To Quill the Mocking World
By Ratika Sablania
Traveling alone to the Andaman Islands, the night before was all about apprehension, how will I manage. Wanderlust cum escape cum open water diving trip it was supposed to be. 1 week long trip, and I came back with stories, pictures, absence of any bad experience, phone numbers, visiting cards, images…
. here is a glimpse.
“I earn more than a lac per month. Earlier I used to drive in UAE, sheikhs and police are really nice there. My son plans to do an MBA from Toronto, he will live with his Bua there. I am from Punjab, but I speak good Bangla too.”
– Uber Driver, Kolkata
“Am 25, I haven’t stepped out of Port Blair ever. All my friends have gone ahead and settled in cities. I am afraid to go so. How is the traffic like in Kolkata and Delhi? I have heard these cities are too unsafe.
Once a girl came with her family here on a tour package, and my friend drove them around. She fell in love with my driver friend. Now they are happily married and settled in Port Blair.
Would you invite me to your wedding? If you invite me, I will surely come to Delhi.”
-Cab driver, Port Blair
“I work for SBI, my husband works for Mahindra IT. We are from Hyderabad.”
“Mumma you don’t say work for SBI, you say work in SBI. Only people in IT say ‘work for’”
“Can you click our family picture? What is the meaning of your name”
-IT couple with their 2 beautiful kids, Chidiya Tapu
“My father owns a restaurant in Havelock. He came here 12 years back and has settled there only. It is the best café in Havelock, Anju Coco. We are from Patparganj, Delhi. Running a restaurant in Havelock is nice, but I miss the city life. I am going to Delhi on a holiday. Here is my number, do call me if you need any help. I also went to Little Andamans island recently. Would you like to see the pics? “
-Random good looking guy, Annapurna, Port Blair
“I did polytechnic in mechanical and a year course in merchant navy. I earn 90,000 per month. You are from Karol Bagh as well? Wow we are neighbours! Let me treat you with coffee and breakfast then. Come we will meet the captain, will show you around the boat.
Captain, ye guest mere gaon ki hai!!”
– Crew manager, Green ocean Liner(Ferry)
“I work in TCS in Kolkata, yeah we have the same office campus. I am travelling alone too. I am from Bihar. I want to do water sports in Havelock. I will return today evening only. See pictures of Ross island. I have changed 10 companies in last few years. People ask me, why I left those 10 companies and doubt my resume. I tell them that there must be something in me that 10 companies hired me. Let me buy you popcorns”
-TCS guy, Green Ocean Liner
“I am from Kishanganj, Bihar. I did hotel management and then got here. I work from 8-3 and then from 6-10. I hardly get any time off for myself, only couple of hours in evening. I find managing Indian guests a pain, they complain too much. This resort is meant for foreigners mainly. I can ask chef to make a special dish for you as you are vegetarian. Do come back next year.”
-Waiter, Emerald Gecko, Havelock
“I work as an anchor in homeshoppe18. My husband is a freelancer cameraman for BBC. We live in Delhi. We try and travel as much as possible. Money isn’t really much of an issue, it comes and goes. It’s a very good thing you are traveling alone and haven’t had any bad experiences. If you have good energy, you will attract only good people around you. Would you like a smoke?”
-Media couple, Emerald Gecko
“I am from Dehradoon, did my engineering in food technology. I am living and working in Havelock now. Am living here because of my husband, he is a scuba instructor here. You can borrow my cycle for going around.”
-Bookings and Reservations lady, Emerald Gecko
“ I worked as a copywriter for an ad agency in Chennai. I came here for holiday last November and haven’t left since. I am a dive master now. Today I will go for my first deep dive.”
-Sitara, Andaman bubbles (Scuba diving school, Havelock)
“I had got a call from IIT Delhi for MBA.
I studied biotechnology for my B.tech. I was never interested in MBA, but I had applied there because my girlfriend was in Delhi. But I didn’t join, because we broke up.
Then I went to Gujarat to do research on coral reefs there. This research work required me to learn scuba diving. I want to do PHD in marine archaeology. But they don’t have that course in India, so I just became a scuba instructor instead. I am glad she broke up; I couldn’t have worked a 9-6 job after MBA. Now life is good.
–Tiago, Andaman bubbles
“ We are traveling to do voluntary medical service in Kolkata hospitals. We could not find a single person speaking good English in Kolkata. Do you speak English? Does this water have crocodiles?
“Dude the kind of money you can make in 3-4 years in US is shit crazy. Our friends are watching IPL in their room. It is very difficult for us to live without Internet. Just paid 300 for half an hour net service in the cyber café. Are you writing a book? “
-Recently graduated kids, Bits Pilani at Havelock
“I am a fireman by profession. Am traveling with my wife. What does your company make? Consumer goods? Why couldn’t you take more than a week off for holiday. Your boss must be a bad boss. I came to Havelock because it is one of the best sites in the world to learn diving. Next I would go to Red sea for diving.
-Fireman, Czech Republic
“I left my house in Kerala when I was 16. I did a diploma in Kerala massage and worked across luxury hotels in tourist places in India. Most of my cousins/siblings are earning well and settled in Dubai. My family doesn’t like me now.
I started scuba diving 7 years back, have been proposed by 3 girls so far – Spanish, Indian and Polish, but I refused. Padma had come here on a holiday; she asked me what gift I wanted for my birthday. I asked her to marry me. We had an underwater ring ceremony.
-Scuba Instructor, Andaman bubbles
Now, what’s your story?