|a view from the top of the light house, at Keating Point, Mus village, Carnicobar|
"Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety"
- William Shakespeare, "Antony and Cleopatra"
India, with her infinite variety, is a land of myriad charms and beckons us to experience in all its grandeur and sumptuosity.
Nicobar district, the southern-most district is actually a group of 22 islands, situated in the south-east of the Bay of Bengal adds a distinct shade of its own to this multi-hued, myriad-faceted country. The emerald green isles with its luxuriant flora, its acres of coconut gardens, its flaming scarlet ixoras , stunningly crimson hibiscuses, peachy coral hued mussaendas, is surrounded by azure blue and turquoise green waters, enchant us as we approach the isles by Pawan Hans Helicopter services, once in a week chartered Air India Flight or by the various DSS Ships.
A home to Nicobarese and Shompen tribes, these islands are separated from the Andaman group of islands by the tempestuous and “menacing” ten degree channels giving these islands an aura of mystery and elusiveness, which is further heightened by the fact these islands with the exception of revenue area of Campbell bay in Great Nicobar islands is closed to tourists and outsiders.
Many pristine virginal beaches with silver sands sparkling in the sun surround these islands makes one remember how "A thing of beauty is a joy forever"
But these beautiful isles have also a heart breakingly sad tale to tell. Not a day passes, when the dreaded word "Tsunami" is not mentioned not a day passes when an eye doesn’t shed tears in the memory of their loved one taken so brutally away by the on-slaught of nature. The destruction of one’s home doesn’t ever rattle one when one has seen the families withering away.
But time heals everything and every dark cloud has a silver lining. The silver here lies in the renewed jest for life and the herculean efforts made by Nicobarese people and administration in not only re-constructing the shattered hopes but building new ones and we are poised to welcome changes that will bring about a paradigm shift. The slow but sure and steady steps would pave way for a Brave New World, unafraid of the furies of nature and being a part of India’s march to inclusive development and happiness for all.