Sailing off


Monday, April 16, 2012

Port Blair - the festival

What an amazing sight and so unexpected once a year happening.

DELAYED One of the” fix the boats days” with great news our generator is WORKING and the humming noise it makes normally a bit annoying sounds so WONDERFUL now. Apsara was impressed and now decided to get their generator fixed which is much more complicated and our fabulous mechanic will do it. Our fridges got re gassed  and needed more gas today so fridge man who we found out is also a telco man and washing machine man a man for all needs and all seasons really will come back today...oh well  some time today when he gets the gas . He will call on the 2G phone that is not working too great and between the cracks on the line the Indian accent and word differences is lets say almost impossible to understand.
I decided to call our Andaman born taxi driver RAVI who is the best local driver ( with great knowledge of Andamans and clients like Green Peace)  to take me around Port Blair taking with me my 2Gphone and 25 mile range VHF boat phone so when the mechanic called me on the 2G with the time he was coming I will call Robert on the boats phone because my 2G phone will not call Roberts and vice versa to let him know to pick the fridge guy up from the dock. Talk about complicated.
In the end Ravi who speaks English took me to the hills to see a festival which happens once a year. How lucky for me to get to his taxi in the perfect moment to go there.
On the way the mechanic called and I could not understand a word of what he said so Ravi had to be the translator and even he had difficulties understanding. TheVHF radio I had died and that was it for my communication. Would you believe that in the end Robert had to use satellite phone to call me - a laugh really. He picked up mechanic who was late after few more satellite calls. Ravi and I continued our journey to the festival.

Wow what a treat for the eyes. Hundreds and hundreds of believers gathered on the beach that normally is a quite place for crocodiles with a few Japanese bunkers a reminder of their occupation during II World War and today a bustling busy place filled with COLOUR with music  with people praying in the water others in trans or getting into a trans to ask for favours of one of the godesses. All getting ready either for face piercing and or walking on fire later. There were many man who had their faces pierced and no blood. Those who had piercings were treated like specially .People would come for blessings.All of the participants and their families had only had small amounts of vegeterian food for the whole month prior as well as total abstination from sex.Once the firewalkers get on the hot coals it s believed that their diligency prior wil pay dividends so they dont get hurt. I could not stay for that part. I was indeed very privileged to be here probably the only western person and a woman and a witness to this very special event. I had to be rather aware of where and how close I got to the acts of the soul in trans. Ravi was the one who watched over me and he did it so well. Thank you Ravi from the bottom of my heart. Loved the experience totally.


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