Local interactions made the journeys worthwhile: meeting the strong willed Anuradha, the guide at Ross Island whose passion for her job and the island had a ripple effect on her audience, conversations with Aziz, the sailor on MV Makruzz from Minicoy island, a place I knew nothing about and the absolutely delectable food cooked by Reshma, the girl from Ranchi who worked in a local eatery.
Miles away from the mainland, with little connectivity, it felt an alien country, but yet I was at home. When Pobitro met every teeny weeny demand, ( from chocolate icecream to the fiercely guarded wifi password), the Cook at Ripple dished out meals like they're cooked at home, the best ever idli Wada was found at a jaw dropping rate in the middle of a forest and Drumstick leaves pakodas were gobbled at Laxmanpur beach at Neil Island, when everyone at the island lent a helping hand and nights were spent chatting endlessly with Janhvi, who wouldn't be at home.
I feel the sprays of sea salt and the cool sea breeze, till I hear honks of cars and the screeching of buses in this busy street. I think I left a part of me, under the tall Mahua tree, or on the Kala Pathar beach maybe,
In this paradise called Andamans.