Posted by: Kappa | April 3, 2008

Happy’s Jolly Boys and their Andaman Trip 2007 – Part 1

This is the first of a four-part series, courtesy Harshdeep Singh aka Happy aka Goofy from PGP09. For those of you not in the know, Happy Singh is tall, lanky, (was) a (bloody) fresher, had an inexhaustible supply of what he called jokes and made use of every single occasion to crack them. Regardless, his room in Hostel F was a haven for merriment, and the man himself was (is) well-liked and well-remembered by all.

What follows is a stream-of-consciousness account of a trip that Happy and his friends made to the Andaman Islands in early 2007, shortly before PGP09 graduated.

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

Happy and his Jolly Boys

Happy, Solu, KP, Munnabhai and Sudgho

Ah well, so here we were in sultry Chennai. After almost freezing to death in the train journey from Calicut last night, we were getting roasted walking back to our hotel room post the usual movie, mall-crawling and dinner. But salvation lay ahead. The Andamans! And thus, what began as a desire to do something different 15 months back finally saw the light of day, not to mention the heat as well. And as the cast (Kaushik Pal aka KP, Sudipta Ghosh aka Sudgho, Ritesh Prakash aka Munnabhai, Nitesh Solanki aka Solu and yours truly aka Happy) and crew (Solu the cinematographer, Solu the cameraperson and Solu the director) got ready, little did we know what was in store. And what followed did full justice to the long wait. The Andamans were as beautiful, if not more than what the websites had shown them to be. Even from the skies, one could see coral islands circumscribed by green and blue waters. Paaaaaaradise!

Day One

Our destination from Chennai was Port Blair, which is accessible by regular flights by most carriers from Chennai and Kolkata and a weekly flight from Delhi as well. But the flight timings will be towards dawn or dusk as the air strip is a small one and during the day, the direct reflection of Sun rays on the sea water causes problems in landing and takeoff. The other option was a sea cruise, which at almost the same cost and a much longer duration was never really considered. So having landed in PB, and taken asylum into a guest house arranged by a friend, we decided to do some local sight-seeing post-lunch.

 Port Blair at night

Port Blair at night

The biggest attraction of the city is the cellular jail which during the days of the Raj was the notorious ‘Kala Pani’. It has since been developed into a tourist attraction. We decided to start off with the local museums relying on the advice of our taxiwala-cum-tourist guide. There are quite a few good museums about marine life, tribal culture and more, where you can find stuff like different types of corals, ash from the supposedly active volcano at Barren Islands, weapons used by the Jarwas, a picture of a ‘mermaid’ washed ashore sometime in the 70s, skeleton of a blue whale caught by the navy in a similar era. The whole thing sounds very ‘fishy’ but is actually good time-pass :). Another well known landmark is the Chatham saw mill and museum, which many years ago was a very modern saw mill but has remained stuck in time since. Go there only if you want to act as a courier between the security guard there and his son who studies somewhere in Calicut :-|. We reached the museum spot on time as per our guide’s instructions in the evening to witness the closing of the Museum! The time he had mentioned was that of the sound and light show! Which didn’t make any sense as it was still broad daylight!

Dejected, we decided to move to Corbin’s Cove, the local beach. The road to that was winding and lined with antique looking lamps along the sea wall a la Marine drive. The beach was decent, and the discovery of the day was the small camouflage crab which was almost impossible to distinguish from the sand beneath and buried itself at the slightest hint of danger. After enjoying the cool breeze for a while, we reported for the show at the cellular jail. For something that has been lent narrative support by the likes of Om Puri, and talks about the freedom struggle, it was surprisingly soporific. It ought to be clubbed with the cellular jail museum visit but not much on a standalone basis.

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Responses

  1. […] Islands just before their convocation in early 2007. This is Part Two of their four-part tale. Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four. Day Two Off we were, to some local islands, expanding our […]

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

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

  4. bhai..machaa diya hain tumne…just finished reading all the 4 parts of our great expedition…it was as though i was reliving those 5 days again!!! really want to make a trip again…let me know if there are any such plans…am in delhi now…in case u drop in, mujhe contact karna on 97110-23993


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