Saturday, April 16, 2016


27 Feb - Jolly Buoy Island, Talent Show

As usual, we were up early. We packed most of the stuff as this was our last day on the Island and were to head home the next morning.

We went for our usual morning walk, taking in the beauty of the palms and bamboo and coconut groves.

Once again, after a sumptuous breakfast, we started at 9.30 in two Tempo Travellers, armed with a set of clothes and snack packs and a water bottle each - as per instructions. During the 20 minute drive, I caught glimpses of houses of various sizes and tried to click pictures - pardon the quality - we were driving, you see.....

all in garish colors - dark pink, maroon, green, blue and dark yellow .... and believe me - bright red too! Either the people here are colorful or this is their way to beat the heavy rains.

We reached Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Wandoor. Here, each couple was given a Milton water bottle. We had to transfer the water from our plastic bottle to that and throw the former in the garbage. No plastic was allowed in Jolly Buoy Island and strict measures were undertaken to curb violators. I really loved the meticulous efforts of the staff everywhere there. In fact we had to undergo a strict 'security' check of our bags - for plastics. Many of us forgot that we were carrying a plastic bag for the wet clothes during our return. They were promptly disposed then and there.

Our boat was to leave for Jolly Buoy Island at 11.30. So we just chilled  there, enjoying the lovely breeze as we went around the museum and small garden.

We put on our life jackets and enjoyed the 30 - minute boat ride to Jolly Buoy. 
As the island came closer, it looked breathtakingly beautiful.

We got down on to the 'magic jetty' ( a colorful floating pad) .... 

and from there boarded on to glass boats with capacities to seat around eight. The boat man took us farther for a free 15 minute ride to enable us to enjoy the underwater coral formations and fishes. This was better than the one in Elephant Beach. 

After this we were taken to the shore and we started exploring the small but amazing beach. I felt this was the best beach!
We walked with our feet digging into the light peach colored fine sand, sat our bags and bottles and foot wear in one spot .....

and waded our feet through the crystal clear water to be hugged again and again by the sprightly waves ....

Many of us were tempted to take a short swim.

Some ladies were more enterprising - they decided to try snorkeling with the coaches (rates ranged from Rs 500 - 1000). 

The seniors behaved like kids and needed a lot of coaxing to get back for lunch. It was 2.30 pm by the time we changed in the few changing rooms and sat down on .....

tree-trunks / benches and relished the packed lunch of pulao, peas-potato curry, laddo and fruit juice. All the paper plates (remember, no plastics) were neatly shoved into the trash can - suddenly we seemed to be abroad, where every one of us adheres to the rules!

It was with a heavy heart that we left the alluring beach at 3. In half an hour we reached the Marine National Park, returned our empty Milton bottles and boarded our Tempo Traveler. On the way we halted for chai / coffee; we also got to do some small shopping - there were shell spoons / clips etc. - all for Rs 25 - 100. Then we reached our resort at 6.15. 

We were reminded that we were to assemble at the resort's Conference Hall at 7.30 for the Talent Show.There was just time for a shower and getting into our costumes for the show. We dressed up as the Odd Couple - my husband as a South Indian mama - in dhoti - uthariyam and 'vibhuti -kumkum' .... and myself as the mod 'mami' in jeans-n-top. 

Another enthusiastic couple was the Maharashtrian bride and groom. There was our friend as a politician looking like Vilasrao Deshmukh's brother. All others turned out in their Sunday best.

When we entered the Conference Hall, we were taken by pleasant surprise to see it well decorated and with a good sound-n-light system. We got our badges with numbers. Judges were seated and the Show began with a bang and as it progressed, we realized it was an almost professional show.

First Ulka presented a fabulous 'lavani'. 
Ulka mingling with the audience after her performance ...
This was followed by individual cat walk. Then Kaustubh presented a touching 'One-man-show'. Then I conducted Musical Tombola for the group - I had prepared tickets from home - with names of 'relations' (didi, chacha etc). 
Everyone enjoyed the game. Then it was time for Couple Parade.
This was followed by 'My Boli' competition - where the competitors had speak for two minutes in unadulterated mother tongue - with no smattering of borrowed words.

Finally everyone let their hair down at the dance floor. It was indeed a riot and every one of the seniors had a blast.

The highlight of the evening was the Prize Distribution.
Each winner at this competition won a gift voucher from Veena World - for various titles - Singing Queen, Dancing Queen, Style King, Smile King, Enthusiasm Queen, Motivation Queen, My Boli King, Costume King, Mr. Veena World and Miss Veena World ..... My husband bagged the title of Mr. Veena World and yours truly, the title of 'Singing Queen'. 

By the time the fabulous show got over, it was 10.30. After dinner, we returned to our room and hit the bed.

28 Feb, Goodbye Andamans!

We were up before 5. After finishing our last minute packing, we went around the resort one last time - we wished our stay here had been longer. After breakfast at 7.30, we left for the airport at 8.30. 

At the airport we were handed a snack box each for our lunch during the flight. We had really been pampered with food and attention throughout our tour and we had a great time.

When we took off, we bid goodbye to Andamans, chewing the cud of the week's fun we had had in these pristine islands. And all due to Veena World.  Our thanks and best wishes to the team!

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