All is divine. In fact there is no GOD, only Godliness. God is not a person but a quality, not a person but a presence. – OSHO
Our flight to Port blair had got delayed by a day due to incorrigible rains over Bay of bengal and rough weather down there at the islands. A Blessing in disguise for me. The next day, i saw a familiarly strange face over at the airport cafe.
Mr. N. Ram is the editor – in – chief of what i consider the most respected newspaper of India, ‘THE HINDU’. I could see him from far away tucked in his neat and simple black suit, holding a coffee. I went up to him, asked, “Excuse me? Mr. Ram? “. He looked up at me and, “Yes.. “
“It’s a privilege to meet you sir. My name is Ravi and i am an engineering student from Gujarat. I think, The Hindu is a really respected newspaper in India and i for one am an admirer of the articles you write.”
(Smiles).. “How do you get hold of it? “
“I read it one day late. For someone from Gujarat, i would like to read it the same day though. (We both smile) Also, i would like to tell you that i would like to write for you one day. (Smiles again)
Wouldn’t want to overwhelm you sir, so I’ ll leave. Thank You. Its been a pleasure.”
( Reaches out to his pocket to give me his personal card… we shake hands.. and i turn to leave. )
“An amazing experience. I come back to Niki and tell her… I won’t give up writing anytime soon now. [:)]”
When you’re at Andaman, the clocks strike a different tune. Its night at 6 pm and morning at 5 am. There is an utter silence over the waters in the early morning, whereas there’s a thunderous battering of night tide waters on the shore rocks. There’s misty cloud formation over the tiny island hills you watch from your hotel rooms, and schools of fishes you stare near the boat edges at the drop of peanuts. There’s a symphony of air, water, land and matter and at the same time, the great pause of nature comprising them all being the most unpredictable.
The visit to Port blair is incomplete without being to the CELLULAR JAIL (or Kalapani. ) It reminds us of the ideological mindset of the people of the pre independence era, the martyrs, their father and forefather generations who all gave up their bloods for things as small as hurting the false english egos. You can’t weigh their contribution in words, or pictures, let alone any other precious item in the world. The amazing and soul touching ‘Light and Sound show’ triggers a sense of wilderness among us, as if in today’s world, we have no real motive to live and only wealth and information to glutton down our throats.
Port Blair is surrounded by several big and small islands with importance. The Ross Island is of special significance as it was once the capital of british occupied islands and where the japanese attacked and captured during the second world war. It has the air of a terrible past but an amazing peace surrounding it with the islands comprising old church remains, british offices, jap bunkers, etc. A nice thing we meet the deers who do not sense any danger among human presence and gladly munch some fruits, biscuits on being offered. The Viper Island typically gets its name from a large no. of Viper snakes that were once found on the island and is significant for no particular reason apart from the fact that at one point of time, it hosted executions for the convicts of the cellular jail (or martyrs if i may say) and was home to the female convicts of the raj. The Northbay Island is another beauty to the eyes, with views of mist being driven from hill tops, probably clouds in their infancy and a light house throwing light far and wide over the group. You could snorkeling there as an activity which provides a nice view of the shallow water corals and sea life there.
The visit to Andaman has no charm if you do not pay a visit to the HAVELOCK Islands, a 1.5 hr cruise ride from Port blair. Havelock is a place that could be viewed as Kerela + Goa + Assam. Sweet place with sweeter people traversing on bicycles and two wheelers, small roads, innumerable palms, trees as huge as 80-90 feet, with exotic flowers and silence redefined.
It houses a population of only 12000-15000 which is a decent amount in that part of the world and a perfect reason for people to make it a point of going there. Less human interference and better nature’s reach. One can spend a whole day just sleeping on the beaches under the umbrella and a nice glass of coconut water. The Radhanagar beach there has been rated as one of the finest in Asia and believe me, its Breathtaking. So clean, so white, fewer people, water as clear as crystal until at least 30-40 meters into the waters from the beach. (Try and google it! ) We liked it so much, we went there twice to enjoy it. Niki was so ecstatic, she took a dip into the water and had her heart’s fill riding the tidal waves near the shore. I even had my first meditation session from Kirtibhai and revisited my experiences of Pranayaam early in the morning there.
Even though i write this, i still wouldn’t be able to sum up the experience i had there. I guess you get the feel and try to make it a point to visit a place, wherever it is, where you find time to be with Yourself alone.
Coming Soon.. The Islands. Part 3. BLUE.
(Courtesy of Pictures: Dhaval Soni, Nikunj Soni and Lajja Bhagat’s Camera ! [:)])