Andaman: Glimpse of a Fairy Tale.

#1 Oct 1st, 2016, 13:03
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  • phir_milenge is offline
#1
"Those arrows can kill you!" my father was animated while telling me about Jarwas.
"Really?"...was my short reply.The shorter the reply it was,the larger the impact it had made in my mind.The story ended,but the dream was born instantly only to meet the reality twenty five years after.
Andaman the land of emerald seas,live corals,picturesque beaches,colorful sea creatures,gray history and the land of Jarwas of course.
Andaman where History meets Geography and tales are experienced,some gory,some fairy!
#2 Oct 1st, 2016, 14:50
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#2
Day 1:
"Ahhhh, the adrenaline rushes are too much to take",I thought and a quick glance at the watch made me realize, it was only 4 in the morning!Still 1 hour to go to start off.Typed 'Andaman' in my iPad and glued through the google image results for the next hour.Sprung off my bed as the clock ticks to 5.
"It's five, let us start,the islands are calling"...I announced like a captain of the ships to my sailors...err I mean my daughter and my dear wife!

The plan has started long back, when my father told part of his 'Good Morning club' is going for a tour to Andaman.The group is mainly comprised of the morning walkers, most of them are quite young,young in spirit past their sixties.Though I lack the experience and the wisdom of them, I thought this is the opportunity I craved from ages.Since my father told me the legends of the Jarwas.

The journey to the airport and the take-off was uneventful except the most senior travel partner had somehow left his ID card back at home.He managed to evade the formalities without it somehow.The travel group was 16 and half in number.My three years old daugher was the 'half' one. But the youngest one was 78 in age.

The Go-Air flight took off at around 8:30 AM, almost 10 minutes before time from the Netaji Subhas Bose International Airport,Kolkata.My 3 years old daughter joy knew no bound as she found herself in the kingdom of clouds."Baba, see I can almost touch them" she exclaimed a her eyes grew larger in excitement.

Almost a couple of hours later the islands became visible in the naked eyes.The green and black spots were quite noticeable against the dark blue bay of Bengal.
"Here we are, dear Andaman" I told to myself as I touched the ground.Finally we reached the Veer Savarkar airport.

The hotel was quite near to the airport.We just freshened ourselves and started the sightseeing of Andaman through a mini tourist bus.Our first stop is at Cellular jail, the infamous one in the history if Indian freedom movement.We had taken a guide.Without one you can only have a view of the jail.To feel it you need to take a guide.The guide,Mr Asutosh had been doing his work as a guide for the last ten years.As we progressed through the jail he narrated the history of the 'Kaala Pani',the plaintive days of the inmates and the oppression of the jailers.

Once we finished off with the jail, the next spot was Corbyn's Cove beach.The first beach among the plenty ones in the archipelago.

We returned back to the jail at around six to be mesmerized by the narration of Mr Om Puri through the light and sound show.
#3 Oct 1st, 2016, 15:59
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  • life1style1 is offline
#3
Lovely report..post some images too...
Sair kar duniya ki galib,yeh zindagani phir kahan..

****************************** **
Some of my compilations in Flickr
#4 Oct 1st, 2016, 19:22
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#4
Waiting for photos
#5 Oct 1st, 2016, 22:26
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#5
Welcome to Cellular Jail
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Let the fire illuminate us all
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The miniature one
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The silent corridor that is resonating history
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#6 Oct 2nd, 2016, 00:16
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#6
Excellent narration! Subscribed.

PS: Nice to see a young man opted the younger company of senior citizens. Wonderful.
#7 Oct 10th, 2016, 23:57
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#7
Day2:
Our next destination was Neil Island. An island which was named after a British soldier James Neil. We were 17 in the group including my daughter. But there was a problem. Everyone’s ticket could not be booked for the same ship. So a part of the group had to travel by the next ship, which was supposed to leave 5 hours after the first one. On top of it my wife's tickets were booked for the second one whereas I, my daughter and my parents were supposed to take the first one. On doing a brainstorming for quite some time it has been decided that we would cancel my father's ticket and would convince the authority to let him travel in the second ship instead of the first one.
With much apprehension I parted my way from my wife and kid the next morning. While we reached the gate, the bus driver told us, "Sir, please hurry up. The government Ship will leave in time and there is not too much time left for you!” We all made a sprint just to realize that there are hundreds of people already gathered at the gate! After performing a role of Mr. Usain Bolt it was time to don the hat of a wrestler! We had to trudge a bit and somehow managed to cross past the gate. The frowned eyebrows of the angry co-passengers could not dampen our spirit. But there was still some drama left. While we thought the struggles were over, our tour conductor suddenly arrived at the gate and asked for our tickets. He had to cancel my father's ticket and that was still not done! He took it and it seemed that he was going to take an eternity to come back. While the wait made our heart bit pounding like anything he just made it at the nick of time.
Finally we step inside the ship. As we proceeded to our seats, we discovered it was already taken by someone else. On asking further we have been told the seat numbers are same but our seats were at the ground floor. The ground floor had some beds and had no windows. The morning tension was too much to take. Without giving it any more thoughts I quickly jumped onto the bed.
After a while I found all my co-passengers have left the ground floor. I followed the stairs. Everyone seemed to be leaning on the railing to enjoy the beauty of the sea. Made some space there and joined them. It felt great. The sea seemed to be in bluish black. Probably that was the reason it was called as Kaala pani (black water).The beauty of the endless sea made me forget the morning rush.
After a couple of hours a comparatively large island seemed to be visible on the right. Yes, that was our destination. The sea seemed to have the color of emerald green now. The corals and the colorful fish were clearly visible in the naked eyes as well. A couple of Innovas were waiting for us. The hotel was 'Amulya Residency', quite near to the jetty. We got onto the hotel, freshened up and had our breakfast with hot 'Puri-Ghoogni'.
As it would take another four-five hours for my family to come next,I considered it would be a great opportunity for me to hone my photography skills around the beach and the jetty.
The beach was serene except for some of my four legged companions. A packet of cookies was enough to make friends with them. It felt good when you can make friends so easily without a good profile pic or a dashing 'About me' section! The sand was white. The water was green. With rain water the foliage was pleasant to the eyes. The mangrove popped off the beach in the sea-bed as well. The entire beach was full of pieces of dead corals and oysters. I set up the tripod and concentrated on forming one or two composition. These set up made the dogs bewildered it seemed. A white collared kingfisher just flew in one of the nearby branches. A snake seemed to pass by my legs. The fish were already in hide and seek mode. I was so engrossed in the nature thousands miles away from my daily urban life I hardly realized there was a patch of black looming large over the horizon. One or two drops has made me awaken from the trance. While I was too engulfed I did not observed the water level has increased. Made a walking stick out of a dead branch and quickly broaden my steps in search of a shelter. I found one but was already captured by two little girls. To avoid the wrath of the Rain God I had to make a room for myself without asking for the permission from the ladies!
I started a conversation with them.They were Radha and Meenaxmi. They lived nearby in the villages. One was Bengali while the other had a Telegu background. They were not too much conversant in Hindi, still it amused me how they were able to form a strong bond of friendship in spite of the language barrier. True friendship breaks all barriers I thought.
While the rain stopped I came back to the hotel. My family was there waiting for me. The second ship has anchored a bit ago. My daughter seemed to be very angry as her dad had parted ways for some time. Took a while to convince her. Girls these days!
In the afternoon we got to the beach of Laxmanpur and Bharatpur. Again they were pristine and serene. White sand and green water. The color was fascinating! Quite different from the Dighas or the Puris that every Bengali is accustomed with.
Met with one local fisherman. He told us how the residents are selling their lands to the land sharks. Resorts are mushrooming here and there. It made me sad. Not sure how I would found this island if I would come again here after some years I thought.
The evening was uneventful. Visited the local bazaar. Ninety percent of the residents were Bengali. Mainly the refugees which were given shelter and land by the then Indian Government after the partition and in the 70s.Had a cup of tea at the local shop. It felt so good hearing your native language in an island thousand miles away from your home. Neil island,a home away from home I thought!
#8 Oct 14th, 2016, 17:51
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#8
The cloud demon looming large in the horizon
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Fancy a boat ride?
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Ladies!
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Spiralling towards horizon
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The serene beach
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Lonely
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Laxmanpur beach
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Sitapur beach
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#9 Nov 16th, 2016, 15:32
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#9
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#10 Apr 22nd, 2017, 14:13
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#10
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#11 Apr 22nd, 2017, 14:20
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#11
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#12 Jul 11th, 2017, 06:10
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#12
I like the black and white photo, nicely done.
#13 Jul 11th, 2017, 11:03
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#13
Nice travelouge and great photos.

waiting for next ...

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