A River that separates two nations


Ichamati River, a distributary of the mighty Padma flows quietly, separating as it does the land masses of India and Bangladesh at places.

The town of Taki is one such place.

 I sat looking at the serenity of the Ichamati waters from my hotel room in Sonar Bangla.  As the tide ebbed, the river bed peeped above the water. As if separating the water itself between the banks of the two countries. The sad  impact of the river bed silting is so visible. Decades of uncontrolled construction, encroachment and forcible occupation of the land have contributed to this.

But Icchamati continues to mesmerize the visitor.

I am told the Durga Pujo immersion ceremony on the Ichamati is a unique spectacle with boats full of folks of both the countries immersing their respective Durga Protimas.

In the words of the famous Bengali writer Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay

‘The ashes of so many burnt bodies have been carried by the river to the blue ocean over millennia. The man who expected so much return from his plantain trees on the southern side of that green, and at the bend of the river put bamboo traps to catch fish, is lying today on the bank of the Ichamati – only his white bones remain, bleached by sunrays.

…….… one listens to the music of eternity when one spots the old flowers or smells the pungent fragrance of herbal plants in Autumn. Some can visualise and dream the unlimitable unknown eternity in the image of the Ichamati river during the turbulent rainy season.’

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