Friday, July 5, 2019

Mandarmani - sea, sand, sombre in late capital extravagance

Kaleidoscope often takes refuge to the imagined reality - perhaps in a hyperreal snapshot of the memories, facts-artifacts and perhaps hyperfacts of the ideal types. The quick tour to the posh weekend destination of Bengal - Mandarmani perhaps represents one of those refuges. Where the imagination could unleash with a help of a variety of feudal spirits aided with beautifully served tandoors!
It's the salt-sand-sombre in the evening silhouette that gives you somewhat out of the world luxury in the middle of nowhere. Few years back the beach was the house of the famous red crabs who used to populate the beach to make it look like a red beach. Perhaps the name came from local name madar boni - madar represents the wilderness! The wilderness which once used to occupy the space that has been encroached by the fast growing weekend destination.
Mandarmani that lives in the imagination of Kaleidoscope is that of 2009 when he and his colleague took their students to a quick tour as they were returning from Digha after a 15-day-long fieldwork. The mandarmani had a super costly place to stay -Rosevally - the name now commonly associated with financial scam and the rest of the beach was empty. As they approached, it's just 10 years Kaleidoscope thought looking at the numerous places that offers a stay and food to the tourists. If one can afford the journey one can afford to stay! Hence, Mandarmani, Kalieodscope thought is on its way to become perhaps the second Digha. Digha is crowded and concreted minus the beauty of the famous Marine Drive, Mumbai!
As they reach to their destination they were informed that because of the lack of communication between the Kolkata office and the hotel, their booking information was not updated. The hotel candlewood beach resort apologised and arranged kaleidoscope and his friends and fsmiliest into another resort nearby. None of them were satisfied with the rooms offered to them but they were assured to be given the best rooms of the resort on the day after.
Kalieodscope, his family and friends were class conscious and of course it was rather an adjustment to the situation. The candlewood had beautiful decoration, well maintained garden and cushioned large half tilted chairs. They had a tandoor counter outside from where they could order items to be served on the beach while one can enjoy rounds of drinks. Seeing the approaching evening in slaty blue sky along with such extravagance would be a dream for a middle class mind who aspires to embrace the ecstacy of the aristrocate.
All these happened with the best available room being offered to them on the next day as Kaleidoscope enjoyed their stay for the entire trip.
It was their child's first trip outside the known territory and hence it was full of excitement and uncertainty. The baby cooperated and perhaps made the trip even more happening with his excited gestures of seeing the limitless sky water lovemaking over the silhouette canvas. The little one tried to have a grip on wind that blew over them. He smiled at the strangers, waved at the other kids months elder of younger than him and kept participating in the late night parties by entertaining Kaleidoscope's friends - the newly weeded couple!
He cooperated by sleeping early on the next day when the team was offered a stay at the most expensive cottage of the resort.
The journey to the retreating sea during the low tide along with the little one to a point where the wet sand met the sky and embraced the reflection of love affair has been dissolving one. The water is a great leveller. Whoever stays at whatever place gets wet in the same water where river meets and rain falls. Perhaps the only equaliser that one can imagine in a hierarchical society!
Some of the moments worth sharing!

The extravaganza

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