Sunday, November 04, 2007

Man and Beast

Man and Beast

The guys hired a boat and we cruised down the Gorai River, one of the many tributaries of the mighty Ganges, which carried the melt and monsoon waters from southwest Bangladesh down to the Gulf of Bengal.

I wondered where my sandals were.

Two years ago, my sandals broke as I walked along the riverbed. The Gorai River was almost completely dried up then. Many rivers in Bangladesh are seasonal according to the monsoon, and man also have a serious sedimentation problem.

So I gamely left my sandals on the fine, fine sand in the middle of the water-less valley. So much for responsible tourism.

Now, the river is full and almost threatening to burst it banks in some areas. The river cliffs showed heavy signs of erosion - clearly, the Gorai River was back in business.

We stopped at an embankment before turning back, and I wandered off towards the sunset. As I approached a steep and muddied slope leading down to a stream which connected to the main river, I saw a man bathing his two magnificent water buffalos.

I think this is one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.

I used to say that I would cry if I ever had a chance to see a whale up close, but I suppose my tear ducts are cheap that way because I was utterly moved at the sight of these two creatures.

I knelt at the edge of the slope till my legs went numb and their bath was over. The old, wizened man coaxed his beasts up the slope and towards me, and I stood up and fought all my better instincts to run. And so I stood, quite literally face-to-face and shoulder-to-shoulder to a creature of such beauty and raw strength, and there are really no words to describe how I felt at that moment.


ah-liang said...

i love this pic. so quiet and beautiful. shit. wish i was there.