The village of Gosaba lies at the extreme ends of the Bengal peninsula, curving away from the port of Haldia, with the vast delta of the Sunderbans serving as its hinterland. Migratory birds flock at will, with high tides bringing the village into an island like isolation. Getting there is a pain, with a 100km ride from Calcutta down to the dirt infested watering hole of Canning and a right turn towards Godhakali. It's the only way to get to Gosaba.
The village itself starts off with a vibrant market, selling little yellow chicks at Rs 10, conch shells at Rs 500, Bengali sweets at Rs 20 a pop and wedding turbans of the pointy variety. There is even a Chinese restaurant, at this extreme end. Spices, vibrant flowers and kids frolicking between darkened bylanes - its a sweet harken back to age old times. The only way to explore the village is on a rickshaw, an extremely bumpy ride of 45 minutes, which leaves you ecstatic and introspective. With ponds opposite each house, temples and mosques abiding quietly, vast fields of wheat and rice and an avid collection of sheep, goats, dogs and parrots, the place is idyllic, with a few hippies and little tourist exposure.
The Sunderbans lie just past the next island, a journey of hours that will have you in extremes, dull with heat at times and adrenalin flushed at others. For peace and quiet, admire the village.