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    Sunday, June 7, 2009

    Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    The Name of the River is Meghna
    A BP Photowalk to Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, Bangladesh
    06 June 2009

    Its still summer. Right in the middle of it, in fact. The heat is tough; almost unbearable at times. There had been rain every now and then. But that rain doesn't cool off the environment for more than half a day. I can still remember my last tour to Mymensingh, where I could hardly extricate myself from the stove!

    Still, when there was an offer for a photowalk from Monir, I couldn't resist. It was a tough week for me and needed an outlet. The photowalk was actually quite late. It was supposed to be held a week earlier, being posted in the Bangladeshi Photographers (BP) group of Flickr, but somehow ended up postponed until the 6th. The distination was chosen as Baidyer Bazar (or Boidder Bazar) in Sonargaon Upazilla of Narayanganj District. The place in right on the River Meghna.

    Start time for the journey was chosen at 8:00AM from near Gulistan in Dhaka. But somehow, we ended up boarding the bus by around 8:55AM. The 13 member team couldn't reach Sonargaon intersection before 9:45AM. This is the place where one needs to get off in order to go to Sonargaon Museum and Panamnagar. We didn't do that though. We boarded several three-wheelers and proceeded towards Baidyer Bazar. The narrow road was paved and didn't really look all that rural. This part of the country is very densely populated and has most of the urban facilities, though they would be classified as rural in most definitions. This is something that can be termed as developed rural areas; not really semi-urban in real sense.

    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Milestone.........


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Silent noise..........


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Under those puffy clouds..........


    Anyway, we reached Baidyer Bazar by around 10:10AM. Most of us couldn't manage a decent breakfast. So, we looked for food in the first place. We completed our breakfast at a local restaurant, with an open view of the River Meghna. White clouds rose over the big waterway, giving a great view. The restaurant was actually on the big embankment that protects the place from erosion in the rainy season. This high position was a great place to enjoy the river. Anyway, we completed our breakfast in a hurry and went out with our cameras.

    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    The scorching star........


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Building blocks of life........


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    In a sea of clouds........


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Expressions........01


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Expressions........02


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Expressions........03



    It didn't take a minute to judge the harsh sunlight. Those clouds were fabulous for sure; but it was hardly possible to have a look at those. We had a hard time under the bare sun; but not for long. We moved into the village and got scattered. The village had shadows, yet it couldn't hide us from the severe humidity. It was sapping indeed. But we were received positively by everyone, especially children. They were more than willing to pose in front of our cameras.

    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    At peace with machines.......


    It was a pretty densely populated village. I haven't seen such dense population in rural areas in other parts of the country. Houses were very close together and moving space among the houses was limited. We almost found ourselves in a maze of residential blocks. Eventually, when we came out of the houses, we emerged into an open road with tough prospects under the scorching sun. Some of us broke off and decided to wait it out in the shadows. Others look their chances and began to explore the villages.

    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    We rested, but the Kingfishers were busy.......


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    A window of hope.......


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    A sad face?


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Magpie Robin (Female).......



    We took refuge at a rural grocery and enjoyed the time with the village children. Their enthusiasm was overwhelming. Watching their faces on a camera LCD was almost like watching movie to them; the difference being, they were the stars! A small pod had a little surprise for us, as a couple of kingfishers displayed their fishing skills for a while. The kingfishers were not alone in the area. There were many other birds visible or can be heard around the place. It was great to see so many birds around such a densely-populated place. The light was very hard for good photography; so, shooting in the shadows was the only way open in front of us. The afternoon might have some better prospects. That hope kept us interested. We relaxed and had refreshments there until around 1:00PM, when we decided to move once more towards the river. We were hungry and also, thirsty; naturally. The village had one thing at least; we could put our hands on some cold soft drinks, which felt like gift from the heavens!

    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Of lights and shadows......


    Once we reached the river, we sat at the same restaurant on the embankment where we had our breakfast. But we were disappointed to learn that the restaurant didn't serve all kinds of food. They dealt only with lighter food; for a heavy meal, you have to move to other places. We were channelled to the coastline, below the embankment. Here, there was a temporary market, which had different kinds of shops, including a portion dedicated to freshly caught fish.

    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Its a playhouse..........


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Rest and Peace........


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Its tough life.........


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Some people are truly dependent on the mercy of others..... even for the smoke!!


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    He used to be a fisherman once...... too old to be useful, he now spends time by the restaurants on the river....... he can't afford a meal, but somehow he can't forget smoking either.......


    A temporary restaurant became our refuge for the time being. We had some food there and more cold drinks. We began to enjoy the line of boats under those puffy clouds. They were busy with their own day-to-day businesses. Some traded in fish; others were just ferrying people to and from the other bank. We could guess that their river ride under the scorching sun was definitely not the most pleasant. Those who were resting under the shades on top of the biggish boats, were in a better position. Some Brahminy Kites were circling overhead and regularly catching fish from the water; their wings spread against the white clouds added a more peaceful atmosphere to the resting boats.

    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Rest........


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Hidden........


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Hoping against hope.......... the day was really hot.......



    In the early afternoon, we rendezvoused with our other team-mates. Now it became a wholesale photo hunt at the edge of the water! The locals were surprised, but they enjoyed it. After a while of photo shoot, the bigger portion of our friends enjoyed a great lunch with freshly-caught Hilsha. After lunch, most of our team-mates were too tired to continue. The sapping weather had the most of it. Three of us decided to wait for the light to go down a bit more, while others decided to call it a day. Most of our team-mates decided to move by around 4:00PM. We bade them goodbye and waited for the afternoon lights.

    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Personality........ a fish trader


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Its a tough journey across the river........


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Ray of light.........


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Heavenly play........


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Gliding in freedom.......


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Cooling off.........


    From Baidyer Bazar, Narayanganj, June 2009

    Hoping for a catch......



    The next one hour passed by without too much drama. But it was at least not as sapping as the morning and early afternoon hours. Clouds gathered in the western sky and hid the sun. Some dramatic clouds played their way around the western skies. Fishermen began to show up along the river bank. They threw their nets from the small boats, searching for the living cash! Children began to enjoy the waters after a scorching day. Some adults joined them too. Their splash beckoned us!

    We moved off by around 5:15PM. We boarded a three-wheeler once more and proceeded towards Sonargaon intersection. From there, we boarded the bus for Dhaka. Though the journey to Dhaka wasn't that dramatic, we could realise the typical pain of traffic congestion when we reached the heart of the city. That reminded us of the things we left behind.

    It was a very hard day indeed. But we enjoyed it in the end; meeting friends; sharing ideas; sharing moments. Baidyer Bazar is a place with an identity. It has its uniqueness; its own beauty. Catching the beauty in the eye or in the camera, depends on the viewer. To me, the uniqueness of the place alone can get me there once again. I would love to see how the place looks like in the rainy season. I hope I wouldn't have to wait for long. But it all depends of drive and opportunity. Keeping my fingers crossed!

    6 comments:

    1. Bhaia excellent documentation....you have a different eye to see the world .....all of the photographs are extraordinary....thnx for sharing.

      ReplyDelete
    2. যথারীতি ফাটাফাটি সব ছবি এবং সাবলীল বর্ননা
      এক নিশ্বাসে পড়ে ফেললাম

      ReplyDelete
    3. Seems u people got a nice photowalk n surely I missed something valuable.. Sky was very supporing I think so...

      nice photographs as always :)

      ReplyDelete
    4. Thanks for so much info on Bangladesh.It is on my next visit list.Currently i'm enjoying my summer in Bangkok , all thanks to this great offer from http://tinyurl.com/n5lnku .Hope you find the link useful!

      ReplyDelete
    5. Hi there Luke.... thanks for stopping by and giving a nice feedback.... great to know that Bangladesh is on you visit list..... enjoy your time in Bangkok...... hope to see here soon.......:)
      Sharif

      ReplyDelete
    6. Lovely photographs...dont have words to express their beauty

      ReplyDelete