Thursday, 20 September 2012

Romancing Ross in the Andamans



    Blame it on this languorous weather that Delhi is slowly drifting into. Or the lull in my comfort zone that is making me romance Ross Island in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands all over again.

A view of Ross Island as the ferry neared


     An island is an island. Period. Stretches of blue and green shades all around with a beach or stoney shores thrown in....or so I thought.  I was definitely not prepared for what Ross Island had in store. A ten minute boat ride from Port Blair (wherein I was fighting my own battle of motion sickness) landed us at Ross.We were told Ross was least affected by the Tsunami due to its orientation. Thank God for it! Or else much of its beauty would have been lost.


 As we walked into the island, it was like Time had taken over the relics of human settlements.
A British Administrative head-quarter  during the Raj days, Ross had everything in it. From the barracks for the soldiers, a bakery, church, market place, officers' quarters, Mess, Press, Chief Commisioner's House and even a de-salination plant!A major earthquake in the 1941 destroyed much of it's structures.  But they all stood there mutely and stoically as Nature slowly took over, engulfing them in her fierce embrace over the years.



De-salination Plant
Remains of a Church




A structure taken over by a tree as the sea watched
"A Terrible Beauty Is Born" - YB Yeats

     I remembered vaguely, a poem we had done in school " Ozymandias" by PB Shelley. Ah! The futility of man's egotism and also the cravings of permanence...Let me refresh the poem to go with the snaps:
  
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.



Huge Trees


   As we walked around, Ross offered us peace and tranquility with huge trees, glimpses of the sea through the thick foliage and herds of deer. We had to be careful with our packed lunch as we seemed to have contenders. The deer were making a go for it the moment we sat down to eat. They had to be shooed away like the cows and dogs. Lunch was such a hurried affair, I still don't remember what was in it.

Local Inhabitants


    We lazed around till it was time to leave Ross behind and carry our memories back. Revealing only a hint of the life it had witnessed, what stories did it guard? Stories that would be lost forever... As the boat left its shore, I wondered what drama Ross unfolds after everyone has left for the day? Do the Officers and the ladies have midnight picnics? Does the chimney of the bakery smoke with fresh bakings? Is the market place buzzing with the natives and soldiers oblivious to the gizmo driven world?....








Note:

Nearest Airport- Port Blair
Ferries- Water Sports Complex
Time required- Half a Day
Accomodations- At Port Blair to suit every pocket
Best time- November to March

Refreshed the Poems courtsey:

http://www.online-literature.com/frost/779/

   

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28 comments:

  1. Nice pics esp the trees. I have studied that poem in school too. Can never forget the lines 'Look on my works ye mighty and despair' :)

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  2. I have always wanted to visit Andaman and Nicobar...but after going through your post, I want to book the tickets right now!!
    Great pictures and an interesting post.
    http://snehal-tripathi.blogspot.in/

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  3. @Jaish I love trees especially the antiquated ones. I didn't really grasp profundity of that poem then as much as did later :)

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  4. @Snehal You must go there. Its a different world altogether...much laid back and relaxing :) Thank you for stopping by. Do visit again :)

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  5. I loved the snaps. Wow. and the poem fitted right in.

    hmhm - Cant get those photos out of my mind. :)

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  6. I have not been there but this is one of the places in my list. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. :)

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  7. @ Muthu Snaps have not done justice to the place. It has an aura of its own...Really appreciate your words.

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  8. @Saru Singhal You'll love the place :)

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  9. Amazing pics of those great trees!
    A lovely post! Thank you!

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  10. @Amit Thank you for stopping by :) Like I said the snaps have not done justice to the aura of those trees. I'm glad you liked them though :) Do visit again...

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  11. Nice to see big trees. I love to portray the trees. You can move around to select the best angle for your images. At times shifting even a foot or so changes the perspective.
    Sabyasachi

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  12. You are right, Sabhyasachi. Changing our position gives a different perspective altogether with the play of light and shadow thrown in. Thank you for dropping by and leaving your opinion. Do visit again...:)

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  13. Yeah, I know, I am actually planning to go there. Andamans and Leh are on my list :)

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  14. @Saru Singhal Leh is another exotic place! You'll enjoy both these places!! Have fun!

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  15. Lovely pictures... those tree trunks look so inviting.. I could spend days and days amidst all this beauty :)

    Adding it to my dream destinations!!

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  16. Very interesting and informative post.

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  17. loved the snaps, plannin to go dere, ovely post btw

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  18. Lovely pics!!! And an interesting write-up..different from the other ones I have read about this place..

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  19. @Kumar Suhas Thank you for your words :)

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  20. @Vineet Hope you do enjoy your trip to the islands...many things for you to do!

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  21. @ Bhavana Thank you for those lovely words! Do visit again :)

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  22. Lovely photographs and very well written.... Going thorough your blog for more...

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  23. @ SantoshThank you for your lovely words. Do visit again :)

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  24. Your post acutely reminds me of my visit to the decaying island. You have lent it an altogether different aura by quoting Shelley. Those images have been tastefully captioned. I liked the "Huge Trees"!

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  25. @Umashankar I am glad it reminded you of your visit. Somehow, the lines of thepoem kept nudging me as I looked around the island.

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  26. Sucha refreshing post. Generally people who visit islands rave aout the water activities but here you have given a beautiful insight into the other side of Ross island. Thank you. On my must visit list now! :)

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Your words keep me going :)