Travelling - It leaves you speechless and then turns you into storyteller 💓
Humans of Lakshadweep !
Aggati - Kavaratti -Lakshadweep !
February 2019 !
I always had wished that whenever I would first visit out of Andaman & Lakshadweep island , it should be Lakshadweep first .
Glad that it happened this way !
So going to any of these two islands is like visiting an another country . So practically it might be less in distance but thankful to long connectivity that it ends up reaching you in hours . But second thought says that's how islands are placed . They are far , less flights and long ferry rides and then dependency on Marine weather . In debate of reachability even Capri of Italy and Mikanos of Greece would say the same .
So let's move on ...
Those who are planning to visit here must take a note that Lakshadweep is a prohibited Union Territory and along with this there is a permit which is mandatory entry permit required at different occasions . It is even more important than your any other travel document .
Because of some local support system I had my permit way easy . So whoever goes to any destination without any information like me , this is for you . I am happy that someone told me this and then I read . Else I would have done DEL - COK - Agatti and it would have left with despair at airport . So another point is the only Air connectivity is between COK and Agatti and that too Air India Charter plane with 50 seats , 1 flight a day else you become sailor for 16 hours and do Chaiyyan Chaiyyan over the top of Vessel .
Please note that there are 10 islands at Lakshyadweep and sometimes distance is as good as 400 KM's . Better watch your plan .
Time is important here so flight was only saviour . I always had few of the interesting things in my journeys but somehow I didn't have any such but fortunately I have seen other side of things which made a huge impact on me on how people see us .
So after having my masala dosa from earth lounge - COK , I headed towards boarding gate . Thankful to my credit card , unlimited Lounge access worldwide and been a true travel friend who has saved my breakfast / Dinner expenses some million times along with saved my life from flight sandwiches .
Travel Tips No. 1 - Buy a good credit card . Good credit card is sometimes better than any companion you need for your travel life .
I web check-in way back to get window seat because I knew this blue and green sea is an eye massage for me . This 80 minutes journey took some hard time because it was Air India flight . I know I should not say this but trust me Air India has the most depressing flights I have seen in my life and then probably Indigo . No worries if it's a Hobson's choice nothing much can be done here .
Travel Tip No. 2 - Web check-in when window seat is must .
And finally we touched the land with mesmerizing water touches the border of the airport . Getting down was pleasure to an eye and you can see the green water with pleasant sound reaching your ear drums .
I entered the exit door and saw everyone is waiting and one person was writing every name , I thought they would again ask for permit and it happened exactly same . So they checked my permit more than UK officers asked me questions at immigration desk in London at my first visit . But here is the catch , they were writing my destination and sharing information to my vessel company ( Ship ) as well . While others were waiting for their extra gigantic bags I walked out with calm trolley bag .
Travel Tip No. 3 - Buy a Cabin Bag / Backpack and don't put unnecessary stuff . It's ok to wear same clothes in back to back trips . Light bags gives you more liberty and flexibility .
I boarded Auto rickshaw from outside and asked him the fare . He said 200 INR for 6 KMS to Port and he started smiling . I thought he meant by his smile that you are now at island whatever I say you need to pay anyhow . But he broke my divine misunderstanding minutes after when I couldn't resist myself and said I need to take some pictures here . It was 12.15 PM and my ship to Kavaratti was leaving at 1.15 PM . I have some superpower in checking timings per click and selection of best ones specially when I have 30,000 pictures in my phone . I told him we would be here for 15 minutes and then it would take 15 minutes reaching site and some 10-15 minutes in collection of ticket because there is no online booking here . My weak subject maths is my strength when I calculate my travel times along with buffer to keep myself safe with timings .
So we reached as per plan and this guy told me to go inside and take tickets by showing my permit and flight tickets ( by way for gestures and expressions ) .
Travel Tip No. 4 - Always carry a print out . I know it's a green environment theme and saying No No to papers is an need of hour . This was probably the few times I had my hard copy print and luckily I had this . There is poor Network connectivity here and BSNL is the only reliable options . Thanks to Airtel 4 G girl , even my 2G was not available for whole trip . So mail sync were not happening and luckily hard copy helped me . I know I could have saved it at phone and rather save some plant but then I would still say , Take Print out . It's a bloody machine and can break down any moment .
As I entered inside , this lady knew my name and pronounced like " Anguur " and this is same how Cambodians say my name . When asked from one Cambodian why did you call Anguur then I got a reply that we have one place in combodia by this name . There was no connection here but mere a coincidence but then airport guys shared my details to them and she just verified . Now by this time this Auto guy came inside and I said watch my bag outside. He had no idea that I live in Delhi and I cannot even trust my bank leave strangers .He didn't know Hindi , didn't know English but language of his expression told me that everything is safe here and no one steals anything here. On a positive side I accepted this because it's an island and where would one person go . Though lately I found that if this is that safe then why there are police stations . Just asking .
This lady was doing work like Sarkarri Babu style and I politely called her "Mam , can you please give me ticket now" and she was like super quick this time . You never know how many things gets done when you show respect to another person. She gave me ticket there itself and told me that vessel would be around 2 PM , so practically I had 1 hour more left .
I asked this Auto guy to take me some places through my gestures . I know that he captured word " photo " in right sense . Whenever I say photo that means he needs to take me at some sceneric place . He took me to lagoon beach this time .
Like I always wanted , no one was there . These green and blue water beaches reminded me of Thailand . There are serious comparision between both of them . While I know Thailand would outshine Lakshyadweep in all senses except one .
And that is natural habitat .
This person took some incredible photos and videos specially after my photo crash course of 10 minutes to him .
I finally found my vessel at 2.30 PM and till this time I had explored whole Agatti region prettiness .
This guy who had asked for 200 INR for 15 minutes eventually stayed with me for more than 2.30 hours . That takes me to my ever known learning . Money fails to do things while a smile can do it like a piece of cake . I knew this guy was not hanging around with me for the sake of money but sheer love for tourists .
I gave him his principal along with add on just to cover his extra miles and fuel . For his time I promised to myself that I would go with him again at my return time . I shared him my return schedule and ask him to be available .
So I sit inside and I asked my neighbor that how can we go above the deck . And like any South Indian polite and humble guy , he said no we cannot . It's not allowed . It disappointed me specially when I know best part of taking vessels is to go up and act like Titanic pose with Titanic " Heart goes on " song on .
Somehow I tried to reach that no permit gate to heaven and a worker there said do you want to go above and I said Yes . He said go and then I realized few others were also there . I remain there for 3 hours without taking any nap of my eye lashes and that shows my supreme love for oceans .
We finally reached to Kavaratti and to then my destination .
While Lakshadweep + Night Life + Liquor = Thailand , still 3 feet fishes lying dead at beach , crabs at beach and the divine flow of nature is out of all comparison of world .
I did get a chance to get lift for 2 days . All I need to stay at side of road and some good Samaritan would stop by his own and drop me to my location each time . Interestingly people goes 2 KM away from their own destination just to drop you .
I did get a chance to take bath at virgin beach . Probably only sea animals takes bath there .
I did get a chance to play volleyball inside water at beach side along with kids and I saw the child in me again.
I did get a chance when no one said no to me .
I did get a chance to get wonderfully clicked here as well .
I did get a chance to stop my boat on a rock in middle of the sea and it was the loveliest sea experience till date .
There are still many reasons of me picking Thailand in comparison to Lakshadweep island but one thing I cannot forget was local people attitude and love towards me .
If someone wants to take a leave from life , come here .
No noise , no phone , no internet and Only You 💓
While returning back to Agatti from Kavaratti , I had few known strangers who were staying at same place along with me .They took me along from Kavaratti to Kavaratti Port and they had their taxi booked from Agatti Port to Airport as well but then I saw the same Auto driver guy . I said to them that I will join you at airport and went with this guy .
I didn't ask his name neither he asked mine but language of respect is there for all 💓
P.S - I clicked his slo-mo video and he clicked mine . He had pure and natural expressions and outshine mine by miles .
Meet him outside Agatti airport and feel that warmth .