নিভৃত নির্জনে অন্য অবসর...
It was a late Saturday afternoon in November 2007. Early winter presence was felt in the cool soothing breeze blowing through the woods of gangly Sonajhuri trees at Khoai. Still an hour and half for sunset, the highlight and shadows from the molten sun was dancing on a not too big crowd assembled at the Annya Haat of Saturday at Sonajhri. Around fifty people sitting every Saturday afternoon and selling paintings to handicrafts, ceramic to momo and moya, had already been famous in the city circuits of guys with fine bones who often exclaim ‘oh ! Santiniketan’. Me and my husband, Ranjan were in a friends’ group and enjoying the ambience to the full. The tune of bauls and reverberation of ektara had a magical influence on us.
We felt we were simply swayed over by the waves of music …
My husband, Ranjan would retire shortly from his bank service within two and half years and my children were about to take care of themselves, how about having a property at Santiniketan? No, not at Santiniketan but at this place only! Finally we bought some land just after where Khoai (declared as the endangered heritage site) ends. Oh my God! this one sentence took us five years to complete. That’s a story that has every element for a popular prime time TV soap opera. Deep friendship, deeper conspiracy, funny characters and greedy people would frustrate us, feel our hearts with hopelessness and despair. But Mr Datta was a man of different mettle. People watched him in disbelief how a barren swamp was gradually converted by him into a stunningly beautiful place. His imagination and hard labour encouraged others also to think ‘differently’.
But I swear I will not bore you anymore…
December 14, 2013, Santisudha (the name of Ranjan's grand mom, my mother in law's mom) started its journey as a modest but different kind of homestay. It din’t take much time to get noticed in a crowd of accommodation providers in Santiniketan – Bolpur area. Within next eighteen months another block was ready and the homestay tag was replaced by ‘Guest House’. Perhaps the only guest house which doesn’t have commercial association with any national/ international web based booking agency or to a section of local transport operators acting as paid agents.
Santisudha started its journey as a homestay on ‘family first’ policy and till today it sticks to that philosophy. At times rooms may remain unsold but it will never do something unethical for money sake. Group booking which is so alluring from business point of view is discouraged as groups are often found to be most disturbing entities for spoiling holidays of smaller families.
Santisudha will present many pleasant surprises in very near future. As dream children of Ranjan, those elements will have a huge impact on the quality holiday living in this nice and beautiful place.
Thanks and Regards
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