Andaman Trip Story (Day 3)

February 26, 2009 at 8:12 PM Leave a comment

 

I could hear some guy with a sore throat singing very loudly and some other bunch of idiots instead of stopping him where joining his chorus. However that voice sounded pretty familiar, but I could make out whose voice it was, I still was lying on my bed but that voice was badly disturbing my sleep. I waited for about another 30second still that sore throat guy didn’t seem like he would stop singing and now he had also begun to yell, as they say desperate times call for desperate measures so I turned my head to the left , I couldn’t see anyone, but the voice was still heard so I turned towards my right, I could see something was glowing, I just got my hand closer to it and closely examined it, guess what it was it was just Kailash kher desperately trying wake me up with “Mangala mangala mangala mangala mangala mangala Ho”  the Mangal pandey title song.

 

Anyway all I had to do was press snooze and shut him up and go back to sleep, but it was less than say 5 minutes that I heard another “wake up call” in a shrill voice, oh no, don’t think it was kailash kher it was my dad. He was all up and ready at 07.30am in the morning and ready to go for breakfast, I mean I can never figure out why do people get up so early in the morning, but as for me I was already late and I knew I had to hurry with my routine, so I took Suprabatha kit and went on to get ready, within 20 minutes I fully ready. However by the time everybody had left for breakfast so I really had to hurry up, with no time to waste I had to dump my things in my luggage (not that I would arrange it neatly if I even had time) and quickly I sprinted towards to restraint l, thankfully everyone was still waiting for their menu to arrive, even I settled my place some where near Mr.Gangadhar uncle, he is one of the most quietest persons in the entire group of “Red bandits” and he talks only when it is extremely necessary, but every time gangadhar uncle always has the last laugh.

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After a heavy non-vegetarian dinner the previous night I did feel like stuffing myself with more food so I just thought of having a katori of upma, let me tell u in some parts of Chennai they make upma out of rice and I really enjoyed eating it. After the breakfast we collected our luggage from our rooms, boarded the bus and proceeded towards the airport, the flight was scheduled to take off at 11.00am but since there are some security procedures to be followed we arrived to the airport say about 2 hours early, the city of Chennai even though it has god road is full of traffic so even though the airport is just 30 kms drive from the hotel we left quite early say about 08.30am from our hotel. We arrived at the airport say something about 9.15am and then after regrouping ourselves to a pack of 19 once again we headed towards the ticket counter and the proceeded to security and then eventually waited in the boarding room for about 30.00 minutes, wandering here and there and buying some last minute snacks, then finally our boarding call came in and we were escorted to our flight kingfisher. Once we were on board we took time to settle ourselves in our seat and then finally after hearing a sweet voice of announcer welcoming us to the airlines and salutations by the captain to the passengers the flight finally took off. 

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It was a ok experience but I guess for such short travels of two hours kingfisher does not have a in-flight entertainment , we had a couple of magazines to read,  me and my friend anvith took some pictures and video of our group also and what more we could do, I would definitely would like to have Para-glided but I don’t thing the aviation ministry would allow me, anyway we had flown say what about some 1 hour 40minutes or more, finally after a long break a French captain spoke that we are that we are heading to land on the island of Andaman and Nicobar. And there it was I saw the first glimpse of the island which totally captured my attention a huge piece of land entirely covered with trees, complimenting this beauty was a huge formation of sea shore with crystal blue waters (guys I know it sounds exaggerating but believe me I am not exaggerating a bit). Even from such a great height of the flight we were in anyone could see the crystal blue water, which at least I had not seen before other than on T.V.

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When I saw those waters, first thing I remembered was of a blue flavored Pepsi which the company had introduced earlier during the world cup I brought it and regretted it, but this blue which I saw now perhaps may never be able to forget.

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I was totally lost in the seeing the island when suddenly the pilot radio crackled (now being a regular audience of “National geographic channel’s” air craft investigation I knew that pilot talking to the passengers during landing maneuver is never a good news) nevertheless I forgot al about the scenery and started staining my ears to listening to the announcement by the pilot generally in such cases I presumed pilot would ask us to get ready with our life jackets, moreover even before a week we could take off there have been almost 5 mid air disastrous I knew 1) Indian President Parathiba Patel’s flight landing avoiding collision with a passenger aircraft.

2) Indian Air-force and civil air-force missed a mid-air collision just by a difference of 1000 meters.

 3) Civilian aircraft in USA did a rough landing in Houston River

4) Another Australian charter plane carried out a same stunt by landing on river water.

5) A civilian plane flying to New York crashed at buffalo carrying 40 people.

 

So you see you cant totally my skepticism as unnecessary, anyways I don’t know about others but I was carefully listening to the captains melodious voice and I was almost ready to wear my life jacket, then the pilot said “due to a delay in a take off of another aircraft from Andaman Nicobar airport the kingfisher airways will delay its landing by another 5 minutes and instead would give a free aerial sight seeing to its guest without any additional charge” those last words made me breathe back to life.

 

Slowly I composed myself and started digging for my camera in the pouch, but the scenery was on the other side of the row, so I desperately started looking for a person whom I knew sitting on the window seat and knowing to operate digital camera and there she was already taking pictures with her own camera Anvith’s sister Deepika.

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She is a MBBS graduate, she is again a very very silent person, anyway I called her for help and she took my camera and started taking pictures for me too. I must tell all you guys planning to go to Andaman please do not forget to keep your camera handy while you hover in air around Andaman. Very soon after 5 prompt minutes we landed the Andaman union territory of India at 12.30pm.

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Now the only airport in Andaman and Nicobar is at port Blair so this airport is both a commercial as well as a military base, so do not get excited if you see gunmen surrounding you aircraft as soon as it lands, it is just a drill that the military personals perform when an aircraft lands at a military base and please do keep all your audio visual equipment inside the bag at all times or else it may be seized. It is a very small airport which operates only for half a day rest of the time it is a full time military base of INS Ankur.

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And within few minutes after carrying our baggage’s out of the airport we started walking towards the visitors lounge and started reading a pluck card with our tour operators name on it and it was there as scheduled. A guy came up to us recognizing our cap and introduced himself as Raju and he said that he will be our tour guide for the next 5 days in Andaman Nicobar. He quickly got 4 of his Tata sumo victa car which was sufficient to accommodate 19 of us.

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It was hardly a 5 minute drive to our hotel called “Heritage Inn”, it was a good hotel, but all the way while talking to the guide I saw that realized that he was god in doing his job and I mean he was a gem of a person but all the way he was totally engrossed in buttering his client, I mean that was a part of his work I agree but sometime it was just too much.

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We were told by the guide that we have to get ready by 13.15pm to have our lunch and almost everybody was interested in it as the in-flight menu was not enough to satisfy our appetite. We again sat in our respective cars and we proceeded towards the hotel to have lunch. Now in Andaman anyone I think can survive I mean this is a tourist paradise. I was surprised to know that in Andaman almost all types of food in India is available be it North Indian or South Indian cuisine, Western or Continental, Bengali or Rajastani moreover the food tastes as good as it should be. Food is something that we can never complain in Andaman and Nicobar.

 

 

Once we finished our lunch we first proceeded towards Wandoor beach, were we first saw the clear water of Andaman prior to which we had seen it in the flight. It was not an illusion to the eyes it is really crystal clear water. I had not brought any additional clothes to play in water s I preferred to stay on land and take some pictures, this beach was kina very rocky with all types of jagged, sharp, round and oval kinds of rocks. Some group from Chennai had come to the beach to celebrate some festival or ritual in the same beach.

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Meanwhile I spoke to a gentleman named Prasad who was the e resident of the island I told him that I was really impressed with the way the island and its waters was maintained. For which Prasad told me that it was only because that the industries have not been able to establish in Andaman due to shortage of raw material and that is one of the main reason why the island was able to maintain its natural beauty,

 

It was not quite sunny in the beach at that time we went so it was a great experience to scroll and rock and roll on the shores of the beach after about an hour or so we went ahead for our next destination. Here one destination is quite far from another so it takes us a lot of time for us to travel, but in Andaman when you say that travel it is not a suffering but I would rather call it a experience because wherever you see it is scenic beauty all together, the coastal belt, the hutment settlers, I mean everything is just like a add on to the beauty of Andaman (oh boy I am going philosophy again).

 

After a short stop at a local tea vendor we proceeded to a park called as a millennium park or Rajiv Gandhi point (it is yet to be inaugurated).

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This is a small jetty which is recently built and well maintained and it is a god place to take a small walk or a stroll, here our group took couple of pictures as displayed below , there are also many statues in the millennium park like that of Rabindranath tagore , Subhas Chandra bose, Army tanks and a motion big clock.

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We had actually planned to go to cellular jail (Kaala Paani) the same day, however since we were already behind our schedule and it was quite dark, so our guide Raju suggested us that we better attend the sound and light show in the cellular jail today and we cam postpone the jail visit for 19/02/2009.

 

So be it we decided to attend the cellular jail on some other day, however we had not yet brought the tickets for the show. So till our drivers got us the tickets we took a walk in the Veer Savarkar Park, this particular park was built in the memory of the great leaders of Indian independence who faced a lot of suffering as political prisoners in the cellular jail during the freedom struggle.

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We were still chatting in the park when all of a sudden one of our drivers informed us that the show will be starting in seven minutes or so and he had brought us the tickets. So everybody just left loitering in the park and proceeded towards the cellular jail sound and light show. This show in particular is one of my favorites of my visit in Andaman, don’t worry I wont to tell the content of the show and spoil your visit when you be there, but I would just recommend that don’t skip this show because of any reasons, it conveys some of the important happenings that took place in the island jail before its independence, which was unheard during the freedom struggle and was confined to the four walls of the jail.

 

It was a open air stage show with a very effective presentation led by the voice of a veteran actor of Hindi cinema Om Puri apart from this the show is very beautiful co-coordinated and orchestrated. Not one point during the show did I felt bored or I got distracted, it was really bothering to know the way both the British and the Japanese treated the Indian prisoners in their own land.

 

It was a one hour show and at around 19.45pm the show got completed, the moment we came out of the presentation the faces of everyone told the impact the story of the island called “KAALA PAANI”.

 

We were almost an hour late for our dinner schedule but on our way to the restaurant the guide had arranged for us one last stop and that was “Gandhi Park”. However this park was just a leisure stop for the group, I mean nor the guide or anyone could relate the history of Gandhiji with this park, however might be that even Gandhi had come to this park.

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It is a huge park with a lot of area coming under its carpet; I just got a couple of pictures of this place till we finally proceeded towards restaurant.

 

My family as usual had their regular bite but today I felt like having something Andaman style but to my surprise the waiter said that Andaman people do not have a specific regional food they blended their delicacy with rest of India, so with no there option I had only one go to try Nicobari Kofta and chapatti, I must have you tried bland marshmallow in some delicious yummy gravy, well that is exactly how Nicobari Kofta tastes like, almost melting in the mouth with its every end dipped in the sweet and sour gravy. I scooped out the biggest chunk of the Kofta and gobbled it up before my family could even know that it was there and can you believe I got away with my crime without being detected.

 

In the restaurant the hotel had sponsored our group with a separate room of 20 capacity.

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Maybe we talked a lot with each other and made noise, which in-fact we did, Satish uncle N.K Gatty, Soorya Narayana uncle, Binamani Aunty, Bharathi Aunty, almost dominated the discussions with their own funny instances during their travel and it was a pleasure to hear these guys talking so nicely with one everyone.

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Oh by the way N. K Gatty is my dad Full name Narayana Karangala Gatty, he is a civil contractor by profession most of the time he is serious in his professional relations but in personal like he likes interacting a lot of people.

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Ok so that was almost it for the day after some really good time with the entire group, by the time we were about to retire to our butter man cum tour guide Raju appeared in from of us coming right at our face in Hindi“hello sir/ madam…. how are you doing today, hope you had a good dinner” and then he explained everyone with the next days plan, I was not in a mood to listen, so I went back to my room had a good shower and started watching some music and somehow I slept there itself after sometime which was actually 11.45pm I got up again not knowing what to do I switched on the T.V, since my dad was sleeping on the next bed he got up couple of times and he told me to go to sleep and switch off the T.V, But since I was not in the mood to sleep I kept on watching some Katrina kaif movie it I don’t know when I went to sleep.

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Andaman Trip Story (Day2) Andaman Trip Story (Day 4)

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