Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Banks of Silence

"Live close to nature and your spirit will not be easily broken, for you learn something of patience and resilience. You will not grow restless, and you will never feel lonely." - Ruskin Bond (A Book of Simple Living; Page 26)

Chupir Chor, or the Banks of Silence as I would love to translate it to from Bengali, is an oxbow lake, situated near Purbasthali, East Bardhaman, West Bengal. This lake was formed as the river Ganga changed its course over the years. A paradise for migratory birds which have been flocking here every winter, makes a visit to this place a memorable one. Red Crested Pochards, Lesser Whistling Ducks, Common Snipes, Little Grebe, Ferruginous Ducks, Ospreys migrate to this area in Indian winters and thus reign supreme.

Having heard of this place which is situated only about sixty kilometres from my home town, journeyed here today with great enthusiasm especially generated from my beloved father, who in spite of his physical challenges, has unending exuberance for travelling places. For some reason or the other off late, I had been feeling extremely despondent about clicking pictures, however upon reaching the place and experiencing the beautiful birds who travel all the way from far off areas and temporarily adorn this wetland, I simply devoted myself to capture these graceful gifts of nature for about an hour and half thus forgetting about the complexities of documentary photography and stuff like that for the time being which had been flocking my head thus making things a little weird at times. How can I forget that what attracted me towards photography was simply the urge to document nature and the world around on the go. This might not have sense to the intellectual photography aspirants but to me, the time spent there and the images captured, gave me a great sense of pleasure and peace. I only wish that these guests of honor continue to visit Chupir Chor every year and hope common sense prevails and we remain keen and sincere to protect their natural habitats.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Joy to the World... The Lord is Come...

 This 1691 built Sacred Heart Church of Chandannagar Town celebrates Christmas with a traditional midnight mass every year. I had an opportunity to witness the celebration at this historical Church last Christmas. The Carols, the rituals, the prayers, the devotees, made it a wonderful experience for me to cherish.

The Iconic Clock Tower of Chuchura

The Clock Tower in Chinsurah my home town, situated at the juncture where four roads meet, happened to be once adorned with Tamarisk Trees 🌲 around it thus giving the place its name, ‘Jhau Tala’. However the last of such trees is said to have been cut down in the year of Indian Independence and has now been replaced by ugly looking concrete buildings mostly for commercial purposes. This beautifully crafted Steel structure is erected on a round base and is hollow within to house the clock machinery inside it. The Clock faces four corners and each of it is adorned by a a lamp shade hanging over it. This iconic clock tower was built in 1914 AD in memory of King 7th Edward, youngest son of Queen Victoria of England. #Sunday #Wanderlust

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Long Drives...

Travelling is in my blood, veins, soul, everywhere. When I cannot go places, I just keep walking on my own. I come across new bends. I re-energise. I cannot live without seeing new places, new cultures, people, history, life... 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Memories of Jhargram

One August Weekend, we hit the roads with our trusted friend, for a trip to unwind ourselves amidst the jungles surrounding Jhargram in West Midnapore. What transpired is captured in this two minute video. The stay at the Jhargram Tourist complex was a memorable one. The pleasures of travelling is amazing. The freshness it brings especially if you hit the less travelled paths, lasts for a long time.

Shoubhik Bandyopadhyay
August 5th, 2017

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Home Town's Jagaddhatri Fervour 2017

I was trying to cope up with some personal disappointments taking a temporary break from work when the city where I live, was celebrating the Jagaddhatri festival. I spent a wandering time during the period trying to capture a few moments and soak into the festivity and make amends with what I had been facing in life.

The small suburb of Chandannagar gets under a huge mess of garbage and sewage while coping up with the festivities of the Jagaddhatri Puja and the footfall associated with it. On top of that, the traffic discordance and massive encroachments make it difficult to live here during these festive days. However, the locals don’t bother much about all this as the essence of festivities, the cacophony, the lights, make life enjoyable albeit temporarily... Here is my take on it this year...

Now the most brutal part... these little kids will in any moment from now, be ruthlessly murdered with severed heads from their bodies, in the name of the ugliest form of religion...

The Festivities Draw to a Close...

Shoubhik Bandyopadhyay
Chuchura Hooghly
30th October, 2017

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Taste of a Different Durgotsav in Rural Bengal - Hatserandi, Birbhum

I had a wonderful opportunity to witness the Pata Durga Puja of Rural Bengal which has been a traditional feat in the particular geo cultural territories of Birbhum, Bankura, Bardhaman and some parts of Midnapore over ages. Situated about eight miles from Bolpur, this quaint village is a wonderful place to visit. At the entrance lies a huge lake which is where all the families celebrating Pata Durga Puja in their households gather on the morning of Maha Saptami for performing the rituals with  adorned palanquins. One can see the ruins of numerous terracotta temples across the village many of which are in a dilapidated state, however the very few which has been restored, do not showcase its original glory any longer. The speciality of this village lies in its uniqueness of Durga Puja Celebration. The Durga Idols here are not what we generally see however are painted on a frame covered with cloth by painters who have been doing this since generations now. The beauty of the images, the uniqueness of style, is a tradition worth savouring. I feel privileged to present this documentary on Hatserandi's unique Durga Puja.

Shoubhik Bandyopadhyay
17th September, 2017