There are 2 kinds of people on-board towards a destination. One - those who travel just to the destination for whom the word is "vacationer" and Two - the other species who travel just for the sheer love of traveling; and I undoubtedly and proudly belong to the latter category.
The reason I love to travel and travel more is that I firmly believe in the mantra of "The journey itself is the reward".
Until then it was just another day when I came across a TV ad while compressing the photographs of my last destination explored inside out when I saw serene secluded beaches blessed with pure and white sand while wind blowing through the coconut trees and nothing was looking made or covered up for the ad shoot. I was mesmerized and was convinced that it's another random ad of New Zealand tourism when I got to know by a flash message that it's nowhere else but the "Incredible India" showcasing "The Andamans". I was seduced within a nano-second and got to know that where I am heading next.
The next prerequisites were - my gang, my camera and a couple of boxers to get me flying outta home, even before the newspaper for the next day arrived at my doorstep!
With a day's halt at Kolkata witnessing the busy streets with traffic cops in white amidst the humid afternoons of the city and trams alongside my cab, it looked all very interesting. Besides the culinary delights of the Bong city has got me still asking for more.
The next day it was the time to fly towards the farthest point on the Indian map from the Dum Dum airport. From the window of the flight itself I started getting the view of what was coming my way and believe me, it was just a mere teaser.
As soon as we landed and reached our local abode it was really getting hard to wait to get out in the open. Although it rained, which was absolutely out of the blue, the 10 minutes long shower lowered down the mercury effect, and the prevailing coolness calmed our souls.
We took an open jeep on hire, which was a quite a tough deal to find but one generous local who knew what it means to us – the wanderers, generously agreed and we were off zooming the narrow streets of the island city. Zipping through the snake-like roads, we reached the Millenium Point which oversaw one of the most picture perfect beaches I ever witnessed in the last 25 years of my age. It literally looked like a scene right out of a movie or the kind of beautiful posters which I only saw at the Navrartri fares when I was some 10 odd years old. Nearby at a distance of just a few kilometers was "The Cellular Jail" – the toughest to break and huge enough to make you tired. With the authentic rooms or rather stores where the prisoners were hanged till death and the prison cells darker than dark, it gave me shivers down to the spinal cord to just imagine that how people survived over there for so many years!! The walls were painted with slogans of self-independence and freedom, the now turned monument had a lot to offer from a wanderer’s point of view and a lot to discover from a travel enthusiast’s point of view. This was followed by the light and sound show, an inexplicably awesome event, for if you miss this, then the only option is to go back again and watch it. Period.
The next day was the day to actually sail through the literal "Kaala Pani" and reach the Havelock island which was as serene, as 'serene' could be. The roads were smooth with plush greenery on both the sides and an occasional spotting of deer across the road. The town, as I shall call it, is all peaceful except the port area and is habituated by really simple and friendly locals. The Radhanagar beach was another wonder I got to witness with long, peaceful beaches and 'almost white' sand. The surprising part was that in spite of being such a great tourist destination, from no angel, it was over commercially exploited, contrary to the common belief. Playing in the waters of Bay of Bengal and getting buried in the sand to get me some anti-tan scrub was all the fun we did for over 3 hours, in addition to getting my digi cam being brought to it’s optimum use.
The only way to experience what I want to express is to visit this place because to pen it down in words is nothing but to make a futile effort to make one see, touch and feel those waves of happiness, nirvana and freedom when there is so much to, feel, discover and re-discover. All I wish to say is that it would have been divine if the option of flying back, leaving that place, did not exist.
And if this all has already got you started packing your bags, you’ll find a surprise there because as I always say:
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware!”