A homestay with a difference - Andaman Islands

13th Dec 2013
Photo of by ipshita bhattacharyya

sunrises over the mangroves

Photo of sunrises over the mangroves by ipshita bhattacharyya

the front veranda of the waterhouse

Photo of the front veranda of the waterhouse by ipshita bhattacharyya
Photo of by ipshita bhattacharyya

view from the bedroom

Photo of view from the bedroom by ipshita bhattacharyya

hello king

Photo of hello king by ipshita bhattacharyya

needle fish

Photo of needle fish by ipshita bhattacharyya

water receeds during low tide

Photo of water receeds during low tide by ipshita bhattacharyya

friendly neighbours

Photo of friendly neighbours by ipshita bhattacharyya
Photo of by ipshita bhattacharyya
Photo of by ipshita bhattacharyya

One thing that I have always felt and Lord Byron poetically expressed it through his words is "I love not man less, but nature more".

When it comes to India, our country is blessed with abundance of nature and man both. And what has ended up happening is that, many beautiful places have now become infested with people who are not only spoiling its essence and inherent culture... but also creating a whole lot of nuisance. Well this is not the platform to start my rants about uncool travelling attitudes... so maybe I should stop myself and get to the point.

Whenever I travel I try to find places which full fills this need in me, to cut off and be solitary. And no other place has truly wooed me more than the Noble Waterhouse. A gentle boat ride through the back waters is the only way to reach this place... also the only way you can get out of here. Dinaz the owner of this lovely home, came to drop us off with food for the night and a few instructions. "Do not get into the water" was one of the most insisted instruction that came our way... and we decided to take this one very seriously. 

As we waved goodbye to Dinaz, we were left alone to soak in the life around us. Although we were the only two people for miles to come... there was a lot of activity around. The sound of the water lapping against the pillars below, the clicks of the crab claws as they walked up and down the bottom of the house, the birds which came in flock hunting for their lunch and the swarm of fishes that came and went. The day seemed to just float by and as the sun started to set, the water started to rise. 

It is worth mentioning that there are no modern facilities available in this house. There is a gas stove which will let you heat up your packed food and make the occasional cups of tea/coffee. There is drinking water which is brought from the mainland and there are 2 solar lanterns to show you the light when darkness comes. 

As the sun went down, our minds stopped getting distracted from all the sights and sounds and it was time for it to wander. The water had risen high enough to cover all the 8 steps we had climbed to the house. And it had become very still. Slightly disturbing the surface gave way to phosphorescence like i have never seen before! It was all very amazing and also a bit eerie. 

The stories of the Tsunami kept coming back to me, as I laid in bed trying to fall asleep. But sleep evaded me and I could only stare at the roof imagining how the water had risen so high, engulfing the entire house. Yes, that truly had happened. And this house has stood to tell the tales. The lack of windows and doors are a clear reminder of the force of nature as it took away everything with it. 

Suddenly out of nowhere sounds of men again... it was the wee hours of the morning and fishermen had come out in their boats before the sun had risen.

That broke my spell of eeriness and I went out to the veranda to welcome one more day in Andaman Islands. 

Watch the video to get a sense of it all: