Travel – Andaman Islands (I)

How do you know that a place is still in the hands of nature and humans haven’t still taken over it the way they do…

Well, when the lil lil things are in tandem with each other and there is this rhythm in the movements of all natural things there that only they know has no plastic or damage between them.

So when The purple Frog hopped on to this group of islands together called the Andaman & Nicobar set of islands, it felt this perfect rhythm and harmony between the sea and its shore every time the waves rose and fell.

It was almost like the rough & rogue ocean around this corner of the world hadn’t seen the wrath of human growth and the shore with all its big and tiny creatures from (trees to snails) was only used to dealing with Poseidon’s wishes and like a yet-not-noticed love affair, no one was in between them. Probably, a sea capable of Tsunami-like rage keeps everyone away and the shore surely knows how to deal with that rage too…Perrfect.

As a human, I felt like an extra and exploitative with those greedy taste buds that devoured the juicy seafood that only an untouched, healthy ocean can offer. As The Purple Frog, completely belonged there…

A Long Island Trip (14 days)

Yeah, sounds extremely wishful in our time and age and with those expensive package deals of the likes of 4Nights and 5 Days, pretty impossible for most of us. But, here, wishes are horses and frogs do ride them…

About the place

It is happening – human habitation of the modern kind.

It is only wise for some native tribes to be a part of mainstream comfort and join other humans to go to the next level. Some tribes refuse to accept this reality and are living in the small communities exactly how they deem fit.

The Purple Frog hopes the exotics do stay and multiply.

However, government manifestation is not bad either…they are just protecting some exotic species that the ignorant may consume till those species turn endangered.

For instance, a local told how much they love a good Turtle catch. Feeds many of them and they just love the meat… Tastiest stuff they have known. And they think there are way too many of them in the waters here…

So yeah, the government is very protective here – trying to keep the exoticism alive for as long as they can without anyone feeling the pinch.

Just that sometimes in these settings what always seems unclear is – protecting what from whom…lol. It does get restrictive and that’s why a lot of people (The Purple Frog had a chance to interact with) who were used to beach vacations were easily bored and had no clue what to do…

 This is why

It is a nature lover’s paradise and not a typical beach vacation sorta city. It is still not developed to give the nature lover a comprehensive trip, that’s why a short vacation may confuse people and they may find the place boring, like a small town of India that if grows bigger will still be like the small town got crowded.

Design wise…

Since it is still pristine and growth has almost just started, as a traveller you do feel that nature is far more stylish and creative than us humans. Given a piece of land with such richness and beauty, not getting to see something different in the way it is being constructed is a bummer.

It is a tropical paradise so the vegetation offers a great relief to the eyes every once in a while, especially flowers. Otherwise, with human intervention, the place is moving towards the same uneven, non-descriptive skyline that lacks a character or rather displays a character of – let’s just build something and get over with it kinda aesthetic…

That hurry shows in these newly done housing projects and buildings that have nothing special to them that says, you’re in Andaman…Exoticism Dying.

The Design Verdict: It is nature’s masterpiece…let’s just let it be till we figure out some thoughtful way of doing it up…or just go slow to match its natural beauty.

Food wise…

The best seafood ever and they make it well too…Authentic recipes and restaurants can be looked for. People are sweet and welcoming. If you find someone from one of the Nicobari tribes (now settled in the city) to host you, you can taste some authentic food too…Otherwise, good breakfast menus are all over the place.

Word of caution: They still need to learn how to fix good cocktails…

Ignore the above and

Just go like a traveller. Live for days & months next to a beach in a basic hotel/grove…dip in water day in and day out…lie on the soft sand bed under the tree shade…hire a bicycle and eat, drink in the cafes around…spend nowhere else except on exploring the sea. Scuba dive, snorkel, ride the waves on tubes, jet skis, boats, engage in activities of the locals, board their fishing rafts, watch the sun rise and set…go to one beach after another and spend all your time in the luxurious lap of nature…

The best part of the beaches here is that they are lined by dense trees, not just mangroves and coconut rather dense forest trees and that just makes them so shaded cool. The sand is super soft even though the beaches are quite rocky.

Since the beaches are not crowded and so many beautiful ones all around you, try a skinny dip under the stars, if that’s one of your wishes…

Again temperature-wise, the place feels comfortably hot during the day and soothingly cool from evening onwards.

The Purple Frog | Travel Andamans

Overall, it is all so yummy that you will never want to come back once you live like this for fourteen days…That’s why just like a traveller and yes, please don’t litter. The Purple Frog lives in the hope that one day a mastermind designer, artist and engineer trio will just redo the world. Lol. For that day, just keep the planet clean.

Things That Week

To remember the place and its colours, made two things during the stay. Canvas work in Port Blair with coral and shell filled sand and a coral inspired piece with protruding edges at one of the islands.

The Purple Frog | Travel Andamans


The Purple Frog | Travel Andamans

Some other things made in these months 

A photo frame and a feather drawing on a distressed piece of wood.

The Purple Frog | Travel Andamans

The Purple Frog | Travel Andamans

Tried some glass paint with acrylic…glass paint on wood has a glossy mirror-like effect. For those of you who know how to draw and paint, try this combination…Wish to call it the juxtaposition effect.

Bought a lot of shells from Andaman. Have put one here…Hope to dedicate one full post about the shells & corals of Andaman and the things made using the materials bought from there.

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Candid Confessions

Several years back

The Purple Frog was a part of the cheering team hopping from one school to another looking for young, budding debaters. Every time the lady in the Judging Panel revealed she was from South Africa, the children showed surprise because she was white and unknowingly, at a subconscious level, the children associated Africa with a darker skin tone.

The honesty of little children has only given The Purple Frog the courage to go candid with its own experiences and surprises when it once visited the mysterious continent, Africa.

So here comes the brave confession part (unedited version, truly naive sometimes):

So Kenya was the country that The Purple Frog got the opportunity to visit. Experiencing Masai Mara and mood swings of the equatorial climate first hand were the anticipated thoughts. Some thought bubbles had clutter from the movie Blood Diamond too.

As a result, everything about Nairobi was surprising. Friendliness especially. Cool radio shout outs to people about music festivals and the overall content made them sound culturally sound and tolerant. A layer of prejudice cleared…

Nairobi to Masai Mara & back was going to be a cab ride with many stop overs. The mist covering the mind cleared during this days-long drive…

  • Weren’t Africans supposed to be violent and hungry? Reaction after meeting a lot of them with hefty heavy bodies and bottoms…Every breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet served potatoes of some fried form. People had backyard gardens where they grew their own roots and veggies. The Purple Frog reached the conclusion – Blame it on the potatoes or bless the potatoes for this easy omnipresence.

There were poverty and acres of barren land but wherever there was civilization, people were civilized.

Little children of a government-run school were being heralded by two teachers near Thomson Falls. They gave them candies. The children popped them in quickly but not one of those little fellas dropped the wrapper. They held them fast in their hands or kept in the pockets of their knickers – all without any instruction from the teacher. It was touching.

The Purple Frog | Candid Confessions

Another thing

That was very starkly present was street art. The Purple Frog thinks that street art is a far more pleasing way of communication than displaying prohibitive and non-negotiable messages all over the place.

The art used a lot of imagery and colours from the culture, flora and fauna of the place to get the natives as well as the visitors to acquaint about the place and its worth to the planet.

Braiding, of course, is a way of life for Africans

But finding a hair styling salon open in an abandoned, lost marketplace in the middle of nowhere shows passion for fashion! Again, something The Purple Frog thinks is an essential for the soul to keep going.

So potatoes, fashion, music and TLC for what surrounds them naturally were more visible than the drugs, guns, greed, money, hunger, desperation and ignorance.

P.S. Although The Purple Frog agrees that the touristy part of Africa may not be the best indicator of its struggles. But it also thinks that these are little life details that are more pervasive than singular.

There were large stretches of arid poverty and dusty eyes that couldn’t hide under the heftily-priced hot-air balloon ride or the lavish, outdoorsy brunch in the middle of the jungle.

At the same time, boisterous soccer games, abundant crafting skills and recorded audio cassettes of local music did make one believe that human maneuvers can add colour to any swath of land…

Thing This Week

Revived an old interest – Pottery & Ceramics

The Purple Frog | Candid Confessions


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Blemished For Nothing

Once The Purple Frog met a very beautiful, successful Finance Girl who was scared as hell of her mum and dad to live a good personal life of her choice…Also, she constantly lived in the guilt of the reputation her marital status – single at 33 – brought them.

She tried to always justify all their complaints with a smile and hid all her desires by believing at least she gets food cooked by someone else and doesn’t have to enter the kitchen. Lol. She eventually earned a good reputation at large for being such an understanding child to her parents and an independent, single woman waiting for the right man to happen.

At the same place

There was another pretty girl, pretty angry too (stress-blemished), often mocked for her man-like demeanour and for not taking it easy on certain subjects. She had not given in. Denied the life she was offered and seemed to battle it out. Often by stating what was on her mind and trying to do what she deemed fit for herself.

The Finance Girl led a life of great reputation, doing a lot of things in the hiding but never tried to take a stand for what she desired. On the other hand, the other girl was labelled a rebel because she did what she wanted. As a result, her life wasn’t pretty anymore and she was losing the coyness and the sweetness of the girly kind with which she too started her life.

In fact, situations became extra-harsh for her on most occasions because she put up a bold stand in necessary situations and as a result, people expected boldness from her where it wasn’t even required to struggle.

Without realising, her life turned into this battle. From long hair to cropped hair, she was questioned for even simpler things and without even realising she was called a Fierce Feminist. The real joys no more remained and her life became harder.

However, eventually, when one looked around her,

She had paved way for many to feel the real joys. She opened the way. She filled the gaps that contradictory growth areas create. She brought the term modern to life in mindsets. Often people find it easy to live modernity through costly gold-rimmed phones and new cuisines and recipes.  She brought honesty to the fore.  All that was honestly normal for a human to do…

When someone criticised the Feminist Girl for her blemishes and manliness or nothing sexy / appealing about her to The Purple Frog, all it had to say was…she took the burns of the fire that caused the light in which you bask now…

However, The Purple Frog always feels claustrophobic (may be the reaction should be indifference or patience) in the presence of those who misguide the world. If they are doing it in the hiding, they almost cheat mankind by denying what’s natural to humans… which people you choose and live with is a choice you make. But underplaying or hiding it is encouraging other humans to live in denial and it doesn’t in any way, pave way for a candid co-existence.

Thing This Week

A blanket in the making…The colours and size make it ideal to gift it to a couple expecting twins. But, your writer here is petty that way. The blanket is turning out so soft and cosy that for at least one winter, this blanket is not stepping out for circulation. One winter it shall warm the body here…

The Purple Frog | Winter Blanket

And if you’re thinking about the last piece that was in the making, it’s done and happily in use.

The Purple Frog | Sweater

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