Our agent is Mr. Salim Jadwett from the illustrious Jadwett family and he invited me, Vivek and Saini for dinner, we actually went on 2 buryani meals, 1st lunch and then dinner.
The lunch was like a big family function above one of the Jadwett gasoline stations. Dozens of chairs had been put out in rows. We were early and sat waiting for people to arrive and I watched the staff carrying up huge pots of buryani. Bit by bit people started to trickle in and eventually I was introduced to Mohamad Jadwett, the chairman of the Port Blair Chamber of Commerce, his father, brothers, countless cousins etc. Finally, people was invited to feed, we queued up and had our plates ladled with fragrant buryani made with mutton from Calcutta and topped with spicy cucumber onion salad. The lunch was so delicious that me and Saini went for 2nd helpings. Once finished our meal we thanked our hosts and we found our driver to take us back to the ship via the paan shop.
Smiling paan wala
In the evening at 1900hrs we were all dressed up again for going out and we were met at the gate by our driver Johnson. From there we set course towards Phoenix Bay were the Jadwett estates were located. We dined at Ashraf Jadwett's house and while waiting for the table being setup we had small talk with Ashraf about how the tsunami affected the Andamans in 2004.
Ashraf's father gave very interesting insights about the time when he arrived to the Andamans 45 years ago. That time people usually came via Rangoon that was still under Indian rule. Back then people used to do deer hunting for their leisure. The Andaman tribes today, only one, the Jarawa's, remains isolated on the Sentinel Island. The cellular jail was still very much active, the 2nd WW Japanese invasion, the "mute" marriages (the man could not ask the name of the girl that was paraded in front of him as he would know the religion immediately).
Eventually we we're called to help ourselves food again and we we're served buryani and mutton kebabs with vegetables and cucumber salad. For dessert we got vanilla ice cream and sweet flour balls. Very delicious dinner and at abt 10pm we broke up, thanked our hosts for the lovely dinner and their hospitality and headed back to ship, via the paan shop, of course...