When it comes to Andaman, I am emulous, unreasonable and unabashedly rude; mainly with the people who are travelling there. Because I know, once they come back they will say the thing I had already warned them on, ‘I felt like staying there forever and not come back to this real life!’ My point is, it’s a blasphemy on their side as only I can think like this; just waiting my entrance to the cabinet and I will bring a law against it!
As it is, my travel obsession is nothing less than bride’s mother-in-law, on which I have this abnormal neurosis for these cluster of ickle Islands; I just want to possess Andaman Island one day and be the White Witch Queen of this tamed wilderness. Ruddy absurd this is! I know, a complete irreparable frontal lobe damage!
If you still don’t want to believe me, that’s because you haven’t met me yet and you are blessed, to keep it short. I have been to Andaman thrice till now, and I wish to go there again and even after that. Though small an island, the island has still managed to isolate itself from the complexities of rest of the fast moving world. Though a teaspoon of a land surrounded by ocean, it’s a rich’s place. Be it the blue of the water or the green of the forest; they are unbridled and incessant. Though still running slightly late in the jet speed world, this land still holds the spell of warmth, love and abundance of joy.
If you have been to Andaman, I am confident that, you will agree that a week’s stay in the islands is a lifelong investment to gain from it’s ebullient memories forever. My first visit was in the year 1994, I was a kinder-garden student then, and my mother still doesn’t come along with the fact that I still have a lot of that holiday’s memories in-tact in me. This ‘lot’ includes my first ever experience with Air India, the in-flight food, a boat ride to Ross Island, few other beach visits, going to a garden every evening, the fish aquarium.. That indeed is quite a lot! I have been to other places after that but most of them are vague in my brain till I was decently grown up to understand Travel. Some things are always beyond the universe’s general equation.
My favourite part in Andaman is the northern tip of the main island; known as Diglipur. In simple words it’s a raw Andaman and you, at times will regret for not being a part of it directly. After Baratang, crossing few more villages we had reached Diglipur after a day long journey. Everywhere the scenario was the same, a laid back easy life, no rush, no stress. A major population of Diglipur is Bengali, mostly during partition a lot people took shelter in this island and made this far away land their own house. It’s even called a mini Bangladesh by many, but whatever it is, you can’t ignore the people here, their hospitality and their food.
We were on our tour to Ross & Smith Island, in between we stopped for some oozing fresh hot chai at a shanty in between the shaded forest and by the going-straight-ahead concrete road, a lot of local people were gathered around that shop enjoying chai, biscuit, bread or just to chat with each other. Some were half laid on the chairs, some seating at the side of the road, some occupying the bench to keep their glass of Chai on it while they would finish their bread.
‘Are you from Bengal?’ listening to my father and I talking to each other in Bengali; one old man asked my father.
‘Yes we are. You speak Bengali?’
‘We are Bengalis. You see, most of the people living in Diglipur are Bengalis. Then you see a lot of Bengalis in Port Blair as well’
‘Yes, lot of Bengalis are here. How long have you been staying here?’
‘We are here for a long time now. Our fathers, fore-fathers came here, the government supported us, and after some struggle we are finally well settled here.’
‘It’s been a long time then. And there has been a huge development here from the last time I came.’
‘Yes, Government is working for our well-being, and we are happy here.’ these last four words always gives a pang in my heart.
My Andaman reminiscence is unabated under every circumstance. Every heated afternoon reminds me the view of the cricket stadium, beside which a blue swimming pool, then across the road the beach followed the Lighthouse restaurant, all in one frame from the veranda of our home-stay, the windy summer evenings are the time when I remember of my struggle with my ruffling hair at the roof of one of the wings at Celluar Jail, the downpour at Karmatang beach on a late afternoon, that daffodil girl who came fishing with her father at Kalikapur beach, I can go on and on..
On point to mention here: You may not relate to my thoughts if you haven’t been to Andaman yet, so once you plan a trip there, read this post once again and share your thought. I will wait to hear from you enviously!!