Saturday, September 3, 2016

A Motorcycling affair along the Bay of Bengal (Part 2)

A Motorcycling affair along the Bay of Bengal
This is continuation of the first post on my motorcycling affair along the Bay of Bengal and here we'll resume the story from the second day. The morning shows the day- we’ve been hearing from our childhood days… neither does this belief hold statistical basis, nor does the law of probability support it… but can we discard it so confidently? Well, coming back to my story… last day’s exhaustion denied us of the early riser’s spree… it was morning eight when I sprang out of my bed… Oh I had missed the sunrise over the Bay of Bengal for the day! Pulling the curtain of our window brought in a thick beam of sun rays which directly illuminated my sleeping helmet on the tea-table. Enough... we couldn’t afford to waste more time in our hotel room, so kicked start my machine to touch the road by 8:30 AM.

We crossed Frasergunj and entered Henry Island. Don’t get a wrong idea from the word ‘island’ here… you don’t have to cross any water body to get over there… it’s a continuous road and even motorable till the Sundari Tourist Complex Tower from the top of which you can view the dense mangrove forest, sea and part of Bangladesh (though far away). Another hundred meters ride towards the beach took us to a bamboo bridge which we had to cross on feet to walk up to the beach. The special ‘being in Sunderbans’ feeling endowed by mangrove vegetation marked by millions of pneumatophores piercing out of the swampy soil was reduced to half when we saw that the path beyond the bridge was filled with one foot (or more) deep mud till the beach area where a hand few tourists were holding hands with one another to achieve better balance and struggling to finish their mud-walk!
A Motorcycling affair along the Bay of Bengal
Tourists enjoying Mud-Walk at Henry Island.
I was in no mood to take that free luxury of nature, so kept myself content watching and photographing red, yellow, blue crabs and some baby fishes playing hide and seek in that saline ecosystem. The empty tubes inside my belly hinted me to run for breakfast… last day I wasn’t that satisfied with restaurants nearby our hotel or the beach at Bakkhali… wanted to find an alternative. Deepak hotel at Frasergunj looked cool for our purpose and ended up with some Puri-Sabji which was oilier and hence made us feel bloated even before our plates were empty. The guy in the reception while settling the bill offered me their rate leaflet and informed of their cottages under construction at the backyard… I found half a dozen of ducks swimming in the rectangular pool at their backyard, adding beauty to the location of their cottages. We came back to Bakkhali Beach to play with the waves till we got tired. One policeman was standing on the dry part of the sand and shouting at all over enthusiastic swimmers… he told me later that there has been a case of drowning just few days back!
A Motorcycling affair along the Bay of Bengal
Colorful oyster shells on the sand were some treat to my eyes as well as my camera lens!
Like most of the beaches in our country, photographers (or should I call them cameramen?) were more in number than prospective customers on the sunny beach. We inclined for ice-cream… came to know from the ice-cream seller that there’s a sacred temple of Bonodevi, just a fifteen minutes walk over the beach. I badly fell for his suggestion and started walking for the temple. After twenty five minutes of walking when we couldn’t spot any sign of its presence it seemed wiser to take a U-turn. Colorful oyster shells on the sand were some treat to my eyes as well as my camera lens! The sparkle imparted by sun rays over the wet sand blended with continuous breeze and the tranquility of the Bakkhali beach in its major part are of immense appeal to any nature lover.

The moment you get into this beach you won’t find it vacant ‘exclusively for you’ type of beach which you might have read in different guides but once you walk ten minutes to your left along this beach, crowd will thin out and you’ll be left with yourself under the liberal clouds, on the silvery sand, with the timid waves of the Bay of Bengal! You can run, jump, whistle, sing, salt-water bath, sunbath or do anything (I believe you know that nudity or beach-sex is not allowed in any of the beaches of India) that doesn’t disturb the ecosystem. I found a motorcyclist taking advantage of the lonely status of the beach, which infuriated the desire in me to get upon my pony to ride over the foaming waves but conscience somehow knocked down that rule breaking devil in me… if someone isn’t reading the Government notice he shouldn’t be your idol… that’s what the good angel whispered into my ears! It was lunch time and I opted for Rohu fish this time.
A Motorcycling affair along the Bay of Bengal
A mob of deer at Bakkhali Aranya Binodon Kendra.
Just beside the bus park there’s a nature park- Bakkhali Aranya Binodon Kendra. We entered there after our lunch and found two crocodile and more than a dozen of deer. It was a perfect post-lunch entertainment to sit on a bench and watch them playing around. How could I rest when I had my camera hanging down my neck… it was some click-click time till my patient brother got impatient and stood up from the wooden plank. The last evening Frasergunj fishing harbor seemed quite vibrant for my lens but as it got dark I couldn’t click as much frames as I wanted… another visit there was necessary… we zoomed out in no time to get cocooned by that same fishy air of the harbor. It was not just the air, something more was waiting for me! I kept clicking my east-west-north-south and the happy faces of fishermen and porters while getting shot encouraged me more. Then I saw a load of Ilish fish inside a fishing vessel which was being unloaded.
A Motorcycling affair along the Bay of Bengal
Happy faces of fishermen and porters while getting shot encouraged me clicking.
I couldn’t resist temptation of getting close to the target from where I got a better view of the stack of fish inside the wooden chamber and pressing of shutter followed. Suddenly I sensed a hand pulling me by my shoulder… a healthy aged man I saw when I turned back and slangs were all I heard… what followed after that I’ve scribbled in the prologue! Well, my fault was I had kept one of my feet on the edge of their boat and I was with my floaters. Later I noticed that every professional in that harbor, either over or down the boat walks barefooted… because they worship the fishing boats… I was the sinner of hurting their religious sentiment. Yea that leader like man packed with hatred in his eyes could (rather should) simply have shouted at me explaining the reason and saving me from my ignorance… but I was not warned, simply punished for my first mistake!

Situation was really bad, getting slanged and punched on my cheek but from an optimist traveler’s point of view I feel I was blessed that it didn’t roll further up to a second jab or anything worse. May be the man wanted me to react and procure an opportunity to initiate a public assault but my backing down in the right moment saved us, my camera and of course our entire trip. I wanted to come out of the bad moment and staring eyes but wanted to pretend as if nothing had happened (is this the child of ego? Huh, human mind is the greatest inscrutable subject! ) as well, so moved few meters aside and continued my clicking venture till the curious eyes got back to their work again.
A Motorcycling affair along the Bay of Bengal
A frozen fish ready to be exported, at Frasergunj Fishing Harbor.
We went back to our hotel to get slice of slumber and be ready for sunset. Clouds got whimsical once again and left us with some magical colors of dusk sans the crimson sun over the beach… thus we realized that the morning had hinted our day… we lazily spent the evening reclining on the beach, tasting fast food and listening to Belafonte’s track- “But I’m sad to say/ I’m on my way/ Won’t be back for many a day/ My heart is down/ My head is turning around/ I had to leave a little girl in Kingston Town”.

Fortunately I turned out to be an early cock on the third day and rode to beach with my camera before the crack of dawn… I was desperate for the red round glow which would be climbing up the horizon painting the uneven sea like a painter’s brush! Among five-six stalls, only one had opened up its door and lit its coal fire… but I thought that sipping a cup of tea could get in the way of catching the sun at precise moment. No tourist could be seen on the Bakkhali beach apart from a hand few men whose professions had compelled them to stick to the coast at that unearthly hour...
A Motorcycling affair along the Bay of Bengal
I turned out to be an early cock on the third day and rode to the Bakkhali Beach with my camera before the crack of dawn.


6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hehehee... Kolketer lokeder Bokkhali darunn lagche sune hebby anando pelam :-P

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  2. I never saw such a colourful shell in my life. Awesome. And the first pic is awesome too..

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Manogna... Trust me there are shells much more colorfully artistic than this... I'm lucky to have seen them :-))

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