The Fishermen of Bengal

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For us a dream
For them reality
For us a fantasy
For them hardship
For us a break
For them a lifestyle
For us a place to find inspiration
For them a prayer.

I had the privilege of visiting Jol o Jongoler Kabbo, a resort that captures the best of rural Bangladesh, this Sunday. Courtesy of a nature appreciation tour partially sponsored by BRAC University, we reached the site at around 10: 30 in the morning after a one and half hour journey from Mohakhali, Dhaka. We were a merry group of friends, colleagues and students. Caged within the dense fabric of concrete buildings, traffic jams and urban chaos that shapes Dhaka city, there wasn’t a reason good enough to keep our joyous outburst in check.

While we laughed and played, enjoyed the monsoon and mother earth, five fishermen remained anchored to one spot, an undisturbed space within the waterscape. Umbrellas propped up above their heads, they waited, ever so patiently, for a bit of luck to shine in their direction.

It was 6:30 in the evening. We had taken in as much as we could, filled our lungs with the unpolluted air, our heart with irreplaceable memories, and our souls with promises. And as we took our last photograph, the perseverance and steadiness of the fishermen never wavered. They sat there still, on their small boats, fishing rods in the water, and hoped.

Aqua-life around these areas (Pubail, Gazipur) is still abounding. A day of patience offers a livable reward to those who depend on the waters for a living. Ecosystems here are as plentiful as what had once lived in the waterscapes that now give space to Uttara Model Town. The place is still home to a rich biodiversity, but will inevitably be lost to development in the coming years.

Then what of the kingfisher that sat beside me yesterday as I dipped my toes in the lake, what of the woodpecker that shared our stories as we chatted, what of the frog that hopped past as I sighed, what of the dragonfly that we saved from the spiders web? What of the fishermen and the farmers that have taken the resort to be their home, their source of bread and butter? What of us and our generations to come?

One thought on “The Fishermen of Bengal

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