Once upon a time when I was still young and naïve enough to abide by my parents’ choice my family’s favourite weekend getaway was Digha. If the main reason behind this shameless partiality was the availability of my father’s office holiday home then the secondary reason was Digha’s convenient location. Wake up early, get dressed, and board a Volvo. Four hours journey and you get to feel the humid beach wind on your face. Nostalgia is not my strong suit and I hardly look back at those holidays with much pleasure. Because Digha or as a matter of fact any other beaches of Bengal are as boring as it can get unless you have booze or any other means of entertainment only permissible for 18 and above. Good news for me, I am an adult now. So Mandarmoni did not sound so horrific when the proposition was first placed on the table.

However there is hardly anything that we did that would provide good material for even a tiny travelogue. We took the train from Howrah to Digha. Mandarmoni is roughly 30 kilometers from Digha. It is more secluded, less crowded, cleaner and hence a lot more expensive than Digha. When we reached Digha station it was past six o’ clock in the evening. The scene outside the station was absolute madhouse. Every single driver and rickshaw puller were practically tugging at us and trying to bully us into taking their vehicle. Digha has become dirtier by the way. And I’m implying both tourists and actual garbage.

Fortunately, Mandarmoni is still the polar opposite of Digha. We went for the beach facing cottages and upon entering the inner premises I realised I had been to the exact same resort on my last trip three years back. Talk about karmic cycle, eh? Although the resort was almost full for the weekend we still got to enjoy our quiet time. We spent the next day strolling on the beach watching the waves crashing and crumbling at our feet, chasing tiny crabs and sipping coconut water. Occasionally we were catching glimpse of fishing boats sailing past. Sunset was a surreal experience. The sky changed from golden yellow to ripe orange to deep purple to a melancholy grey before switching to its sparkly polka dotted mode. We remained seated in the dark until we could feel the bite of cold on our bare limbs. Time to get back to the room.