Sunday, 28 June 2015


A valley of yellow greeted our eyes as we got down from the trekker. There was a row of small one-bedroom houses, all coloured yellow, except for the reception and the restaurant, which were brown. On the far side of the row, there were four two-storied guest houses with balconies in each of them. Unfortunately due to our late booking, we hadn't acquired the top rooms. But we weren't complaining. The only thing we direly required was cool shelter from the Sun.

Laying on the bed in our air-conditioned room seemed like the only option at noon. Outside I could see what seemed like blazing fire, accentuated by the colour of the resort houses. It was so bright and so hot, we all became a tad disappointed at our opportunity of going to the beach being crushed.

Somehow we made ourselves go outside and trot towards the restaurant for lunch. We were hungry no doubt. A full Bengali meal was promised and delivered and that too to our heart's content.Once we were full and nourished, I began to observe the resort with more attention.

There was a small rectangular water body situated within the confines of the houses. The body was surrounded by two rows of shrubs well maintained by the resort workers. I could hear ducks quacking without pause and assumed they were somewhere near the water but couldn't see them. A paved path lay between the water body and the houses, the reception being at the end of the path. The reception with its roof thatched with hay, was clearly the midpoint of the whole resort compound. Two rabbits were sitting in a cage there, nibbling at anything they found interesting. The children ran to the beautiful creatures and tried to touch them, squealing in delight.

We did manage to find the ducks later though

The other side of the resort compound was made to look almost like a beach. Tall trees dotted the sandy area with hammocks suspended between them. It seemed like a fun place to be, but alas, the intolerable incorrigible heat! We decided to go out when the heat had ebbed a little, and that was when we could go to the seaside.

Children on the hammocks

We crashed into our beds and didn't wake up until 4.30. The weather was a little better by then and this was enough reason for us to change in our beach clothes and rush out together through the resort gate.

Clearly, it was low tide because we had to practically walk half a kilometer before we could reach the edge of the shore. The water was warm and caressed our feet as it broke around us in the form of greenish blue waves. Being a Thursday the place was nearly deserted; there was only one other family beside us, as far as our eyes could go. It was a splendid opportunity, we realized, and spread out as wide as we could to brace the incoming waves.

Beach at the time of low tide

I need not describe the sea to anyone; it's the same as in any other beach. One thing we did sorely miss was the sunset, courtesy to the tall columns of clouds which were suddenly rushing inland. After half an hour, we could feel the level rising and water reaching further towards the beach. The low tide was ending. Still we sat, feeling the force of this vast sea on our bodies as it rushed above our shoulders  and heads, drenching us fully in salt water. The sky had turned a mixture of orange and blue with pale clouds lingering below it. Behind us, motorbikes and trekkers were moving past the seashore to their destinations and I wondered how far they would go. A hint of darkness had slowly begun to creep in and we got up reluctantly, not really eager to be pulled away in the increasing current of the sea.

Having fun at the beach

Darkness began to descend 

Night-time was basking with the silver glow of the Moon as we had our snacks and swung comfortably in the garden hammocks. A part of me wanted to swing like this forever, looking at the sky and watching the moon looking right back at me amidst the swaying tree tops. Looking for a way to mobilize our feet, we went to the seashore once again.

The sea was roaring with life and a strong gust from the sea hit us, removing all traces of the hot weather we were actually in. The Moon overlooked the long sea beach and shone down its silver glow on the crashing waves, spluttering water all around. It felt like the silver water drops were flowing out of the sea and making their way to the mysterious sky, as if sending offerings to Heaven. For a moment, we all forgot our lives and just stood there, taking it all in. That moment made me believe that magic did exist. The beauty and vastness of Nature was magical itself, functioning in tandem with our heartbeats, yet beyond our contemplation and leaving us in awe. The silver sea etched a deep place in my mind and heart and I knew for sure that I would never forget that wonderful night by the sea.

Towards the resort gate in the evening

The Moon over the treetops

Monday, 15 June 2015


When you hear Mandarmoni, what do you envision? Somewhat like New Digha, but way cooler, fancier and kind of top-notch. You are not far from the mark actually. It is way cooler.

Decided just 5 days before our short trip, we weren’t sure if we could get any reservations in a bus or a seaside resort. Luckily through some old connections, we got reserved seats on an AC Volvo from Dharmatala Bus Terminal. Preparations were in full swing after that, but we still didn’t know what to expect there. Sure, I’d been to Digha, but I had no idea whether this neighbour would be any different. Plus, what with the sun raining heat waves upon us and frying us to death in Kolkata, we couldn’t imagine what the weather would be like at Mandarmoni. The seaside is supposed to be pleasant, right?

Following a tasty breakfast of luchi-ghugni at the bus terminal with family friends, we waited for the bus to arrive. The temperature had already begun to soar by 7 in the morning and we all wiped our faces in a futile attempt to keep ourselves sweat-free. The bus honked on its arrival and we climbed aboard. My first thought: Could any measure of gratitude BE ever sufficient for the cold hit of the air-conditioner on a day as hot as that? (Chandler-style)

Around 10, we got down at Chaulkhola. It is a junction village between the roads that lead to Digha and Mandarmoni, and is 14km away from the latter. The bus would continue to Digha and we would be en route to Mandarmoni on a trekker.


 We hailed a trekker from Chaulkhola

I am going to state directly: it was bloody hot out there! Without the humidity quotient, we felt like we just got out from the frying pan and went willingly into the fire. The trekker with its cool shed providing momentary relief, made its way through the village and vast farmlands (also an amusement park-under-construction), carrying 15 people in it, until we finally saw the horizon. Where land meets sea meets sky.

I thought we would stop right there, near the beach, but the trekker surprised me by turning and slowly launching itself on the yellow sand. Driving on the beach itself was something entirely new to me, not having that experience in any other beaches I’d visited (which were few to be honest). We could barely contain our excitement. After excitement, came pure joy as we banked right and directly entered the Digante Seaside Resort. I’d known we would live close to the sea, but this close?  This was amazing!

Mandarmoni boasts of a 13 km long motorable beach, probably the longest motorable beach road in India.


Digante Seaside Resort