Just as all festivities of a fisherfolk life are connected to the river, their dreams and nightmares are riverine too.
“For several days I’ve been noticing something different in the river’s flow pattern-familiar calculation just don’t seem to hold. The current where we knew it to be slanted is now straight, where we knew it to be straight is now slanted. There is no fish. The fish leaped a little away from where I laid the net, where I expected the flow. Finally, I went near the mouth of the Kurulia Canal. Found the current there turning like a top. I couldn’t sleep and all of a sudden I had this dream, Titash has gone dry.”
– Titash Ekti Nadir Naam, Adwaita Mallabarman (1956), translated by Kalpana Bardhan [i][ii] Continue reading “River as a Companion: Titash Ekti Nadir Naam”
Above: Dry Chandrabhaga from Maharashtra. We have at least 5 Chandrabhagas in India! Photo: Parineeta Dandekar
“I’m going to buy vegetables from the banks of Ganga. Coming?” (“गंगेवर चालले आहे भाजी आणायला. येणार?”). This was my Grandmother’s Sunday morning ritual. I always jumped at the opportunity: it meant going to the local market skirting Ganga and staring at colorful heaps of vegetables, patting dewlaps of humongous cows settled in islands, stealing guilty glances at sadhus who sold fascinating stuff: owl claws, deer musk pods, Giant Entada seeds..but most of all, it meant observing the filthy and beautiful river from the Ghats. I lived in Nashik, on the banks of Godavari and Godavari was our Ganga. Continue reading “Ekti Nadir Naam: Ramblings through the etymology of River names in India”