Kalpadesh: A Country with Individuality

From Teknaf, the southern end point of Bangladesh, if you go 444 miles south, you will find a small circular island called Kalpadesh. It is a sovereign country with an area of 317 square miles near the Andaman Sea. The country doesn’t belong to any continent. It is near to the South Asian countries; this is why it has a moderate climate similar to them. Being surrounded by the sea, the country has a very healthy weather.

The country is neither a monarchy nor a democracy. The head of the government is a king, but he is observed by someone called Rakshak, who is selected by the people through election. He keeps an eye on the king and checks whether he is up to any kind of corruption or crime or not. If the Rakshakaccuses the king of any crime, he has to prove it; otherwise he himself will be penalized. If he is able to prove, the king will be penalized. But till now, there has not been any problem like this. The country is very isolated in terms of relation with other countries. It has never signed any kind of treaties, but it has import and export business with the South Asian countries. The country was never colonized by Europeans, maybe because it was not noticed by them, or because it has a very strong army. Permanently migrating to this country from other countries is impossible, but if you want to pay a visit here, you can get a visa of maximum two weeks, which is enough to travel over the whole country.

An imaginative Landscape of Kalpadesh

There is nothing called gender inequity in this country. While filling out a form, there is no such category where you have to select your gender. Men and women are treated equally and are different only in terms of physical appearance and their outfits. Since childhood, people are brought up in such a way that neither of the sexes considers themselves greater than the other.

Most of the people in Kalpadesh are either agnostic or atheist. Even the king himself is atheist. If someone wants to follow any religion—like Hinduism, Islam, Christianity—he can, but he can’t preach the religion to others or force others to follow him. Having no religion in the country doesn’t mean people have no morals there. Most of the people have high morals and ethics. There is no police force there as there is no crime at all. In case anyone commits any crime, he is punished by the army. Now you might ask how this is possible. Well, that is possible because of proper education with moral lessons. Kalpadesh has 100% literacy rate. It doesn’t have a lot of educational institutions, only two or three, and not everyone gets a chance to study there. The educational institutions are a combination of school and university. So, a student gets admitted there in 1st standard and leaves it only after graduation. After graduating, a student has to teach 10 people who haven’t got the chance to study there in his community for five years. For this service, they also get salary from government. A graduate can get a job or pursue post graduation only after this five year’s service. So, it is very obvious how this country has 100% literacy rate.

The people of Kalpadesh are very firm about their traditional dress. Even when visitors come to their country, they have to borrow the traditional dress from the hotels where they stay and wear it the whole duration of their journey. But I don’t think a visitor would mind wearing their traditional dress as it is very beautiful and comfortable. In the country, men wear loose fitting trouser with lots of girth and frill. On the top, they wear long shirts having different length of sleeves and with closed collars. Women wear skirts with vast circumference and frills, and blouses with collar that reach to their navel. They also tie colorful scarves around their waist. People are allowed to design their clothes according to their wish, but they are not allowed to bring any kind of change in the lengths of the clothes. On different occasions, men and women in Kalpadesh wear colorful and gorgeous dresses and lots of accessories. During physical activities or sports or being in the armed force, people wear different kind of dress which is same for men and women. The dress looks more like a ninja dress with tight trouser and tunic, but brown in color.

People in Kalpadesh mostly eat fish, which is their staple food. They also love seafood and coconut. In different occasions, they make sweets with coconut and various kinds of drinks with coconut water. The main attraction of this country is coconut jam. They import coconut jam to different parts of the world and even today nobody can discover how they make it. When you visit there, you must try flat breads with coconut jam in breakfast and once you try it, you can’t stop yourself eating more and more. There are lots of hotels and restaurants where you will only get their traditional dishes, not Chinese, Thai, or other European delicacies. The most popular and the biggest hotel here is “The Kalpa Inn”. The restaurant of this hotel is mainly popular for its fish items. It serves hundreds of different kinds of fish items and your whole trip might get finished while tasting those dishes. If you can’t taste each and every dish, you should at least taste the grilled pomfret fish with coconut sauce. This is a dish that you won’t forget in your lifetime. Surprisingly, though the hotel is very famous and also big, the prices are not very high. A full course dinner or lunch will only cost you approximately 7-8 USD and if you want to take a buffet dinner, it will cost you 10 USD per head.

The most interesting thing about Kalpadesh is it is void of any kind of globalization. So, you can taste the pure Kalpadeshi culture without any adultery of other culture. Practice of other culture is totally forbidden here. It means, when you visit there, you also become a Kalpadeshi for a couple of weeks. There is no cable network there, but you won’t be missing it. You can entertain yourself with their drama, music, and dance. The cultural dance of Kalpadesh is a spectacular thing. Girls dance wearing skirts of vibrant colors and holding the end of their skirts gracefully. Their dramas are also full of comedy and romance and guess what: all the actors and actresses speak in English!

Now you must be dying to know how to get there. As I have mentioned before, you will only get a visa of two weeks. To get visa of the country, you have to endorse at least 800 dollars per head. Travelling to Kalpadesh is also an attraction. There is no airport there, so you have to get there by ship. You have to fly to India, Bangladesh, or Sri Lanka. You can take the ship from southern coasts of any of these countries, which will take you 1-2 days. Though Kalpadesh doesn’t let other cultures enter, it is very hospitable to visitors. And you will want to return to this destination again and again.

(The  “illogical” description given above is just my imagination. There is no such country named Kalpadesh. But I wish there was……..)

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