Sometime in Sept, 2009, 0400 hrs…:
The onset of dawn was trying to prove its presence through the thick Casuarinas (Jhau) shrubs; a pleasant breeze was disturbing her hair as she was trying to find the sea. I still had my shades on but felt that it was too dark to discover something even from a handshaking distance. Well, my eyes were not infected but they would still tell you that I should have stopped drinking a bit earlier last night. The entire trip was extremely musical for all my friends and I just woke up a few minutes back realizing that we were destined to see this wonderful morning in a place named Mandarmoni (163 km from Kolkata and 14 km from Digha) which was recently discovered as one of the most divine and secluded sea beaches in West Bengal…
As we head towards the sea and the sun tries to make its presence feel in the eastern corner of the sky, I was mesmerized with the beauty of the road that leads us to the Bay of Bengal. Leaves of casuarina trees cast a spell of enchanting an atmosphere with the help of the sea breeze and made me all the more intoxicated with the spirit of NATURE and its amazing creations. I asked my friends, ‘why didn’t we come here before?”, only to realize that they hardly listened to what I said.
As we entered the beach, the slit-colored sand welcomed us with a resigned disposition. The Sun was still playing with the waters of the sea as if the night was not enough and some romantic mischief s was still left. The calmness of the sea was extremely divine and captivating to my eyes and it played some unstrung chords that hardly evoke emotion in the mind of an urban traveler like me! It is said that you’ll always find something to relate when you don’t intend to do so. I had no other options but admit my lungs to the freshness of the morning sea and the saline wind embraced me with so much love that I closed my eyes, I don’t know for how long!
“Babu, chaa”, a husky voice behind me disturbed my meditation and I almost grabbed the hot earthen cup (a vaar as you would say in Bengali) without looking at the person. The beauty of the sea was relentless and the secluded sea beach was making it all the more enchanting. While walking along the waters of the beach, I asked her a few questions about Life and modes of Living that are so hasty and tedious at times that we hardly look back. Well, I used the female pronoun twice here for my Wife Anusua or Anu as I would call her with affection. We saw our friends holding their partner’s hand and strolling around as if Leisure was just “US”. I understand the hectic schedule we all have to cope up with and now when we are in the lap of nature. Looking at the watch would be a crime!
The cottage we were in had almost all the amenities that satisfy our city whims and needs. The air condition was seeming like a demon who wants to steal the innocence of the morning breeze, the television a superlative Idiot and the bed was nowhere cozy than those sands on the beach, As you can feel I was dying to go to the sea again. I did.
The fisherman and his wife, I saw them undoing their nets to calculate their share of luck for the day. I, Surojit and Tribikram were fascinated by the wooden boats that we saw in the distant waters this morning, now, so close to us. The virginity of the beach was obvious when we saw as few as ten to fifteen people hovering around the entire beach. I felt as if we own the sea and all the waters are my slave coming to the shore to bid me welcome! I accepted their greetings and dived. Love for the sea was the result of childhood crush, I presume. However, it never gave me a pleasure like the waters were providing me then. My soul was drenched and my lips were salty while I saw the blue sky and felt time subliming! I knew we had very little time to spare and still wanted the time to stop and watch us romancing the mud and the raging waters. But you know I hardly had the courage to defy my throat’s urge for the coconut water. I was the last one to receive them yet I was not the last one who was drinking them!
So much to describe that James Reeves who wrote, “The Sea is a hungry dog, Giant and grey. He rolls on the beach all day. With his clashing teeth and shaggy jaws Hour upon hour …” seemed meaningless and shallow. I thought the sea was ever enchanting, Lucid and green. It always lets you feel how the trauma you just received has so much less to do with the real you. The love and affection meant by every touch of Anu was synonymous with the sand smeared shells that lay on the secluded beach! The headlights of the Car and my camera gave us the opportunity to preserve these memories, and I still have goose bumps when I see that video or the snaps taken on the whole trip!
The wind still made some distinctly delightful sounds that one could appreciate the peculiar nature of the sea breeze only if one sat on its shore on a full-moon-lit night. The smell of the air had toxins and silence was epitomized by the “srr-srr” of the waves!
He appeared in the middle of it all.
It’s difficult to describe the meaning of his arrival. He was a boy who would sit by the sea and wait for his father’s boat to arrive. The alluring sea sends him shells that no one in this world possesses and his childish pride showed us those priceless possessions with utmost attention. They were no more just mere sea shells but each one of them got transformed into a piece of art. We were really amazed by the show pieces that this kid created out of nothing! I imagined how he would look at the clouds over the sea as some shrines of far away places and made these wonderful pieces of art. Surojit offered him some money for a certain show piece and the boy snatched it from him. I remembered my childhood and how a bag full of stones and dilapidated colored glasses were my koh-i-noor (s). We all spoke to him and suddenly he ran, responding to a distant feminine cry!
The sea was bidding us goodbye and a nostalgic script is all that we could present it on the beds of the sand. I wrote a letter to the sea that I am going to tell the world about her beauty and enigma that boiled my city-life-fatigue and gave me the vigor to get back and cherish life as it was always beautiful and will always be!!!
Signing off from the land of the amazing kid shell artist, six of us headed towards the highway!!!