Saturday, 14 April, 2007

Lulling waves of Lakshadeep memories

Magician Gopinath Muthukad recently had a nice break in Lakshadeep Island bounded by the Arabian Sea, off Kerala’s western coast. To make the sojourn merrier, he had the company of magician Rajamoorthy and a journalist, Sreejith Warrior as his co-travellers. They were all invitees of the Health Department of the Island which is an integral part of India, as a Union Territory. The journey comprising of an air travel from Kochi international airport to Agathi Island and then by a helicopter to the headquarters at Kavarathi Island was even more refreshing for the three.

A magical evening

On one of the evening Mr. Muthukad’s one-man show arranged for the islanders. The show very well messaged in favour of health and hygiene and against the stigma towards the HIV affected people. Joining him on the stage was Mr. Moorthy, whose usual giftedness was more than enough to get the crowd baffled. The uncommon wonders produced by Mr. Moorthy, using very common materials like a piece of rope, rag of silk or a stalk of coins was enjoyed by the people of all ages alike. The programme was inaugurated by the Secretary of Health, Vasnik and was presided over by the Medical Director Dr. K.P. Hamsakoya. Chief Councilor of the Panchayat, U.C.K. Thangal and its Chairman, Ahmed Haji were also present.

Meeting the Island’s first magician

For the visiting three, stimulating was a meeting with 57-year-old magician M. Kunjikoya who remains to be the first magic performer of the Islands. May be most delighted out of this rendezvous would have been the inquisitive mind of Mr. Sreejith, who is a Sr. Reporter with the leading Malayala Manorama daily. Mr. Kunhikoya with an enduring zeal performed magic using an ordinary matchbox. On seeing the figures of matchbox transiting from one side to the other, the visitors were glued to the veteran magician with veneration and admiration. Highly impressed of the elder magician’s endless enthusiasm, Mr. Muthukad offered him a traditional shawl of honour. A small crowd comprising of Mr. Kunhikoya’s own son T.K. Noorul Hassan, who was taken to magic as a duckling to water, was witness to this emotionally rousing scene. Happiest among them was magician Mohammed Ali, who was the master planner of all these events.

Undulating waves of surprises

Extraordinary experiences at the island were never ending. Tiny islands of Lakshadeep had still bigger surprises for the visiting magic trio. A visit to the aquarium and its impeccable displays of living and nonliving marine creatures, their stuffed bodies, skeletons etc. were all astonishing enough for them. Far ahead of all these was a cruise by a boat with a glass bottom, vividly watching the entertaining world of colourful fishes, algae, corals and seaweeds submerged in the tranquil blue waters.
Photos: Above left: Relaxing moods of Rajamoorthy and Muthukad Right: Sreejith Warrior and Muthukad enjoying along the golden shores Below: Captivating scene through the transparent bottom of a sailing boat

Ship ready for departure
eturn journey was by Bharat Seema, a comparably bigger ship that as usual was kept anchored a few kilometers off the shore. There was a commuter boat carrying the passengers to the ship. While jumping tactfully to the ship from the small boat, buoyant in the minds of the three were flamboyant memories of the fascinating experiences the Lakshadeep Islands have gifted.

Mr. Moorthy remembers watching at the break of the dawn Chinese fishing nets, the Kochi harbour’s world-famous landmark. Sooner Bharath Seema was tugged by a smaller boat towards the coast. As the harbour came closer and closer, memories of the islands sparked flames of nostalgic feel in the minds of the three.

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