Mini Cooper S goes Mandapam to Dhanushkodi

The main road that cuts through Rameshwaram is like any other Tamil town teeming with people, and small businesses, shops and homes lining both sides of the roads. Political posters with pictures of local leaders and their children, gods, even movie stars are common here. As are blaring songs offering prayers to various gods and goddesses.

In the mish mash, the Mini Cooper S stands out with its modern design but also blends in with its size. The narrow main road turns right towards the ‘ghost’ town of Dhanushkodi. It’s an arrow-straight road for the last 15-odd kilometers on what is a narrow stretch shooting out of the island. In 1964, the bustling town of Dhanushkodi bore the brunt of a massive cyclone that killed nearly 1000 people.

Only a few fishermen remain but they don’t seem bothered by the Mini’s presence. You see, the car isn’t intimidating in any way, although the younger lot eyes it with interest. As do the tourists who meet us at the end of the arrow-straight road as they wait their turn to hop on to the local 4x4s that will take them to the sandy, final 4km stretch of Dhanushkodi. And even as they cling on to what are actually mini trucks, they watch us with interest, intrigued as much by the car as by the question: What in God’s name is a Mini of all things doing here?