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    Sazaye Kalapani

    The whole phrase is dreaded isn't it? After 60 years even the thought of it makes anyone feel a strong tsunami straight down their spinal cord. So when we were planning our first anniversary trip to the Andamans, I made sure with the guy arranging our trip on the scope of visiting that dreaded place and get that tsunami felt. Sahabji, this is definitely an attraction for anyone touching down here and a visit to this place is for sure a part of your package, he affirmed. There is infact a light and sound show to make this tsunami effect more richer, he added. Well pain and horror for many some six or seven decades back is now a sound and light melodrama for all . Quite a disjoint I would say as I am still skeptical about the whole idea of this light sound stuff. Are we trying to pay homage to all those who suffered for our better tomorrow or we just are revisiting the horror without thinking much beyond?

    Why it is called Kalapani? I asked my wife while she was packing almost a truck load stuff. We are not shifting there. Are we? The water surrounding the island might be black, said my wife. Judicious answer, but how the heck water in the mid of Bay of Bengal turned down black? Does Andaman populace produce enough kachra to make it's surrounding water body black as the Delhiwalas did to Yamuna? I thought of clarifying these when I am there with someone native to that part of India and didn't bothered my wife with her never ending packing. Hope there are no strict laws out there on the quantity of baggage you can carry along, or else we are going to fail hands down.

    We reached the Vir Savarkar airport after a 2 hours flight from Chennai, early morning. As a token of hospitality the cab of the tour office was waiting right outside. Once we are dropped at our hotel, I took the guy to the corner and asked, when we are going for that light-sound thing. Aaz sham ko hi, and he shook his head vigorously. I never had a longer wait for the evening before.

    The visit to the cellular jail comes with a price and another few leafs attached for that light-sound stuff. Once done with all those formalities of tickets and all we were seated in the garden of the building. The light sound thing started finally with Tom Alter being the narrator. For the first time I came to know that, actually the cellular jail has seven wings which later on being trimmed off with four of the wings gone for the local hospital usages and rest 3, one of which contains Savarkar's cell were left for the light-sound narration. Some horror was trimmed to a hospital. Good decisions. The history was revisited via Tom's voice and we are done with the thing in close to one hour or so. Was all this true? asked my wife. Well, how can I say as I never had a grandpa who was an inmate or I am not the tree in the garden which they claim is their from the beginning and witness to all those horrors. If Tom is to be believed, then it should be.

    Leaving behind the wing containing Savarkar's cell for sentimental reasons, can't the other two be used for a better purpose, is all I was thinking on my way back to hotel. Ahh we never have enough population to fill all the four wings of the hospital, so don't really need two more wings to be attached, would be the answer from the Andaman's administration. Hang on. I am not suggesting that either. Hospital is not the only re-engineering option available. Can't we re-convert those two wings to jail again? Not to mention keeping the same condition and torture mechanism as it was seven decades back and promptly being narrated by Tom.
    Few of the modern day creatures are in some serious need of Sazaye Kalapni, and if we can make it too literal then what else they need and what better it can be. There could be more than 200 cells in those two wings and I am sure we will fill those up with prospective candidates within no time. S.P.S Rathore, Madhu Koda, all three Yadavs, all three Thakreys could be the first lot deported there. Has the flight left? If not hold it on the runway and take Afzal Guru along, as he is far from getting the noose, looking at the strong vote bank. And yes don't waste 6 crores in Aurther Road jail and take this brat Ajmal Amir Qasav also. There we go, the flight full with criminals and another Conair in the making. I am sure we would run out of space in days and might land up taking on rent few of those unused wings of the hospital.

    Well after an eventful trip and some horrifying revisit of the history we are back at the airport for our return journey. Thanks to two of the screening machines not functioning and almost 5 flights there to take off in half an hour, I had no option but to stand in a queue for 1 hour for me to be screened. Once there in the fuselage, it struck me. Hell forgot to ask the main question. Why it is called Kalapani? as I don't see the water black at all. Might be for the millions of corals I thought. But the corals are so colourful, at least not black or Kala. Will figure out next time I am there. By that time I hope to see only one wing participating in Tom's narration and rest two along with a couple rented from the hospital full with all those whom we don't necessarily need roaming around and creating nonsense in open air. Amen!


    1. wht a nonsensical post.. written without any thought to the impact it would leave on those reading it .. like a child starting his 1st essay in std 1, i guess..

      I am a native of Andamans.. n the stuff u wrote so lightly abt shows how far out of it u really are.. if tht show didnt move u, then dude u r a sad case.. as far as, being called Kalapani is concerned, any net research ( spent in doing sensible research-not time pass like ur blog) within seconds will yield the answer..so will any native of Andamans,had u bothered 2 ask them.. in fact even if u hadnt bothered, the guides will tell u this, 1st thing in their narrative.. do us all a favour.. dnt go there again..

    2. Mr.Tal, Thanks for this lovely comment. I am not a critic.I tried to write on the facats those hit me when I was there. At no point I elaborated the Light-Sound thing lightly. Infact I was deeply touched by these horrors inflicted to our fore fathers. It is just the casual attitude of the audiance then drove me writting this, when I felt many are getting some time pass and joy from this narration. Thats why I wrote we are just revisiting the horror without thinking much beyond. And largely I alwyas felt history is a big baggage that we are shouldering for quite sometime. If I am wrong in suggesting trimming off the rest two wings then the Andaman authorities are wrong to begin with when they allowed 4 wings to be uased for hospital. They could have kept the whole of the heritage site for this light-sound stuff.

      More off the last thing I want in my blogs are any seriousness. "Being Cynical" is a complete humorous page.

      BTW good to know that you are from that part of India. Would try to meet you when I am there next time.


    3. Mr. DJ.. I belong 2 a family of freedom fighters.. i lost my grand dad 2 the atrocities perpetuated both by British n Japanese.. but my granny was a great lady who taught never 2 hate, or carry the emotional baggage of history-rather 2 learn n appreciate, whtever we achieved ,n are today( becoz of tht very history)...

      wht andaman authorities did or continue 2 do isnt in our purview.. preserving a building doesnt help people-creating hospitals sure does.. n as far as people having fun at the show r concerned, imbeciles r created every minute.. its our choice - do we ignore/shun them..or do we add ourselves 2 the fray.

      Hope u r a better person thn tht.. n 4 the record, its Ms. Tal..

    4. Sorry Ms.Tal for this gender mismanagement from my side. To set the records straight, I love my country as much as anyone. It was good to know that you belong to a family of freedom fighters.

      You can go through my other blogs, where you will find me concerned about everything wrong thats happening to our country. It is just that I try to bring humor in everything I write, doesn't make me any less concerned.

      Hope you got my point.

      Good day lady!