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Mother, writer and daydreamer. Also chocoholic and chick-flick lover. But mainly mommy. To two boys, at that! When not escorting my Elder One (EO) to karate class, I'm trying to get in as many cuddles as possible from my Younger One (YO). And when not doing either, I'm hard-at-work trying to maintain a steady relationship with my laptop. And as for the Man I Married (MIM), well, let’s just put it this way – even though we share a bedroom, our most meaningful conversations are held over the cell-phone!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

At the Andamans...Part Deux

January 24th, 2009
In the morning we tried to be optimistic. We monitored our baby’s fever, stayed indoors and rested. After a conversation with our paediatrician, we decided to put all our faith in God, allopathic medicine and five years of parenting experience to work…and we made up our minds to go to Havelock. We rested the boys, ordered in and tried to catch up on sleep. In the evening, a school friend of mine, AM, who organises fishing trips on the island came over for a chat. He was leaving for Havelock the next day too. He gave us a lot of good advice and told us not to miss out on Havelock. We didn’t want to. The YO had shown no signs of fever either since late afternoon, so yippee!

The EO warms to people easily. And he also loves being adored. He took an immediate likeing to AM and set about trying to win his approval. Now AM is an absolute man's man; macho, outdoorsy, tanned, gruff voice, the works. The EO thought that the only thing to do to get AM's approval was to practice his karate moves...something he doesn't do at home even after lots of begging, pleading, pouting and ultimately threatening. It was late. We had an early morning. I needed my kids to go to sleep. The MIM and AM were drinking and chatting quietly in the sitting area as I got the boys ready for bed. Luckily, the YO zonked off, but the EO just went about kicking at imaginary flies in the air. Finally, I had to literally haul his ass into bed. I tucked him in, kissed him and sang him a lullaby. He looked at me very tearfully and announced that his "heart is sad". I died a zillion times over and frantically asked him, "Why my shona, my sweetheart, my heerer tukro?" To which he replied with as much sadness as he could put in, "Because you won't let me do my karate. How will I do well if you don't let me to do it Mamma? How?! How?!?"
The sneaky little devil! Mastering the art of emotional blackmail so young, are we?

Well, I gotta say, it worked. He was given ten more minutes to 'practise'/impress AM. After a round of applause and innumerable "Wow!"s and "Very good!"s, he FINALLY went to bed...and crashed! Phew!
January 25th, 2009
The ferry left at 6.30 am. Another night of little sleep (third night in a row!) and we set off for the jetty with another family from the hotel. A four hour trip later during which the EO and I played loads of silly games, gorged on tons of junk food while YO stayed chipku to his super-hero father, I marvelled time and again at the sheer splendour of the natural surroundings. An absolute photographer’s delight! My nature-loving soul would have felt complete had my YO not decided to have a meltdown of mammoth proportions in front of the other passengers where he wanted his baba and ONLY his baba. This even caused some of our more ‘concerned’ co-passengers to remark to my husband that he was “closer to you, right?” They ‘thoughtfully’ did this behind my back while the EO and I were up on deck. To say that I was embarrassed is of course an understatement. It was definitely not one of my sterling moments as a mother.

The view as we near Havelock Island is, to put it mildly, spectacular. There's only one word to describe Havelock -- paradise. A pristine, unspoilt, virgin, natural wonderland. And even this description does not do it justice. Havelock Island is an experience waiting to be lived.

From the jetty, we set off to our resort. Just one pucca road going through lush vegetation, and nestled amidst all the lush greenery were hotels and resorts sporting quaint names such as El-Dorado, Poseidon, Wild Orchid, and the like. Also, every now and then, you come across beach-hut-like shacks advertising fishing tackle, snorkeling gear for sale or hire and even motorbikes for hire. (A great way for a couple to see the island!)

We stayed at a lovely resort named Silver Sands. Gorgeous wooden cottages, an open-air bathroom (just the essential areas covered), low lighting…splendid for a honeymoon couple, of which there were loads. The wooden cottages had one HUMONGOUS bedroom, low lighting and a door which led to an....wait for it....yes, yes, it's coming...OPEN AIR BATHROOM!! IT WAS AWESOME! So beautiful, so amazing! Not completely open, just half a ceiling covering the essential areas like the wash basin, the toilet and the shower area. The remaining half had a lovely palm tree and a wonderful rock garden. The MIM and I freaked, the boys freaked and we all did a little dance that resembled a cross between Ring-A-Ring-A-Roses and the Birdie Dance. Two seconds later we realised that the EO's energetic jig was due to the call of nature when his voice broke through all that merry-making with a loud and shrill, "Potty!!"

After lunch and a nap, we ambled onto the beach, which was a stone’s throw away from the resort. I swear I thought I was in heaven! The blues of the water, the white of the sand, the serenity, the calm, the colourful fishing boats…it just had to be! The MIM and I just stood there drinking in the sheer beauty of the place.

The EO and I then went to wade in the water, while the MIM helped our YO to build sand castles. It is indeed one of life's greatest joys to be able to splash in knee-deep, crystalline water with your child and to share in his laughter which is as pure and clear as the water you wade in.

We need places like Havelock Island in this world – places untouched and unspoilt by mass marketing and crass commercialisation. While the beaches of Goa and Puri have a charm and character all their own, the beaches of Havelock are a reminder of how beautiful our Creator intended this world to be.

However, unfortunately, almost as soon as you enter the island, there is a garish monstrosity of tinted glass and neon orange (!) being erected. It is an eyesore that assaults every fibre of good sense one possesses. Where are the eco-groups and NGOs now, I wonder?


Monika,Ansh said...

This island sounds so wonderful. I am so glad you all had a good time & that YO got better. :)

Indian Homemaker said...

You had a great holiday , and so did the man's man practicing karate :)
These memories of a place you thought was actually heaven ... are so precious!!