A pleasant evening in a pleasant island…

17.01.2017:

After the snorkeling session in the lagoon, we returned to our rooms and our lunch from SPORTS was served. The lunch is a simple one – a roti, few spoons of rice, sambar and a gravy prepared with green peas and tomatoes. It tasted delicious as we were starved and nothing went wasted 🙂 . Each one of us found a hammock each that were hanging tied in between the coconut trees and rested for  a while. I think I had the longest nap than others and went straight to have a shower when got up, as all the others were ready already.

We headed towards the western side of the island through the coconut grooves. Bangaram offers uninterrupted privacy, unpolluted comfort and crystal clear waters. Parrots, hermit crabs and seabirds on the vast 120 acres of these lush coconut groves are added visual treats for the tourists. The Lakshadweep tourism aimed for the cream of international tourists, and it was determined to offer the experience of nature without spoiling it with ostentatious embellishments. Over years, Bangaram Island have gained popularity of being a tourist spot with stunning natural beauty and a secluded atmosphere.

The sun was almost about to set by the time we were out of the grooves. But it left me in a trance! The sandy beach, turquoise blue lagoon with their enchanting views beaconed me. I was mentally pinching myself, not to convince myself that I was actually here, but to assure my Photoshop-battered mind that places like this actually do exist. The islanders had put some rocks along the shore to prevent the soil erosion and lots of molluscs and hermit crabs stuck to them as if they are sucking blood out of those rocks. Jaleel picked up few to show us that they are harmless, but I was freaking at the sight of them 😐

We spent sometime there clicking some photographs and feeling extremely happy for making out to this place. It’s a truth that very few makes their way to these islands and we are among this few lucky ones 🙂 A proud moment indeed! We walked a bit fast to reach our rooms as it was getting darker and there were neither lights nor torches with us. Near the SPORTS restaurant, the atmosphere was completely different! They were busy in arranging food for their guests, with some fresh fishes on the grills. And the thing is that they catch these fish from the lagoon in the evenings and grill them! Bangaram is the only island in Lakshadweep, where liquor is served.

People were deeply indulged in conversations over the dining tables, while eating their food and sipping their drinks. We settled down on some chairs around a charpoy to have our dinner. Imran didn’t join us for dinner as he and Jaleel went to have some local delicacies which are the native boiled rice, served with hot fish curry and fried fish served with fresh coconut toddy. Our dinner included tandoori roti, dal, matar paneer, steamed rice and green salad. What else could I ask for? An evening on the beach, with so much solitude and a perfect dinner – isn’t this enough?

We weren’t bothered about our sleep to night as we had already decided to sleep on the cradles hanging between the coconut trees and there is no way that we can sleep in the room with no power to run the fan. But Imran had other plans for us! Jaleel succeeded in finding a room with all amenities in one of the houses of his friends in this island and Imran asked us to sleep there that night 🙂 . When asked where they both are going to sleep, they showed us a small tent that was pegged near to the beach. I envied them secretly for having such a beautiful space to rest that night – a small cozy tent on the beach, a lagoon which is reflecting the light from the beautiful moon, cool sea breeze – it’s a lifetime experience!

Saying good night, we went back to our respective places to sleep. Good night!!

A refreshing evening in Agatti

16.01.2017:

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We started moving towards the northern end of the island. Imran told us that life is very smooth in the island and there is no crime! We came across few mosques on our way where people were offering their prayers. There are a few antique Buddhist sculptures found in this island that show that the islanders once practiced Buddhism. But now, Islam is practiced exclusively. Women wears burqas while the girls wears scarves. Men are in either shirts and trousers or lungis! It took us around 10 minutes to reach the beach on the northern end of the island.

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The beach is full of activity. We parked our bicycles and walked through the powdery sand. There is a shack selling some refreshments and ladies were sitting together in small groups and discussing things while men were loitering here and there with the children. The cool breeze, calm beach and turquoise blue lagoon with a setting sun opposite to the scene is so enticing! Although there is lot of activity going around the beach and the crowd is not too less, the beach is quite clean 🙂 . I started going around the beach while Imran started a conversation with an islander and uncle and aunt walked towards the sea.

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A few children were playing football after erecting a goal-post into the sand while some were running around hunting the hermit crabs, while some others were trying their hands at fishing! The common thing among all the islanders is the habit of fishing. No matter what the age of a person is, he will be always interested in fishing and sometimes I feel that it’s their favorite past time too 🙂 . After clicking some photographs I too settled down along with uncle and aunt while Imran was still conversing with the islander.

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From the corner of my eye, I could see some creatures crawling on the wet sand, but when I turn to have a look at them, all I could see are some shells here and there. I asked uncle and aunt to remain silent and then these creatures started going around us with more vigor. These are the lower scale hermit crabs which try to deceive us by pulling back their bodies into their shells at the slightest hint of some activity around them. Aunty and uncle struggled a bit around them to make a video of their movements and finally satisfied, we let them go on their business while we returned to our business of clicking some photographs when Imran joined us finally!

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Finally at around 18.45 hrs, it became dark and we moved towards the shack named ‘Lagoon Beach Restaurant’ and occupied a table. We ordered some tea for uncle and aunt, I took some samosas and Imran some fish rolls. They tasted good 🙂 . Spending some time here, we left for having our dinner at the same Al Mubarak restaurant. I ordered a Masala Dosa, while aunty and uncle ordered for some plain dosas and Imran excused himself as his non-vegetarian dinner was ready back at his room. Again, the dosa is too good. It’s fresh, crisp and less oily. Don’t miss a chance of tasting this tasty dosa, if you are here in Agatti!

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Time for shopping! Tomorrow we are leaving for the Bangaram Island. As there won’t be any food stuff available there, we have to get something to eat along with us. While Aunt and Uncle has gone for buying some snacks and all and Imran left to find an ATM, I went around some of the cloth shops to buy some beach-wear! After a lot of struggle with the extra large sizes available here, I managed to get a T-shirt for a price of Rs. 150 🙂 . Not bad 😉 . Done with our shopping we left for our rooms.

21.00 hrs – We called it a day as we have to start early in the morning! Good Night 🙂