One fine morning when the rains took a break from its daily monsoon duty. The Sun grabbed this golden opportunity to spread its golden rays. Neither did I spoiled this golden day. And I immediately thought of a day trip in this rain free day. Where to go on such a day? A lot of suggestions and brainstorming ended up in selecting Meherabad for the day.
The much-awaited monsoon is here again. The vegetation around has taken up a fresh look. The tall branches of the trees have covered themselves up under the blanket of leafy green. The thick layer of shrubs and grasses embraces the rejoicing soil. The stony structures get a new paint of moss. Thus the monsoon rejuvenates every thirsty soul giving them a new look. Yes, the monsoon is here again.
Calcutta (now Kolkata) was named the City of Joy after the novel by the French author Dominique Lapierre. The novel was based on this city. The people here love to celebrate every occasion and festival. Kolkata has its own charm which is very different from all other regions. And to me, the very name takes me through the journey of nostalgia. Why not? This is my native land and I spent the most of my lifespan in the city. So today I thought of taking my readers through my native city in my own way.
How many of you remember the lesson on mineral formation from the geography classes? More precisely the limestone structures of stalactite and stalagmite. Like many another interesting phenomenon we studied in our geography classes this was pretty awesome too. Those impressive pillars within the dark caves, some growing upwards while some descending downwards. All sounds so spectacular. Yes, I am talking about limestone caves of Baratang in the Andaman Islands.
A story of love far from the main lands. Love that involves togetherness as well as aloofness. For long, long time they stood together holding hands in hands, braving all the perils. They romance within the jade green water and lure us all with their tale.
Through the pleasant roads and wondrous destinations en route, we reached the land of illusion – Mayabunder. The tiny hamlet situated in the northern part of Middle Andaman. It is the administrative headquarters of North and Middle Andamans. The town was settled during the colonial period. The early settler were ex-convicts, immigrants from East Pakistan (Bangladesh) and the Keren Tribe from Myanmar who was brought here as cheap logging labour.
Mayabunder – Is this the land of illusion (“maya”)? Well, there is illusion everywhere and in every sphere of life. Every human being falls for some or the other illusion. Some say the world is an illusion (“Prithvi ek maya hai”). Then how to discriminate between illusion and reality? Anyway, this was enough of my philosophical nonsense. I have no intention to write this post on such philosophical concepts. On my quest to travel as much of Andaman Islands, I was on my way to Mayabunder (the dock of illusion?).