In this essay, Sarpreet Kaur pays an ode to Mayabunder, a very small place towards the northern end of Andaman and Nicobar Islands capturing its beauty in words for the readers.
With kind eyes, a doting smile, and an aura of aloofness, finally I was in love with this place. If you want to write, you need to fall in love again and again. I have been lucky in that aspect. Once I fell in love with my ‘college boyfriend turned fauji husband’ there was no looking back. I had torrid affairs with deep jungles, crashing waves, calm seas, secluded jetties, and mystical corals. This time it was Mayabunder- A place that never existed to me until I saw its name on our posting orders. Like any other love story, this one also started with the confusion caused by this place’s remoteness heavily amplified by the plunging darkness of its nights.
The silent treatment that Mayabunder gave me initially was intimidating. The eerie silence of this place was sporadically broken only by the crickety sound of swiftlets (birds that look like bats but are not) and the howls of winds wafting through my hollow roof (my house here had a wooden roof ). The tinge of horror, when I saw snakes casually slithering on the roadside, made my heart skip a beat and every other limb jump. But once I fell in love with this place the things that were earlier intimidating now became hopelessly romantic. The isolated surroundings connected me more with myself, the dark nights became a serene place to elope, the howling winds were now a symphonic companion, the crickety swiftlets became friends, and the scary snakes though still feared became respectable neighbours that you wish you never cross paths with.