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Lost in the Depths: A Tale of Unfulfilled Dreams

The events of that tragic day, June 18, 2023, continue to replay in my head like an endless nightmare. I am Suleman, the 19-year-old son of Pakistani-British business magnate Shahzada Dawood.

It was a day that started out in terror, evolved into an act of love, and came to an unfathomable conclusion in tragedy. This story is an emotional representation of my experience traveling onboard the tragic Titan submersible, a voyage that destroyed my world and put an end to all of my hopes.

I had always lived in the shadow of my father’s adventures as the son of a guy with an insatiable drive for exploration. Just the idea of diving into the North Atlantic Ocean’s unfathomable depths to investigate the historic Titanic catastrophe filled me with dread. I was scared of the abyss, and my worries nearly consumed all of my thoughts.

But on that fateful Father’s Day, I took a choice motivated by love and a need to win my father over. For years, this voyage had been a dream of my father, Shahzada Dawood. He viewed it as a chance to honor his own father, who had died away without having the chance to see this wonder of the deep, while also combining our common love of exploration. On a day designed to honor his unfailing love and presence in my life, I couldn’t bear to let him down.

I boarded the Titan submersible with a heavy heart and a feigned bravery; nonetheless, its sleek exterior betraying none of the fear coursing through my veins. My worries were heightened by the feeling of suffocation within the ship. But I repressed my reservations in response to my father’s joy, expecting to find comfort in our relationship.

As the descent into the depths began, I imagined in my head how the weight of the ocean pressed against my chest, a constant reminder of the perils that lay ahead. I relied on my rubric cube to reduce and hide the panic I felt from my fellow explorers. The joy and conversation of my fellow travelers could be heard echoing off the walls of the submersible, but I remained silent, consumed by my inner turmoil. The vastness of the ocean outside the small porthole window loomed like an insurmountable barrier, whispering its warnings to my trembling soul.

Time seemed to stretch and contract as we delved deeper into the abyss. Every passing minute intensified my fears, amplifying the realization that I had entered a world where humans were but vulnerable spectators. The control I once clung to slipped through my fingers, replaced by an overwhelming sense of helplessness.

And then, it happened. The unimaginable horror unfolded before our eyes. A deafening explosion shattered the fragile tranquility within the submersible, extinguishing any hope that flickered in our hearts. Panic, confusion, and the stench of fear filled the air as our vessel succumbed to the merciless forces of the ocean. I felt I was kicked away from my body, and I flew under the sea looking for my father’s comforting presence, but all I discovered was nothingness in the middle of the darkness. He had been taken away from me by the explosion, which also put out the light that had illuminated my way. I couldn’t see any person but the shattered pieces of the submersible.

A deep grief enveloped my spirit as the seconds passed. After the incident, all my hopes and goals were reduced to mere shards. The ocean’s relentless hold has crushed the once-cherished aspirations I once had, and I realized I was already dead.  In those final moments, I closed my eyes, seeking solace in the memories of a father’s love. His presence, his voice, and the unspoken bond we shared comforted me, even as darkness enveloped us. It was in that profound embrace of love and loss that I found a sliver of peace.

I now bear the burden of a son who, motivated by a love that has no bounds, dares to journey into the unknown. The Titan tragedy serves as a somber reminder of the frailty of life and the sometimes-high price we must pay to ensure the happiness of those we love. My father’s everlasting affection is something I treasure as I say goodbye to the world I once knew. May his spirit lead me and serve as a constant reminder that the love we had and the fortitude to pursue our aspirations are the most important legacies we can leave behind.

Goodbye, beloved planet. May my experience serve as a reminder of the value of each moment and the enduring strength of a father’s love.

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