Friday, June 24, 2005

The Hungry Tide

Step into a fascinating world of Ganges dolphins,crocodiles, Royal bengal tigers, the river's that change the landscape of the numerous islands every day.Amitav gosh takes you on a near dreamy ride with his book "The Hungry Tide".It is a story that is set on the backdrop of the sundarbans.

To tell a little about the backdrop.The Sundarbans is formed by an alluvial archipelago of 54 islands, made by the waters of Ganges, Brahmaputra and the Bay of Bengal.In the Sundarbans the tides reach more than 100 miles inland and every day thousands of hectares of forest disappear only to re-emerge hours later.The sundarbans is the home of the royal bengal tiger which kills almost one person every other day in those areas.The people are in danger not only from tigers, also from crocodiles, snakes and storms.Like many exotic places with intresting landscapes, sundarbans is also filled with legends,blind beleifs, & intresting customs.

The story revolves around 2 central characters.Piyali Roy a cetalogist, born and bought up in USA and Kanai Dutt a translator who is having his business in delhi.They are both visiting the tide country.piyali for her research on the fresh water dolphins and kanai to take a look at a book left by his deceased uncle nirmal.

There paths cross and kanai decides to assist piyali in her research.kanai finds more about his uncle nirmal through the book he left and piyali comes to know more about her boat man fakir through various incidents.During the research trip piya,fakir& kanai are caught in a tropical storm.The story ends with the changes brought in by there tropical storm.

Some of the characters are very intresting like the crab catcher fakir.The dreamy communist poet nirmal etc.Even though the story is weak the book is a page turner because of the wonderful backdrop.The novel is more of a travelouge than a dramatic story.The tide country will just amaze you with its richness, brought to life by amitav gosh.An example
Piyali and fakir go to an island just before a storm.They tie themselves to a tree. when the Tide crosses them there is no island at all and the tree that they tie themselves to is completely submerged in the water.When the water receades they come up with the tree.Fakir points something to piyali.On an another tree nearby there is a royal bengal tiger hanging to it and looking at them.
There is only one place where these things can happen.Welcome to the tide country.

Amitav has researched a lot for the book and he puts a lot of info in the book.From the mythology of ganga's creation to the legend of bon bibi(a tide country god), the history of the tide country,to the unique behaviour of people who are afraid even to utter the word tiger, he also touches politics with the Morichjhapi massacre.From piyali you come to know about the information on the irrwady dophins, life of a cetalogist and other information.

Even though he weaves the seperate threads and information into the main story. At times,i felt they dont merge with the main story properly and also that amitav is giving more importance to the environment and describing the history rather than the story.It is an ordinary hindi film story told on an exra ordinary backdrop.

you may or may not like the story.But you will definitely fall in love with the sunderbans.The book is a page turner and is an intresting read.

A UNESCO world heritage site
audio of amitav gosh interview
Amitav interview in hindu
amitav gosh Home page
bangladesh sundarbans

Nalla irruku ..Good info ....wonder ,why can't we make a film something on the lines of ana conda with sundarband as background ?

It will be great if in India ,make novels into movies - we have so many novels ...

I 've written one more post ' decision ' - epadi irruku nu sollunga ....
these are treasures of india
but indian public awareness about its natural resources and forest preservation is next to nill
they know all about their favourite stars :( but nothing on this
yes that has been my peeve.novel adaptaion is almost nill in the film industry.i will check it out.

sundarbans has entered into my list of the places that i MUST vist.I actually havn't written anything about it.Read the book, the area will amaze you.
OT: Senthil, have blogrolled you :-)
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?