On the Shores of Mandarmoni

On the Shores of Mandarmoni

It was another of those weekend trips I made in order to break out from the routine professional life. 6 of us, old college friends, got together and planned an outing to Mandarmoni, a secluded beach along the shores of the mighty Bay of Bengal.It was a 4 hours late-night journey by bus. The bus sped along the highway in the sparce midnight traffic. We got off at the main road closest to the beach which was another 30 minutes drive by car. The vehicle was arranged by the resort we were to put up with. The car took us into the countryside through the unlevelled narrow dark muddy roads, with the full moon adding a mysterious feel to it.


The narrow road suddenly widened and we were out in the open.In the begining it seemed that we were in the middle of nothing.Slowly my eyes got adjusted to the moonlight. The sight send a chill down my spines. Before me was a vast expanse of dark water, stretched as far as eyes could see, over millions and millions of miles. Huge waves with silver linings on their crests were furiously surging towards the shore. It reminded me of the ship-wreck scenes i have seen in movies. I looked at my watch. It was 2.00 am. What a weird time to watch the ocean, and with the moon making it more scary. The whole place looked so lonely, the dark ocean, the deserted beach with a couple of bamboo poles stuck into the sand. A piece of cloth tied to one of the pole was fluttering furiously in the wind.The car drove past the poles and headed towards the resort. We hit the bed right away, too tired for anything else.

I wanted to wake up in time to watch the sun rising up from the middle of the ocean. However i overslept and woke up to find the sun already way up in the sky. The whole place was so silent except for the intermittent chirping of the birds.We had a quick breakfast and headed for the beach. It was not crowded unlike most beaches. Few people were swimming not too far from the shore, while others chose to stand in waist deep water. The ocean didnt look eerie anymore, though it still had the aura of infinte power. We spend the entire day on the beach except for a short trip back to the resort for lunch.

In the evening we chose to sit down on the beach. The sand was slightly wet but very firm since the ocean had just receded following the low tide. We sat there for hours staring at the unbounded vastness infront of us, listening to the roars of the waves as they rolled furiously over the surface of the ocean. It filled me with melancholy, the feeling of lonliness, of loss and of being lost. Yet my mind was at peace and I was in perfect harmony absorbing the sights and sounds of nature. For the first time i felt that i was actually listening to nature. For me it was bliss, the bliss of solitude.

The winds blowing on my face,
reminded   me of   your   touch.
And     the     murmuring     stars
Whispered         your         name,
in   the   silence   of   the   night.

This Post Has 30 Comments

  1. ur every post is so beautifully written..i love the way u describe the scene, pictures r great too! ^_^

    Thnxx 4 dropping by on my blog =)

  2. I am sure the trip with friends to the lonely beach was enjoyable, and the words you expressed through clarifies that enjoyment.

    Have a lot of such moments again and again.


  3. Thanx viyoma , diva , tanmay , preetam, Mr69, sathish, hashan.
    thanx for ur encouraging comments..

    @ hashan — yes it is 4 hrs from kolkata..

  4. A journey in a car in the night with close friends – I bet you had a superb time. I`ve been to Fortkochi beach at 12 in the nite, oh man, you described it well and it was the same thing that I felt too then. Nice pic too.

  5. grt post.. words put together in such a way tat it created a clear image of tat beach.. i wud sometime like to b there to experience tat bliss of solitude..

    keep posting!!

  6. you are lucky that you guys get lonely beaches over there in India.. it’s too difficult to have one over here in Miami.. yes.. lonely beaches.. with the silvery moon.. boy that’s a very enviable night!!

  7. dude..’random thoughts’..i’d started a blog by th name..hey n about he beach,..check out tis post if can spare time…[http://survivingonrandomthoughts.wordpress.com/2008/06/21/life-goes-on%E2%80%A6/]

    neways dropped in to comment frm th orkut Bloggers thread
    keep Blogging..


    Mandarmoni is the grand destination of coastal land sharks in West Bengal. Situated in the Ramnagar II Block of the Contai Sub-Division of the District of East-Medinipur in West Bengal the area had all the natural wealth of a wide beach inhabited by millions of red crabs, landscaped by sand dunes, dune protecting creepers, screw pines and has been seasonally visited by thousands of local traditional fishers.

    The pristine natural beauty of Mandarmoni made it irresistibly attractive to beach lovers. No concrete jungle, no wastewater, no garbage, no urban glare or din. Only the sea, surf, fishers with their boats and nets, a wide beach dotted with red crabs, sand dunes with runners and screw pines. Small fisher villages with thatched huts, kitchen gardens, cattle and poultry. Everything so serene and tranquil yet so full of activity and variation.

    First, these moneyed people lured the small fishers and farmers who were the rayati owners and/or putta holders of lands adjacent to the coast to transfer their holdings in their favour. Second, portions of beach with sand dunes and beach vegetation (such as runners and screw pines) were encroached. Third, the local Panchayet was managed (presumably by money power and political pressure) to issue approvals for building plans.

    Then started the macabre vandalisation of this splendid gift of nature. Sand dunes were flattened, screw pines destroyed and shifted, beach sand was mined to construct huge hotels / resorts right on the beach.

    The beach has been turned into a thoroughfare with transport carrying construction materials as well as the tourists.

    The result is for all to see. Natural landscape – sand dunes and screw pines – gave way to concrete constructions. The red crabs, their habitats crushed under the wheels of traffic, fled to safer destinations. Robbed of its natural constituents, the beach is already showing signs of narrowing down and erosion. Already garbage is piling up on the beach. Leave alone the daily poisonous dose of thousands of litres of sewage and wastewater – bearing detergents, disinfectants and pesticides used in these hotels – that finds its way to the sea.

    The Coastal Regulation Zone Notification (hereafter referred to as CRZ) dated 19 February 1991, under the Environment Protection Act 1986, directs that no such construction is legal in
    A. The area falling between the Low Tide Line (LTL) and the Highest High Tide Line (HTL)
    B. The area falling within 500 meters of the landward side of the Highest High Tide Line which is coastal restricted zone and of which up to 200 meters of the landward side of the Highest High tide line is a no development zone.

    Besides, the aforesaid notification prohibits altering natural features of the beach – flattening of sand dunes, sand mining and destruction of beach vegetation.

    On 07.08.2006 WBPCB imposed closure order on five units and directed the West Bengal State Electricity Board to take steps for immediate disconnection of electricity to those units and the Officer-in-Charge of the Ramnagar Police Station was also directed to execute the closure order and also submit the compliance report to the State Pollution Control Board within seven days.

    None complied. The hotels continued with their construction and operation. WBSEB and Ramnagar Police Station slept on the WBPCB order.

    Thereafter, in response to an appeal made by one of the defaulting hoteliers the Pollution Control Appellate Authority of west Bengal caused an investigation by an expert committee and basing on their report, passed an order on 20.02.2007directing the concerned hotel units to dismantle within two months. Yet the hoteliers continues with their illegal business.

    We, the concerned citizens are perturbed to witness that the West Bengal Government miserably fails to discharge its statutory duties and obligations in protecting the coastal zones of the state. DIGHA, Shankarpur and Frasergunj bear stark evidences of environmental misgovernance. This has been admitted by WBPCB itself.

    In the circumstances we call upon you to support demolition of the unauthorized hotels at Mandarmani and remove encroachments of the coast. These hoteliers are worst profiteering miscreants who has not only violated the constitutional duty of every Indian citizen to protect our environment but also have vandalized our national wealth.

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