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THE BOOK - Andaman Adventure - The Jarawa

The Andaman Coast, north and west of
Port Blair, is untamed and only partly explored.
Large sea eagles prowl its blue skies, saltwater crocodiles
patrol meandering creeks, and lush forests unfold behind
lonely beaches.

These magnificent forests, however, are not as empty as they appear to be.
They are the home of a proud and ancient people known as the Jarawa. Wielding
arrows and spears, the Jarawa fiercely protect their forests, attacking those who
dare enter.

Vikram and Aditya, accompanied by Chitra – a girl whose spirit is as
free and wild as the islands themselves – embark on a voyage along
this fabulous coast. On a moonlit night the teenagers venture up a
forbidden creek where disaster strikes.

Revealing startling truths of a Stone Age people, the ‘Andaman Adventure’ is a story of survival and courage, set in a primeval land where nature, in her unrestrained glory, still rules.

THE BOOK - Andaman Adventure - Barren Island

The hilly terrain surrounding a harbour discovered by Lieutenant Blair is today the bustling city of Port Blair, capital of the Andaman Islands. Teenaged friends Vikram, Aditya and Chitra – recuperating from their adventure in the Jarawa Jungles – discover the charm and history of this colourful island city.

Stumbling on a trail of promising clues, Vikram pursues them, tracking men who had abducted him earlier. But powerful criminals thwart his endeavour and unable to escape their wrath, he is forced to undertake a night-voyage destined for alien shores.

In the remote corners of the Andaman Sea lies an island called Barren. On this uninhabited and forgotten outpost of India, Vikram discovers that it is not just a band of desperate men he must pit his wits against. Primal forces of nature – the very ones that shaped our planet – are at work on Barren, and the smouldering narrative comes to a fiery climax on the island’s lonely shores.

EXTRACT from Andaman Adventure - The Jarawa

...Her final lunges before launching herself into the cave worried Chitra. Leaves had exploded like thunder under her feet. The men must have surely heard the commotion. Even as she lay there wondering whether they would investigate, she heard sounds from the mouth of the cave.

Voices! She was trapped!

Grasping the boulder, Chitra hurriedly pulled herself to her feet.

The cave was as dark as the night and it seemed to drop away into the gloom. Chitra was reaching for her torch when her hand paused in mid-air. Pebbles were rolling, trickling down into the depths of the cave. Had she dislodged them? No, it didn’t seem probable…the sounds were too far to her left. Chitra froze. Another stone had been dislodged and this time, along with it, she heard the distinct sound of movement.

There was somebody or something in the cave.

Chitra’s resolve crumbled. Fear, unreasoning and hysterical, overcame her. For the first time since her ordeal had begun Chitra started to shake. Though her hand grasped her torch she couldn’t summon the courage to switch it on.

Stones trickled softly again.

It was like footsteps – footsteps in the dark. Gravel and stone rolled quietly. Chitra worked on her fingers. She had to switch her torch on. Suddenly, she sensed something behind her. Something cold snaked across her stomach. She shrieked a terror-stricken scream...

EXTRACT from Andaman Adventure - Barren Island

..."We better leave!" hissed Vikram. "Come on board. We'll paddle together."

"No," cried Chitra. "There isn't place. You lie flat and paddle like
before. I'll cling to the tail so there won't be any drag."

Chitra swam to the rear section of the board. When her hand
grasped its rounded edge she shouted, "Go!"

Vikram exerted, pedalling his arms. The spouting volcano lay directly in front. The lava beach was the nearest shore and he steered directly towards it...

...An incandescent glow suffused the volcano valley and Vikram could see the shore as if a weak sun was shining on it. The beach was a narrow strip of lava and rocks. Behind, the old lava flow rose like a wall. Beyond the wall, the discharging volcano was spreading glowing pools of molten lava...

...The water was hot beneath Vikram and as he stared at its flashing surface it seemed to glow a deeper red. Vikram looked up and gasped. A rim of fire was gathering atop the lava wall.

Behind him the engine coughed and began to throb.

Ahead, like a golden tear, a chunk of lava oozed slowly down the wall.

Vikram turned. The dinghy was moving and its nose was pointed at them. The shore had turned perilous; they would be roasted alive if the lava flowed over the wall. Vikram felt trapped, as if surrounded by death. The lava was radiating heat. His face sizzled and his hair felt as it it had been set alight. Taking a snap decision, Vikram swerved the board, turning it parallel to the shore. But in his rush of anxiety and fear he forgot that Chitra was hanging behind.

Chitra lost hold of the board the moment Vikram changed direction...