<%-- Page Title--%> Photography <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 157 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

June 4, 2004

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Capturing Natural Treasures

Aasha Mehreen Amin

The warmth of Bangladesh's countryside is undeniable. It is where in spite of the vulgar attacks of urbanisation and human encroachment, there are still spots where nature rules and flaunts its richness. Nature has always been the bread and butter of poetry. Jibanananda Das in particular, was obsessed with the irresistible beauty of Bengal's natural landscape. His verses capture the vibrancy, colour and tranquility of the lush greenery of Bangladesh interspersed with glimmering and abundant rivers. His poetry also brings in human faces, characters like Suranjana, Arunima Sanyal and Banalata Sen. All this is visually represented through Dr. Noazesh Ahmed's latest book Dhanshiri Noditir Pashe (On the Banks of the Dhanshiri). As with his other project Chhinnapatra, which gave visual expression to Tagore's famous poem, here Ahmed recreates Jibanananda's world with his remarkable photography. The Dhanshiri River recurs in these pictures as it is a river that has always been close to Jibanananda's heart. But as poet Shamsur Rahman in his foreword to the book points out "The Dhanshiri River Jibanananda wrote about is now almost dead. It is difficult to predict how long the river will continue to flow." Which makes Noazesh's images of the river and its adorning banks, all the more invaluable.

As is usual with Noazesh's photography, the images evoke a number of emotions. There is nostalgia in the way the dry leaves are scattered over some unknown path in the forest or the horizontal lines of a shimmering golden river at sunset. There is awe at the delicate threads of a silky spider web attaching itself on red blossoms or the diamond dew drops on emerald stalks of grass. Sunbeams fall on golden paddy fields and saffron light colours the late afternoon scenes. Each picture is followed by Jibanananda's poetry with English translations by Dr Fakrul Alam.

True to his tradition, Noazesh has filled this book with the most glorious imagery of natural Bangladesh. Perfect shades of green and orange of newly cut harvests, meandering blue water against carpets of green, diaphanous wings of a dragonfly decorating blades of grass give proof of the exquisite work of the greatest artist of all--our Creator. From time to time as you turn the pages there comes a classic, stylised scene of country landscape and a woman's face or form no doubt to depict Bonolata Sen. Whether this adds or disturbs the pureness of the scene is of course up to the viewer to decide.

Speaking of purity, a slightly jarring aspect of some of the pictures is the superimposing of other imagery. While this manipulation has been performed for effect, to enhance the visual representation of the poetry, many times it seems unnecessary to mar such gorgeous photography with clever graphics.

Nevertheless, the richness of Noazesh's seasoned photography with his keen eye for detail gives the viewer a sheer sense of thrill of the treasures that still live in this country and that need to be painstakingly preserved.



Dr Noazesh Ahmed, a plant scientist, has always been interested in literature and photography. Formerly a research scientist specialising in tea technology, he has worked as a United Nations FAO adviser in various Southeast Asian Countries. Dr Ahmed is also a photographer recognised internationally and has exhibited his work in the US, Europe, Japan and India. His other photo-albums include Bangladesh (1975), Portrait of Bangladesh (1982), Quest for Reality (1997), Wild Flowers of Bangladesh (1998) and Chinnapatra (2002).





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