THE PRINCESS TURNS INTO A PAUPER By rajaNaiduThrough the space into the sky with the earthly clouds around us, I felt as if I amgetting ready to land. We were travelling from Chennai to Andaman.
It was my firstair travel. We were at a very high level, the clouds were underneath right downfloating, the sun sparkled on our glass and slowly our plane headed downwards. We were excited.
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I said,??? Awesome! The floating clouds are looking like a heap of snow.??™??™My brother said, ???Vow! See look down the islands are visible, this is the mostbeautiful thing I have ever see.??™??™ The flight was landing in Port Blair. I held thehandle of the seat tightly and I felt as if my heart went to the bottom of my tummy.The plane stopped. Then the air hostess welcomed us to Andaman at the aerodrome. I stepped down, the first step, I felt I was Neil Armstrong, landing on the moon, sowhat even though its not 1969, as if my arrival was a landslide victory for humanityand civilization.
I felt elated. The dew on the little grass and the fresh breathing air aside made me feel pleasant as if Andaman was waiting for me. As soon as wereached the gate, many people gathered around us, asking either to stay in theirhotel or avail their services for the touring or use their taxi or transport. I felt veryimportant. At that moment I felt that I was the princess who was walking on a redcarpet with roses spread on it.
We collected our luggage and set into the taxi. Onour way to hotel, there was a drizzle as if a lovely music was being harmed by nature. With every drop of rain, the leaves shook and vibrated as if they were dancing withjoy on my arrival to Andaman.
All the markets were decked up decorative lights andbeautiful posters were hung everywhere to welcome the tourists in the AndamanFestival. Hotels dished out plenty of choices to celebrate this festival. All the DJ??™swere busy with the rocking musical party by the beachside or a night in the elegantsurroundings of restaurants. We reached the hotel. We were welcomed with roses. It had a very good amenities and pleasing ambience.
Floral decorations spread sweetfragrance into the hotel room. We refreshed ourselves. With a beautiful pink dressI came down enjoying every moment.
My mother locked the room and we sat at thereception. My father started enquiring about the touring. There were four to fivefamilies who were waiting to avail the touring services.
All the children of my age came near to me to appreciate my beautiful dress. We chatted for almost 20minutes. Suddenly I realized that I was alone and my family was no where to be seen.I went back to my room, but it was locked. I asked the hotel manager then he saidthat he doesn??™t know. I felt as if was pushed in the midst of an ocean and thetsunami was on its way. I was so terrified as if I was kept in the cellular jails alongwith the freedom fighters who were brought from their beloved country, India. Iran helter skelter.
I felt miserable. I did not know anybody around, some laughed atme and some winked at each other. They looked like local jaravas surrounded me withtheir scary faces. Tears rolled down my ears. The roads were slippery due to rain.The terrain was uneven my long pink skirt got stuck into the railing of the footpath.
My shoes broke and the dress tore. I felt horrible and lonely. I realized that whyAndaman was called ???kala pani??™??™. I felt that the Japanese and the Britishers werepointing their guns at me from their bunkers. I could not see any ray of hope.
I wassure that volcanoes of Andaman would burst open and the lava would surely burn meinto ashes. But I couldn??™t find my parents. I cried loudly. At least in the movie HOMEALONE he was in his own house where as I was far away from my home and parents.Suddenly I got a glance of my mother??™s sari from the corner of a building. I rushedtowards them with the shoes in the in my hand and the dress held above the kneelike a pauper as if Mark Twain had authored my this story. I ran and ran towards itwith all hopes. I saw my mother, I was relieved.
I asked my mother angrily that whydid you leave alone. Then she said,??? Your brother fell off from the steps and fellunconscious, then we rushed to the government hospital which is a part of thecellular jail??™??™. ???Where is he ??™??™ I asked. She said ???he is still in the hospital with your father; he has a compound fracture on his right leg, so he has to undergo oneoperation immediately to set it right, he has also a cut in his head which needsstitches??™??™.
???What happened to you??™??™ exclaimed my mother. ???I was lost??™??™ I said andstarted crying loudly. My mother said ???I was too searching for you for last one hour??™??™.We had to cut short our trip and return back home without even viewing a singlebeach or an island in Andaman. I felt as if I, the princess, turned into a pauper.