#ATOZCHALLENGE DAY 25: Y for Yahoo!!! I belong here

Many have asked me how did my family and I end up in the Islands and as always i have loved to tell them my story 🙂 So here it goes….

My grandfather – mom’s father was deported to the Andaman and Nicobar islands in 1921 as part of the Moplah Movement . He later settled in the islands and had a family of his own, so my mother was born in the islands in May 1953. My dad would be around 20-22 years when he came looking for a job in the islands in the year 1974 as referred by his relatives in Kerala.

Mom and Dad – 1980

Mother grew up and studied hard and took teaching as a profession. While my father took up a central govt job with the Forest department in the islands.Now like any other love story, my parents met through mutual friends fell in love and 10th Feb 1980 they got married. My brother was born in April 1981 and i was born in July 1987. So that’s how we ended up in the islands. 

My first birthday (ignore the clarity)

Growing up in the islands – My home
I never understood what Concrete Jungles were until i moved to the mainland for my engineering. My house had the typical look of a farmhouse, with trees all around. I grew up to see greenery every day when i woke up, i grew up to see the beautiful sunrises and mesmerizing sunsets. I grew up to see the oceans and the sound of air and water. I never ever felt that i am being suffocated with any kind of pollution – air or water or anything you name it. It is not just because mine was an individual house but even my classmates who stayed in gated communities would have felt the same experience as mine while growing up. My house still looks the same with all the trees around and i love it.

Growing up in the islands – My school
I did my schooling from Carmel Senior Secondary School which is the sister school of Mount Carmel and the only Carmel branch which has co-education for both boys and girls. I owe a lot to my school education. The 13 years of my life that i spent in my school has had a major impact on my life. Carmel was is and always be the best school in the islands. Its not just about the best basic education that this institution provides but more so the moral values that my school has taught me to become the person i am today. Anything that I write will not be able to express what i feel for my school.  

The batch of 2006

Be it from being respecting each and every student as an equal, to take part in extra curricular activities, to respect students from rival schools and prove your worth not by words but by actions and bringing home all the prizes in competitions. My school always made sure we celebrated all kinds of festivals with pomp and show, my school made sure we learn about all aspects of life like taking part in social service campaigns, take part in school cabinet selection there by teaching us the importance of law and government etc, my school taught me that all work and no play would make john a dull boy.

Standard IX – Hindi Skit – find me 🙂

The best part about my school are my batch mates with whom i have spent 13 years. Today we are all in different places and busy in our own lives but still we have the unconditional love for each other as we have had growing up in the school.

A mini reunion with school friends in Port Blair back in 2010

Some of my best buddies who have always loved me the same way as they loved me back in school, they do not judge me or expect anything out of me but pure friendship. Thank you Farheen, Vincent, Benoy,Dweependu,Jayant, Kavita ,Mansi, Guha, Vivek, Zahid. There are few friends who never were as close while in school but have always encouraged me in some way or the other like my friend Rajasudha who always has shown her support be in the drawings i publish or the blogs i write.

With friends from senior batch Vishal, Anu, Manish : a reunion in Bangalore

Its’ not just the batch mates that maintain friendship but even the school seniors and juniors who throughout the years have maintained that friendship and always been a support. 
This year my school celebrates its 50th anniversary and am hoping to make a visit to my school in this year. We still have our teachers as friends in our facebook profile and i love that we could all still be in touch.

Growing up in the islands – The people of the islands
The islands are called “Mini India” and it can be truly justified. Various social divisions based on caste,religion, creed, language, region etc is totally non-existent. I never experienced communal riots, i never heard of fights between two different religions. For that matter even incidents of theft, murder, rape was all new to us locals. We would only hear about them in the new channels or the movies and serials. The life is simple in the islands and the habit of dining out and partying is still not common. There is no night life in the islands even though the sun sets by 5 pm, we are used to spending time with family friends and relatives. A picnic by the beach is our weekend getaway.
Unlike the cities elsewhere , people in Andaman and Nicobar Islands tend to know almost everybody they come across in everyday life. If you don’t believe it the next time you meet someone from the islands or you know someone from the island am sure i would know them too somehow, i bet you. Life in the islands is always calm and quiet and festivals or family functions are the places of gathering where everyone meets up. Respecting people for their culture has always been taught to us since the islands have people from all places of India. Also the literacy rate in the islands is about 90.27% and we have always been taught about other states and their cultures.
For me it comes even more naturally to respect other religions since my parents had an inter religion marriage. My dad is a Hindu while my mom was Muslim. So am brought up knowing about both religions and appreciating each culture.

What i miss most about the islands
People – i definitely miss home and all those family friends and relatives. I go once a year since i moved out for my higher studies back in 2006 and all my visit would be catching up with my friends and relatives. I miss all those celebrations of different festivals like Diwali, Eid, Durga puja , Christmas which is all celebrated at a big scale in the islands and everyone is a part of the celebration. I miss home definitely there is nothing to write about it in particular. I miss the morning tea dad has been making us since i have known. I miss the fights with my brother till date and few hours post that sitting and binge watching our fav movie or tv shows. Now even more when my sister in law is expecting and i cannot be with her to spend time ( well i am making up to her by going home for a month in august).
Nature – I miss the sea, i miss the clean air, i miss the beachessssss, i miss the chirping of birds and stars in the night sky. I miss island life.
Lifestyle – i miss the simple lifestyle of the islands. I miss the calmness in the city. Beauty of these islands lies in its simplicity. <3

Why i cannot go back to the islands
We do not have IT jobs in the islands and that is one reason i cannot go back home. Though there are other jobs like government jobs and teaching but somehow i do not feel right to go back and take up a job for which i have not studied hard. I enjoy working and love my profession. And somehow i feel its the right balance between life in the islands and here in Bangalore. With a loving family who understands and supports my choices i feel blessed.

So yeah that was my story of what the islands means to me. How close are you to your hometown? Do you have a similar life work away from home and miss your growing up years? Please do share would love to read them.

Happy Blogging!!!. Live.Love.Laugh

P.S – and one more day and its a wrap, even though i missed a few posts in between and i always end up publishing the post end of day or the next day i think its okay as long as i can keep up with the challenge. #nostress 🙂

6 Replies to “#ATOZCHALLENGE DAY 25: Y for Yahoo!!! I belong here”

    1. Thank you so much Susanne. its hard to find soft copies of old pics since most of them got burnt in a fire that caught at my place about a year ago. 🙁

      1. I have few pictures of my early years because boxes were lost in a move when I was fifteen. Each one left is precious.

        1. I can truly relate to that

  1. Zahid Hameed says: Reply

    Awesome post benzy… Very well written… 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Sonu 🙂 Thank you for being a good friend and neighbour 🙂

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