A Travelogue for Mandarmoni – Explore, Dream, Discover

March 9, 2009 at 11:51 am 5 comments

A traveler without observation is a bird without wings. When I got to know about our office trip, the traveler inside me inculcated the observer within me, and then came the writer. I observed few people, few incidents, and few contexts and then wrote this Travelogue.  I tried to cover almost everything interesting which this trip had to offer, though there are chances that I might have missed something. I hope those who were on trip will add missing parts in the comment section.

Let’s see the background first. The speculation about an official trip was in air from last couple of weeks. I could hear people whispering softly about where we may go and on which date. The anxiety  came to an end when we got a form to fill as who would be coming for this trip, got another form as who would be eating veg and who would be eating non-veg. Once the trip date, place, food got confirmed the next round of talks started about planning for trip. The trip was planned for a night stay at Mandarmoni, a virgin beach at Indian East Cost, a place adjacent to Bay of Bengal. It is said, when anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, you should go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses you with its noise and imposes a rhythm upon everything in you that is bewildered and confused. Ok, so if we go by this saying the plan for a beach was great.  Next was the individual planning for the trip? It included, identifying likeminded groups, activities (for obvious reasons), shopping for fun @ beach (no need to mention what was there in the shopping cart), etc.

@ Office Reception  All set for the trip

Saturday 06th March 2009, we started our trip at 9.00 AM from Kolkata. The first humorous tiff occurred when few back benchers were allotted seats in front row. With some resistance and some humor, people grabbed their respective places. The food packets were also kept there at front and the journey started with distribution of Kolkata’s famous “Sondesh”. It’s a sweet, distinctively famous in Kolkata. The next item in food was “Samosha” (the national snacks) and then “Jilebi” (the national sweet). We also had “puri-sabji” packets for breakfast. The plan was to take it when the bus will stop at Kola Ghat though few people were in little hurry. They tried opening food packets while the bus was on run and the outcome was some yellow-blue colored jeanses of some front-sitters.  Little trouble mixed with some spontaneous chuckles created little noise in the bus. Next few minutes went peaceful and the bus stopped at Kola Ghat . There was a bridge which was under maintenance. Only one side of that bridge was open hence we had to wait for ½ hrs for our turn to come. We took our breakfast there and moved again. The atmosphere in bus was quite low so the enthusiastic lot sitting at front tried to play music. It was a lovely song though very few were able to understand it. People started whispering again. I was asked, “Which language is this”? Actually, the song was in “Bhojpuri,” and was not understood by majority sitting in the bus.  After playing 3 songs, which was like a torture for many, finally the music was stopped.
Next on plate was a joke session and most of the jokes were mainly from “purvanchal (Eastern UP and western Bihar) region”. I’m not sure whether everybody was able to listen them but people sitting in front rows were surely enjoying that. It was a great humorous session which lasted for around 30-45 minutes and then we got trapped in a Traffic Jam again. It was hot & humid inside bus so we went to take shelter in a nearby Dhaba. Well, it was not only a shelter but for few, it came as an opportunity to cool down a little bit. They got a beer from that Dhaba, and it was shared “ghoont-by-ghoont” if not drop-by-drop amongst all cool-seekers. Bus was on run again. This time a session on s/w processes, project management methodologies started and the discussion covered, PMI, CMM, CMMi, ISO, Kaizen, ITIL, Prince, Waterfall, Spiral.. Ok, it was basically everything from theoretical to practical and after this interesting knowledge-talk we reached Chaulkhola, a place where our bus was supposed to stop. We got down and cabs from our resort came to pick us from there. The resort was around 14 KM from that place. It was a narrow road passing through local villages, but this time we were fortunate enough that our cab had some good old Hindi songs. When I say GOOD, it was good at least for me. Some love songs of late 80s especially from Kumar Sanu were good enough to create a nice feel of the trip. Very soon our cabs were running on beach. Yes, the cabs had to run around 5-6 KM on that beach to reach the resort. It’s the longest beach of Asia, a fact which we didn’t know before reaching here.  

On the way to Mandarmoni  The Beach

We reached there at around 3.00 PM. Our booking was done in “The Sana Beach”. It was a beautiful beach resort. Rooms got allocated. We got fresh and then walked towards the cafeteria. Food was good and we had a good lunch. The next plan was to go on Beach and have some fun with waves. We changed the dresses and the beach dress got ON for most of us. At around 4.00 PM we reached there on the beach. Initially people were little reluctant to go inside but soon everybody was there inside sea, playing with small tides. There was no any safety guard so we were making sure not to cross the danger line.  We had a football with us though we were using that as a handball in the sea. It was great facing those waves, rising against them, floating with them. Amongst this entire fun one of our guys felt like some pinch at his elbow. He said, “I felt like some small creature coming towards me and biting me at my hand”. His pinch attracted many sea-experts and we heard several theories, like, “it might be a jelly fish”, “It might be a sea snake” and the most humorous was, “it might be a Shark”. I further added, “we never know, if might be a blue whale”. Ok, let me make it clear, I’m not a sea-expert (you might have guessed it by my above statement). I just wanted to take the theories to an extreme.

Inside Sea  The Game was ON

Sunset  Some Fun

After hours of fun with waves we were tired and we rushed towards our resort. After taking shower with normal water, we relaxed little bit. Till the time the night had already started. We went towards sea for an evening walk. The sea was looking awesome at that time. After few minutes of walk we sat in a nearby “tapri”.  We were facing the air blowing out from the sea and we ordered few chips, biscuits, and chai, spent around an hour there and then walked back to our resort.  The preparation for “bonfire” and drink party was ON and some people were busy with Badminton. I preferred to stay at badminton court. We started playing knock-out badminton matches. I was playing it after years and to my great surprise I had not forgotten the rhythm. Went for playing a double (in fact half mixed double) match and after trailing at 11-6 we won it by 15-12. Great, now it was the time to stop the play and move towards bonfire. The drink party was ON, I tried to get some snacks for me but I was failed to make a way for me there. Along with the drink, the “Sher-o-Shayaari” session also started. We heard some beautiful humorous “shayaaris” of Kumar Vishwas. The singing performances were next in the queue. We heard some nice Hindi-Bangla songs. In between “Sher-o-Shayaari” and “singing” the party mood was rising like anything. There came the music, loud music and the place near bonfire area became a mini-disc. Public started moving, rolling on the grass. We saw some very nice dance steps and I would like to talk about few of them. We had dance steps for each and every professional. Yes, the dance steps were based on what you do in your real life in the office. MBAs were asked to do “debit”, “credit”, “turn-overdance. Creative guys were asked to do “brush-up”, “erase” and “move-around” dance and some of the guys were asked to perform “snake-dance”, not sure what was the reason for that. We had limited number of dance songs and there was no DJ, so, I was playing a role of Part-Time DJ, faced some shouting on the song selection but I knew I have no option to play. I was just trying to continue the music so that people can get something to dance on. We also had some slow solo-dance performances, especially from some very conscious people. Lack of quality music was definitely a concern though some brilliant dance performances entertained people, and it was something to remember for years.

Strange face of Fire  Cat @ Bonfire

The evening had enough to make people tired; we had our dinner at around 12.30 AM. Some of us wanted to go for a walk again to sea-shore. I preferred to fall asleep. Missed the beauty of sea in the night and also missed the story to write.

Sun under Palm  Group Photo

Beautiful Sunrise  Red Crab

Before hitting the bed we planned to wake up early and capture the first glimpse of sun-rise in the morning. We knew that Indian East Cost offer an excellent sun rise scenery. I took the responsibility of waking up a group of guys in the morning, set the alarm for 5.00 AM and went in sleep. I hope you are not expecting a story from my dreams. Anyways, there wasn’t any dream to talk about. As planned I woke up at 5.00, disturbed few others and went for a morning walk on the beach. The sea shore was on its best in the morning. The shade of blue and green sea was looking beautiful. The fresh air was amazing. We were just enjoying that excellent atmosphere. We captured few snaps of that awesome sunrise. We also checked out some red crabs which were wandering in hundreds there.  Our morning walk was of around 6 KM and we reached till a river delta, though not sure which river was it. We walked back to our resort and there the live cricket match between India and NZ was on. Sachin and Yuvraj were hammering NZ bowlers. We forgot tiredness and stuck to the TV set.  Saw entire Indian inning and then went for the bath. Our trip was coming to an end. We took breakfast and started our journey back to Kolkata.

Everybody was tired, so, this time in bus, instead of any fun, people preferred just relaxing at their respective seats. Most of them were taking some naps. We stopped again at Kola Ghat, did lunch and boarded back in the bus to Kolkata. This time we had managed to get a music CD of old Hindi songs. The music was ON and people were taking naps in between. It was comparatively peaceful. We reached Kolkata at 5.00 PM and our official trip came to an END

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Entry filed under: General, Travelodge, Travelogue, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

~~ Flowers – Spread Happiness ~~ A Dig @ Indian Politics

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Great post.  |  March 9, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Great post Nitesh. Very lively. keep it up.
    Anshuman

    Reply
  • 2. Shrinidhi Hande  |  March 10, 2009 at 2:44 am

    Good one..

    Reply
  • 3. ~uh~™  |  March 11, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Nitesh,
    Good detailed travellouge. My parents went to this place last year and they were all praises about the place.

    Asia’s longest beach seems to be Cox Bazaar Bangladesh and Mandarmoni is the third longest. Whatever the rank, 13km long motorable beach is awesome anyway !

    Good blog too 🙂
    Cheers!
    ~uh~

    Reply
  • 4. ~uh~™  |  March 11, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    The bus journey…..Samosa….Sandesh made me nostalgic….

    ~uh~

    Reply
  • 5. Ambuj  |  March 12, 2009 at 5:35 am

    As few of you wanted to see more photos.. here is the link.. please check them out..

    http://picasaweb.google.co.in/nitesh.ambuj/Mandarmoni#

    Cheers,
    Ambuj 🙂

    Reply

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