Show Me the Light. Show Me the Way to Wisdom, to Peace
Image Copyright © Utsavi Singh
After our trip to Kerala, next in line were the islands of Lakshadweep. Initially, I didnt want to go there as I was scared I will miss out on valuable preparation time for my exam. Little did I know what I was about to miss??
Lakshadweep- meaning a lakh islands….is a place where one forgets that a world exists where one has to struggle every moment to stay ahead and active in life, where all kinds of tensions: family, work and personal growth is a pain in the neck. Lakshadweep is a place where you think of angels on Earth, where you LIVE that filmy image of sitting peacefully in a bikini, on the white sands ….sipping on coconut water and thinking about how beautiful life is. Lakshadweep is a place which takes you away from real life…..!
The moment we got off the boat jetty on the island of Kalpeni, all we could see was clear, blue water and lush green coconut trees ALL around us. We were driven to the beach,in a small tempo on a road that was only wide enough to accommodate that particular vehicle. On both sides of the road were trees and more trees, and small huts of the inhabitants. Once every few metres, we would see a concrete single/double storeyed building. Beyond the trees, on all sides, was the sea!! (remember, its an island!!)
And the colour of the sea? A clean, clear, shiny blue whose surface glistened when the sun’s rays fell on it. It was so clear that we could see the floor of the sea so well, as if we were standing right on it.
After reaching the beach, we promptly changed into our swimsuits and went for snorkeling. India’s only coral islands, Lakshadweep has to offer, a variety of water sports like scuba diving, kayaking, glass boating, snorkeling, sea bathing, etc.
I wonder if we even needed to go into the water to see all that coral….as I already said, the water was so clear we could already see everything from above. However, how could we resist the temptation to get into such brilliantly blue, clean waters? Where the sun was just warm enough while we were in the cool water. Add to that, the B-E-A-Utiful corals that we saw….red, green, blue…in the most wonderful shapes imaginable: cactus like, starfish-like, brain corals, capsicum and pumpkin like (!)…….it was sheer bliss.
At both the islands, Kalpeni and Kavaratti (the capital island), we were welcomed by the locals and offered coconut water which immediately set the mood for some beach fun! At both the islands, we did kayaking and a bit of sea bathing which was a delight, even as much of the salty sea water went into our mouths.
After enjoying the water sports, we had a lunch of tuna fish and then went back to sit on the sand to make sand castles. My friend and fellow blogger AN, her brother and me, even though we are mature adults now, sat like kids in the sand and threw it over each other as we made our lovely little castle (and fixed a little flag on it!). The unique and best thing about these sands was their super-fine texture and their bright, white color. Thanks to the limited tourist population (one has to get a permit to come, foreigners are allowed only on certain islands), the beaches are relatively clean and still a treat for the eye. Although some people were inconsiderate enough to throw paper cups in the water. The local population, respects their natural surroundings and helps keep it really really clean. No wonder we fell in love with the place!
Speaking of the people of Lakshadweep, one would expect the locals of these small islands to be like the adivasis of Andaman and Nicobar. But they are pretty much the opposite. Lakshadweep has undergone a considerable amount of development, and development in a positive direction. Even though there is a 100% orthodox Muslim population, we could see school-going girls prancing around in their uniforms. There were posters of family planning and polio drops on the walls of the buildings indicating a good level of education-both literary and civic.