fitness trainer before coming to the Andamans, and for some inexplicable reasons, keeps misplacing his tee shirt and is forced to walk around shirtless. If you see him shirtless, do offer to help him find his shirt!
aka: The Betting Man
to being an instructor, Tanuj also handles all the certifications and is also known for his tendency to renege on his bets when he loses, citing all sorts of technicalities that would do a lawyer proud. Another one of our “clean shaven today/full beard tomorrow” brigade. Kids today, I tell ya!
Rahul is one of our senior instructors, and believes in 2 things only – the nourishing power of Snickers, and the Rule of Thirds (this is like the ‘Rule of Two’ of the Sith, but better. Much better. Ask him about it). He also has a fondness for single-malt, which has a significant bearing on his search for the smartest phone in the world.
aka: Scuba Pirate Ninja.
Abhedya has kept up the trend of coming here to do the Divemaster course, then sticking on for the Instructor course and then never leaving. His main claim to fame is his near-perfect Arnold impersonation. And the fact that he goes diving with a Patek Philippe.
What Neity lacks in size, she makes up in ferocity. A disgruntled architect, Neity packs more knives than an entire army of ninjas. You know how, after the incident, the neighbors always go “we never suspected – she/he was always so mild-mannered”? Yeah, that’s Neity. Be afraid.
aka: Frodo of the Week
After spending a few years in the wilderness [ie, working elsewhere] upon the completion of her Instructor Training Course at DIVEIndia, Mariam is back in the fold, where she belongs, spreading cheer and laughter whereever she goes. She is also our resident expert on camera memory cards and fake Latin accents.
aka: The guys that make it work
You only see the couple of them that are on the boat with you. You don’t see the guys that come in at 5:30am to ready the boats, to load up the gear, spares, safety kit, etc. or the guys that are working in the evening filling tanks, or sorting our gear. They are the foundation upon which we run – without them, nothing would get done.
Frodo Waggins, Bossdog