Updated: Aug 2, 2019
Kolkata to Jharkhali
Kolkata in July is out of movies . Rain filled clouds lurking, teasing, filling the city with humidity that makes the soul ache for that first rain. And when the rain arrives, the city changes structure, rain filled ways, folded jeans , slushy markets, busy walkers, rushing to some place , a cloud of umbrellas arrive.
And this is what I was leaving behind at 4:30 one morning. My final destination - Jharkahli, before I could enter the famous Sunderbans. Jharkhali is 110 kms from Kolkata and takes 3.5 hours to get there. Laced along this route are small villages so very different from the theatrical monsoon soaked Kolkata that in retrospect, my camera was in love with the journey - once again !
Its not the destination - It is the journey !
Jharkhali is the last stop before sunderbans, a tourist attraction for its dense forests , crocodiles, snakes and of course the Bengal tiger. But today is not about the Sunderban alone , it is about my jounrey to this little village , a journey riveted through multiple rivers , streams and an array of scenes so different from the previous that you would think of the well orchestrated broadway show.
Garia fish market
Almost outskirts of Kolkata, is Garia, a place famous for its fresh catch and a market bustling with buyers and sellers at the break of dawn. Fresh pomfrets, crab, shrimp line up the stalls and one cannot help marvel at the old style weighing scales, the rocks instead of weights, the deals through approximation and a tonne of metal containers lining up to store the catch in water. There is enough buzz for a photographer to make optimal use of the changing scenes in these markets.
A tradition like no other: For the love of fish !!!
After spending a great deal of time pleasing my camera , we start again and drive in the direction to Jharkhali. The road opens into wetlands surrounded by palm trees on either side until we cross Sonapur, string of old houses catch my attention. Each one of these houses has a tiny pond attached and every house has its denizen sitting out in the afternoon sun, with a fishing rod catching fish from their very own personal pond!
Oh what era do I get transported to ! The manifestation of what this geography is famous for - the laid back lifestyle and the love for fish!!
Vano- the fine balance of speed, people and eco system