Tuesday, 11 April 2017

My fascinating common chores at far-off charming Carnicobar - Hps Virk


(this article has been written by Sh. Hps Virk, Retd. IPS, posted as SP Nicobar from Oct 1982 to April 1984. It's an honour to see Carnic through his eyes. )


DAILY waking up at 3.30 AM, first task after warming up followed by a dozen kms. run on the peripheral coastal road.
SHARP at 6 AM, driver Bhattacharya would faithfully turn up, unlock the garage, carry out a thorough check-up of official police jeep.
HE would review the position of fuel, functioning of radiator, feel the tire pressure, battery charging etc.
THIS inspection lasted till 7 AM, thereafter he was free from myside till dawning of the next day, or until specially called for any specific task.
HE would devote complete day fishing and enjoying a long leisurely stint with his family.
HE was a stereotypical Bengali, having fervent obsession of eating fish and relishing outdoor adventure of an entertaining irresistible spell of fishing.
ONE thing about Bengalis is worth mentioning, they can identify the quality of fish from its size, shape, color, smell plus nature of its agile mobility.
I loved driving the jeep myself.
DURING early half of the day finished all my official work, including visiting offices of other government departments, depending on requirements.
ANOTHER function of my work was as motor licencing officer (MLO), it involved issuing of driving licences and regn. of vehicles etc.
THE only driving test I used to take was reversing of vehicle, in an anti-clockwise direction, around large roundabout outside my office.
TIME remained fixed for light, medium and heavy vehicles, well calibrated by  the proficient Bhattacharya.
MOST of the aspirants happened to be the service personnel, although this driving test appeared simple, but only accomplished could qualify in the first try.
AFTERNOONS were reserved for traversing the ring road of 126 sq, kms. Car Nicobar Island.
FOR about twenty days a month, remained engaged in outstation cruising tours, enriching myself with the widespread glamorousness of nature.
MY local touring companion was a like minded friend S M Khan, district education officer (DEO), who hailed from Meerut, Uttar Pradesh.
We used to enjoy this marvellous ride through the magnificent lush green jungle and tall stately coconut groves.
OCCASIONALLY a squealing pig would hastily rush across the road.
WHILE another one on hearing low drone of our petrol jeep, retreating back its swiftly drawn hoof-steps, sought refuge within the dry locales of thick undergrowth.
BESIDES Headquarters, the tribal Islanders lived in fifteen hamlets scattered on the fringes of this beautiful weather beaten Island.
FIFTY three kms. of single metalled road along the circumference of Car Nicobar was built by Japanese Imperial forces during occupation between March 1942 to September 1945.
THE dedicated Japs dreaming of world conquest constructed a chain of strong coastal defences to repulse air and sea attacks by the determined allied forces.
THE ruins of these war relics of yester-years, silently narrating the story of their masters, who were predestined to unceremoniously mingle into the same dust which they sprouted.
WE used to carry one 12 bore gun and a .22 Bruno rifle for shooting wild pigeons, overflying the trees near IAF station.
DURING the approaching time of sunset the jungle resonated and reverberated with sound of different rhythms of drum beats.
THIS was a signal for the domestic pigs, enjoying day's outing in forest to return back for having their evening meals.
THESE tribesmen had set-up "machan" type platforms for feeding pigs with coconut kernel and water in huge clam shells placed on the ground below.
THESE intelligent creatures recognised distinct sound of drum beats played by their respective owners.
ALTERNATIVELY we would take clockwise and anti-clockwise direction for enjoying the grand scenic finery of nature from diverse angles.
WE admired the rich exquisite marvellous craftsmanship of Creator, who planned, sculpted and chiselled our earth, the azure seamless skies, the wonderful flora and fauna.
HE solely embedded mother earth with innumerable multifarious vast priceless treasures.
THERE was a small thatched hut at Titop on the northwest side of this Island bearing a oversized board inscribing, "The Paris Hotel".
WE would invariably stop here for a cup of tea, having a good hearty laugh at the comic hyperbolic nomenclature.
THE choice of this grand name atop this miniscule kiosk at one of the most desolate places of our planet, illustrated the sophistications of its humble owner.
WE abundantly relished the mesmerizing spectacle of the dazzling sun sets, panoramic views of the sea, the magnificent mixing of an exquisite alluring seascape with elegantly enriched landscape.
THE view of this Island from different variation of angles presented assorted aspects of splendour and grandeur of nature, like rapidly changing kaleidoscopic picturesque designs.
THE spectacle of same landscape experienced by different persons from the land, sea or air, triggered entirely dissimilar levels of appreciation and mental contentment.