It was the month of May, I still remember it as clear as the sea that I am glazing at right now; yes, I had been to this place before, the setting sun, the waves crashing on the moss covered rocks and the smell of fried fish, It is one of those places that I could never forget.
Since childhood I grew up reading stories about islands, pirates and sea and wished for getting stranded on one through it might sounds childish but after reading Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island, it was what I always fantasised about , it had become one of my lifelong dream to just escape into the vast ocean and live a life of adventure.
Situated to north of Aceh in Indonesia and separated from Thailand and Burma by the Andaman Sea, The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a group of islands at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea, and are a Union Territory of India.
With a rich historical background, the island itself speaks of its past like an ancient book revealing the mysteries and the myth it has hidden among the folds of papyrus, from the pre-colonial era to the terrifying times of world war II the island holds a history of colonisation, struggle, war and freedom. After the independence of India in 1947, the Andaman and Nicobar islands became a part of the Indian union in 1950 and was declared a union territory in 1956.
I remember the first time I visited the islands, it was the month of May and I had just finished my annual exams and was on a family vacation to the islands as a part of the escape plan my parents had decided for me ,being a kid adventure was my first priority so when my parents asked for my opinion on the choice of our travel medium, since there were only two ways of reaching the islands and it was either Ship or Plane ,I immediately jumped on the idea of travelling by sea route and it was decided ; but the minor fact that I missed was that it would be a 4 day long journey in a vessel surrounded by ocean with an occasional feeling of sea sickness .It was my 2nd day and I was still inside the cabin lying on my bed green as a cucumber looking at the ceiling wondering when this torture would be over, since the day I stepped on board I hadn’t been able to get up and move a few feet without feeling a pang of sea sickness and the irony was that I couldn’t even complain since it was my idea after all.
By the 3rd day I somehow got used to the feeling (with the doses of sea sickness tablets of course) and decided to explore the deck. Getting out of my safe haven I wobbled down the corridor to see the surrounding islands and ocean but what I saw was far more beautiful than I had expected, like green emeralds in the ocean, the islands looked like small gems glittering in the summer sun, the smell of salt and sea with a touch of breeze were a relief to my soul.
On 4th day we reached Port Blair, the Territory’s capital and started to explore. The islands are a beauty and blessing of Mother Nature itself in the disguise of a unique rainforest with mixed elements of flora. There are various tourists’ spots on the islands starting from the cellular jail to Ross Islands to the beautiful beaches of Havelock islands, all places are something you don’t want to miss. Speaking of a place not to be missed is Coral islands, where you get the chance to explore and see the corals, all you need to do is get a guide, take a dip and enjoy the beauty your eyes would love to see again and again. But the place that got me rooted was the beautiful beaches of Havelock Islands and the mouth watering varieties of sea food from fishes to crabs to prawns, everything is at your service like a never ending tale of sea foods.
And now as the sun sets in the horizon I am back at the beach as the waves wash my feet from the fine grains of sands, taking away my worries and tiredness as I look for a sign of my childhood but this time it is the month of June and I am back on the islands again after the tsunami, alone and young but with a sense of contentment, with the sounds of the waves I look at the memories I have gathered at this island, the joys of childhood and an escape from reality, this is my place of independence, the islands of freedom.
About the Author – Ritika Sagar: I am an English Literature student going to start my 2nd year and on the lookout for my next adventure at another place and in another country soon.In my free time I am a writer working on long projects and exploring my options or watching movies and enjoying my life. Find me on Facebook.