Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Neil Island

We spent two days on Neil Island after our stay in Havelock.  On the first day we rented bicycles and went around the island (riding double-seat on two bicycles!). We visited the natural rock formation and saw the sunset there. On our way back we stopped at the local market for some stuff. As my advisor says - local markets are one of the best places to learn about a new place. The market was fascinating (no pictures unfortunately!). Men played a game similar to carrom. There was ofcourse a big fish market. Lots of coconuts, different fruits and vegetables (some local and some brought in from the main land, some that we couldn't recognize), a variety of local elaichi-banana that we hadn't seen before, cheap trinkets and some souvenirs. 
Breakwater and Harish Bhai (the owner), were absolute gems. And we thoroughly enjoyed this little back-packers' shack. 
At Breakwater Anu fell in love with a month-old puppy. He fed him, carried him, played with him, and made him nap. Finally when it was time to leave, he cried for the little one and made us promise that some day, we'll get a puppy for him.

udaipur is cooold!

With temperatures dropping to below 5 degrees at night, we've brought out our woolen socks, mittens and layers and layers of clothing. There's nothing like sitting next to the blower, wrapping yourself in warm rajais and eating gud and bajre ke rote made by dadisa.

Dadi's two escorts

@shipgram, udaipur

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Rajan the elephant

One of the highlights of our stay at Barefoot in Havelock was the kids' meeting with Rajan the elephant. Rajan is special (and famous too - he has featured in a Hollywood movie). He is one of the last ocean-swimming elephants in the Andamans. The boys joined Rajan on the beach and gave him a bath!

Meet Joseph and our little shepherd

 The IIT Staff club X'mas program was organised again this year by some very talented ladies. Kabir played Joesph in the nativity scene and Anurag was a shepherd. Here's the link to the entire program.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Anu and autos

Anu's love of auto-rickshaws is legendary. He owns about half a dozen toy-autos at home and appears to recognize most of the autos that ply on campus. In Port Blair, we took a ride in this auto which Anu thought was "bohot hi sundar" and wanted a picture taken alongside it. 
But a far more interesting story is this. I got chatting with our auto-driver, a young man around 20 years old, during our ride. It turns out that he was doing his BA in English and aspired to be a teacher. In his spare time he worked as an auto-rickshaw driver so he could save enough money (Rs 7 lacs) to go to Chennai and pursue a B.Ed. degree. He told us all about his family and their association with the Andamans, the local politics and so on. It was a fascinating ride. After we got off, I gave a little lecture to the kids (quite predictably) on how fortunate they should feel about the opportunities they have and see how this guy has to drive an auto so that he can study and pursue his dreams etc. Kabir nodded but Anu apparently got a different message. He said, "mama, I promise I will study very very hard so I can become an auto-rickshaw driver!"

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Radhanagar beach

Some pictures from the three days that we spent on the Radhanagar beach in Havelock.