Posted by: Kappa | April 3, 2008

Happy’s Jolly Boys and their Andaman Trip 2007 – Part 4

The last in a four-part series about Happy Singh’s vacation to the Andaman island with his gang of merry PGP09-ers.

Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four.

Day Four (yes, Last day)

Last Day and we were going to Havelock Islands, home of the Radha Nagar beach which was fabled to be the 4th best beach in Asia pre-Tsunami and was still one of the top 10. We made the terrible mistake of booking our tickets on the INS Ramanujam, a slow-moving, diesel-guzzling ship which took four hours for a one way ride and left us with precious little time to spend time on the isle. There was another option to take a speed boat to and fro which would have taken far less time but we came to know of that option too late. Anyways, in our initial considerations, we had always planned keeping this trudge in mind. And we toiled on, sometimes loitering on the deck, on the stairs, posing with the chimney, until it got too hot and sunny for our sun burnt selves to withstand, leaving us with the TV playing a few old songs in repeated succession for company in the hall. The boat will take you to a particular spot on Havelock (Elephant beach or something, I don’t remember) from where you can always hire a cab to go to Radha nagar beach. By the time we got there, most of the firangi junta had returned to their hotels/shacks (Goa style, affordable and mostly available. In fact, the beach itself reminded me of Goa, clean and gradual with calm seas and stretching on either side).

Damn everyone, we were not going to waste even a single second idling and of we went into the inviting, beckoning sea. Except for Solu who went off on his shooting expedition with his camera. (had a pretty good catch I tell you 😉 ). And while we splashed, jumped, dipped, time was ticking away and very soon it was almost pack up time. But there was something missing, we couldn’t have left the place with some strong memory to keep us excited for a very long time. And that was when we did the “Chunduru dance” on the beach much to the amusement of a few tourists who had ventured by. The good thing about the beach is that you have shower facilities available on the beach for a nominal charge, and you can also rent swimming trunks if need be. The not so good thing, a lack of a full time hotel on the beach. Most of the blokes on the beach stay on some resort/hotel/shack nearby and have their food arrangements done accordingly, but for tourists, one has to inform the ‘dhaba’ guys about 30 min in advance as these establishments are mainly family run with 2 or max 3 principles. Thanks to KP’s vernacular skills, we Bhadralok were served lunch. And so, in around 3 hours, it was pack up time. The ideal way to enjoy Havelock islands is to stay for a night at least. The islands beauty is significantly enhanced when seen in the light of sunrise and sunset, which is when you also have the most firangs :D. A few random Turkish couples excluded (Solu the shikari to testify :D).

And we headed back, each of us vowing like the Terminator that we will be back! Return journey was another 4 hours of trudge and we were scared to think of it until we saw a big Tam Gang (possibly a Big family) returning with us. Those blokes sang and danced on the top deck for as long as I could remember. There were these two young foreigner kids who had been running around the place playing with each other and occasionally stopping to gawk at the song and dance show. The matriarch of the family spotted them and even those two lil’ kids were roped in! And before their mum, who was trying to click a picture, could realize, she too was in the middle of the whole festivity. Even the Captain of the ship came out to enjoy. I bet even our co-traveler ‘Frustoo Aunty’ would also have cast a cursory glance in that direction at least once. Though we couldn’t catch the sunset at Radha Nagar beach, it was still quite spectacular from the top of the ship. And as the sun tried to hide behind the light house tower, and our tour-de-Andamans drew to an end, we had a few pics of us clicked, posing proudly in the cheap ‘Andaman Islands’ t shirts bought locally. Even today I can’t help thinking how one could smile so much when they are as weary as we were that day.

And the aircraft took off. Lost in memories of the past journeys, I dozed off. Drifted away. Drenched, satiated, lost, happy, peaceful, Yogic. It was on the morning of our last day there and the memories of the white surf, the green waters and those tiny brown dots as seen from the sky were etched permanently in our memories.

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  1. […] Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four. […]


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