Monday, November 24, 2008
Going to these places not as a tourist but on work has its advantages; you almost see it in a very different light and go beyond the “must see” destinations. Each and every place has a character of its own, which reflects in the place, the food, and the people there.
A fortnight back, I had the opportunity to visit the Andamans, a place in India, but not quite in India. The experience, exhilarating !!
The place so scenic that no words can describe the joy you get by seeing the still black waters. The water truly looks black from a distance, though it is crystal clear when you hold it in your palms. No wonder, they call it KALA PANI or Black Waters.
The Cellular Jail is an architectural marvel, and each every cell in the jail tells a tale of the horrors our freedom fighters went through. It actually seems to bring back history alive. A visit to the Coral Reef was a stark contrast to the one at Cellular Jail. Watching the corals and fishes deep down below, while snorkeling is mind blowing.
The streets though well maintained are along the sea and during a high tide, the water throws itself above the walls, and drenches you completely, Wow, what joy!!
But more importantly the people there are warm and friendly. They come from different parts of India. I had the opportunity to meet and interact with a few of them who stayed with me during a brief stop over in Chennai and traveled back to Port Blair with me.
Their grandparents would have probably settled there, most of them brought to the Andamans as labourers and supervisors while constructing the Cellular Jail or to manage the freedom fighters jailed there. However, they all live as one big family there celebrating all festivals and enjoying themselves as a happy family. Maybe all of us in India can take a lesson in true national integrity from them.
It is one of those places; I would recommend you go to, before thinking of the next trip to Switzerland or Bangkok maybe !!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I am passionate about books….I can read anything under the sun, just for the joy of reading.
Technology has grown leaps and bounds and in a matter of a decade, things one never envisaged became a reality. E-books, audio books are probably the norm now. But, I somehow cannot still relate myself to reading an e-book or listen to an audio one.
The joy of holding a book in your hands, the flipping of each page, the hope that a good book just does not end, fast reading a book that you do not like , cannot possibly be replaced by an e-book.
Not that I have never tried reading one, but something seems to be missing !! It’s just not the same.
I finished reading White Tiger by Aarvind Adiga yesterday. The Booker prized only made me pick it up before a long list of “wanna reads” I had.
When I started reading the book, I felt that it was just another book which talks about the poverty in India, or the “darkness” as Adiga puts it. A surefire topic to win brownie points and awards in the West.
But as I read through, I agreed with the author. India inspite of its globalization, IT boom , still remains a land in darkness. A good read through and through , but did any of the others deserved the Booker more than this one , and the topic made the judges biased , can’t say
Waiting to pick up the next book and get back to a different world …..