Volume 2 Issue 18 | September 15, 2007 |


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Journey through Bangladesh

From Rajendropur

The Pink Waterscape

Water bodies are the eyes of the earth. They are like radars, like windows to the soul. Like eyes, they are the entry points to the arbitrary interior; like a human being's eyes they tell us about the surroundings and perhaps sometimes even spell out the silence before the storm. Like eyes, they develop a watery existence, which is protected by surface tension, a significantly denser layer which is constantly washed away by the formation of tears; and the same layer is over flown with deep emotions during heartaches and ecstatic moments. These realizations struck me in the middle of a monotonous day, a day that was revivified by the pink waterscape.

Being part of a picnic gang from East West University, I rode the bus to Rajendropur, situated slightly outside the suburbs of Dhaka. I was not in the mood for an outing, and the 'hip-hip-hooray' picnic atmosphere was getting on my nerves. But I maintained my composure, thinking that I still have to survive the rest of the day. At this point, I could not have even imagined that once I was there I would find one of the most beautiful natural settings I have ever seen.

Once I reached there and got down onto the open field at the heart of the picnic spot, my friends and I had the same reaction, “Hmmm, nice!” It was a nature lover's paradise, and it seemed that the day may not be a complete waste after all. We roamed about here and there for some time, but our sights were glued to the lake beside the field, and we were fervently in search of a boat that would take us round it. But there were no boats at the time. We were told that they were all busy attending to tourists, and may become available in an hour, so we spent the time sightseeing. In a second, all of us became ornithologists, botanists and even animal lovers! We found trees of different textures that grew leaves of completely unknown features, and being completely oblivious to botany didn't stop us from arguing about the types of trees! But soon, our attention was diverted to a horse-grazing field nearby.

A brown hazelnut mother horse was grazing on its own as its baby horse dozed nearby. The baby was cream white with patches of sienna, and their sight against the background of the blue lake and the green landscape was as if taken right out of a summer morning's dream. We realized that the horse was a tourist attraction, and local people made a living out of renting “tom-tom carts” to tourists. Just as we were about to be completely paralyzed by the sight of the “bachur,” we gained a deeper view into the lake, and that was our first sight of the pink waterscape. It was amazing. It was a floating valley of water lilies that covered the blue, and all we could see was magical bobbing pink horizon. We found a boat shortly afterwards headed in the direction that was home.

Our boat made its way into a valley of pink, floating on myopic waters. It was just there, an artist's arrangement of countless pink Shapla placed side by side and to and fro and they shouted out in their serene habitats, “We are nature's pride.” Only once every so often, a few stars would twinkle in between the water-grown flowers, and then I realized it was only the spaces between the flowers through which water was reflecting the Almighty sun's rays.

My friends and I were speechless. For the longest time in the day, we didn't say much to each other. There was nothing to say, there was simply the most beautiful sight to savor. Pretty soon, our boat had moved through the flowers and we were amidst them, surrounded by them. We realized we were already celebrating the most rewarding point of our journey to Rajendropur.

The site of natural importance not only serves as natural breeding grounds for horses and donkeys, but it is also one of the few areas near suburban Dhaka where picnic goers and tourists can congregate. The area helps to generate employment opportunities for local dwellers and contributes, to a large extent, to maintaining the ecological balance of the larger context. Rajendropur needs to be placed under conservation-watch so that its beauty does not fade away, and so that it can attract more tourists whose minds can be enriched with the evergreen memory of the pink waterscape.

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