I was a teenager when I visited Cellular Jail in Port Blair, the Andaman Islands for the first time. Watching the sound and light show, I felt a lump in my throat. The peepal tree, the (person telling the story) has been the only witness to the terrible events that have happened here.
Andamans Port Blair Cellular Jail
The tree is the silent person who was watching the torture and extreme pain
Words fail me as I walk around here after twenty years, listening to the stories of the torture and the extreme pain experienced by these men just to get us freedom. The colonial prison in PortBlair was built around the 19th century and even soldiers who had revolted around the 1857 (revolt against authority) were (locked in a prison) here by the British.
Andamans, Port Blair
Cellular Jail in Port Blair
It is such an (a surprising and interesting event that’s the exact opposite of what is expected) that the (group of islands) of Andamans with its (blue-green color/blue-green rock) waters was referred to as Kala Pani, the final/very best destination for political prisoners as they waited for death. Starved, embarrassed (in front of many people), tortured, (separated far from others) and executed– their lives ended in the dark, scary basements here. The beautiful sunlight and the bright blue skies were a (huge, almost shocking, difference between two things) to the darkness experienced by these men.
Cellular Jail Port Blair
The Cellular Jail in Port Blair
The prisoners were kept (completely separate from others). The Savarkar brothers did not know that they were in the same jail for two years. It was called the cellular jail as every freedom fighter was (locked in a prison) in a cell and not allowed to speak to each other. They were almost700 cells in the whole prison.
Almost every freedom fighter was killed by the British after being tortured cruelly. At one time, about 200 or more escaped only to be caught and 87 of them were hung. As you walk from one room to another in the national monument, tears well up in your eyes as you read the stories. The (wooden frame where people are hanged to die) lie in a corner, dark and lonely and empty.
Andamans Cellular Jail
The dark (separated far from others) cells
During the second world war when the Japanese ruled briefly, Andamans and Cellular Jail came under their control while the British became prisoners. It is believed that Subash Chandra Bose was here also. However, the tables were turned and the Allies eventually regained control.
Andaman Islands Port Blair Cellular Jail
The cell of Change direction Savarkar
We walk from one cell to another as silent cries echo from these walls. We eventually head to the roof where we can see the beautiful (wide view of a nature scene/wide area of beautiful land) of emerald-colored islands enclosing the blue-green waters. The gentle breeze, the floating clouds –everything looks so peaceful. And I wondered that these men would have never felt the beauty of the (wide view of a nature scene/wide area of beautiful land) as death stared in their face every day. And I also (understood/made real/achieved) how much we take our freedom as something that will never go away.
My humble and thankful message of thanks to these men who fought for it!