© PRONOB GHOSH
A train ride can be one of the most comfortable and enjoyable journey that a person can experience over a long distance. I personally feel that a train ride can be bliss compared to a bus ride, as the latter takes a toll on my back while commuting over a long distance and can be pretty boring at times. As any other countries, people commuting by a train is very common in Bangladesh as well, specially, when the trip covers a long distance, away from the Dhaka city, since, the journey is faster, more breezy and surprisingly for some it does not cost anything. By saying no costs, I literally mean no cost at all, as a lot of people prefers to commute by sitting or standing at the top of the train. It is a fairly ordinary scene nowadays in Bangladesh to see commuters travelling on the roof top of the trains risking their precious lives, their bodies every time, just to save some money and to reach their destination faster. The Bangladesh Rail Corporation has taken initiatives to discourage these kinds of risky actions but the commuters still travel this way. Majority of these commuters are beggars, hawkers, labors and very low earning people coming to Dhaka city to earn a living and provide a meal for their family living so many miles away from them and for these people spending so much money to visit their families frequently, is something that they can’t afford and so they end up climbing the roof of the trains while the ticket checkers or the station masters are unaware and travel their destination.
During Eid and Bishwa ijtema, thousands and thousands of people commutes in and out of Dhaka city, to reach their home, while some for travelling or religious purposes. It creates a huge rush for tickets and the prices go up, which a lot of these commuters can’t afford or manage, as a result most of the people who can’t manage a ticket end up climbing the roof of the train and travel on top of it. A lot of these people sometimes fall off and gets injured severely losing their limbs and sometimes their lives, but that does not stop them from travelling this way.
I even had a conversation with a few people who astonishingly travels on the roof of the train because they enjoy it a lot; as there is lot of adrenaline rush involved with it that makes them feel alive while some have gotten habituated to this way of travelling and they do not feel the need to travel inside the compartment safely and comfortably and rather prefer sitting on the roof feeling the breeze blow through their hair. This has also become a great place for the hawkers to make a profit for themselves by selling tea, biscuits and cigarettes to these train passengers who are travelling atop, risking their own lives in the process.
Bangladesh is a riverine country, so boat is one of the major mode of transportation in the rural areas specially during monsoon. During the monsoon season the rivers, ponds and other water bodies are filled with water, and at that moment the popular & the cheapest source of communication is a boat. Sometimes boat transportation also becomes a small business for some people during the heavy rainy season. For this reason a lot of boat market sits all over the country, and one of them is in kaikertek, situated in Mograpara union near Narayanganj district. This market is almost 200 years old. After a good conversation along with some tea with the boat businessmen, they told me this market always sits during the monsoon season. Every Sunday from 9 in the morning the boat dealers gather and organize their boats, then from 10 the customer starts gathering. People from all over Narayanganj gather to buy boats according to their requirement. The price is usually determined by the quality of the wood and everyday an average of 80-90 boats are sold. At present the boat market is almost in a stage of extinction and the sellers are finding very hard to earn any profit from this business, but some people have kept it alive due to family tradition.
Hola Mohalla is one of the biggest festival celebrated by the Sikh community. It’s a one day Sikh festival which most often falls in March and takes place on the second day of the lunar month of Chett, a day after the Hindu spring festival Holi but sometimes coincides with Holi. Hola Mohalla is a big festive event for Sikhs around the world. The words 'Hola Mohalla' would thus stand for 'the charge of an army. The festival was founded by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru. The Guru was in the midst of fighting both Aurangzeb of the Mughal Empire and the Hill Rajputs, and had recently established the Khalsa Panth. On 7 March 1701, Guru Gobind Singh started a new tradition by overseeing a day of mock battles and poetry contests at Lohgarh Fort. The tradition has since spread from the town of Anandpur Sahib to nearby Kiratpur Sahib and the foothills of the Shivaliks, and to other Gurdwaras around the world.Thousands of people gathers around the sunny spring of Haryana and Punjab and the most interesting thing that amazed me was their entire visual. People dressed for war, ready with guns, swords & shields just to pay tribute to the festival. Starting from adult to children everyone is dressed as a fighter. Alongside the festival there is a fair which showcases all the traditional equipments for the festival & there is a huge gathering there. At that moment I decided I want to do a portrait series of the festival. I felt every character has a different look and a story to tell.
The name of the river is Kaliganga. It is situated in the Manikganj district. Trough out the year a cycle of different life style is seen. During winter it is time for cutting soil or working in the field because during winter the river dries up and it is easier to do cultivation there. Some people grazes cow in the dry lands or some are busy catching fish or in soil cutting. The village Tora is situated by the river. Most of the people are either farmer or fisherman. The main source of their life is this river. During monsoon everything is completely drowned but during winter there is vast change in the scenario. It’s a 43km drive from Dhaka.
Santals had been living in the north of this country for a very long time. The colours & patterns they withhold among them & the culture they have are very different & very bright compared to the lot of other ethnic people residing in this country. The most vibrant part of their culture is their unique way of colouring their houses. The patterns they create are uniquely beautiful & eye catching. There are two types of Santals, one who are Hindu & one who are Catholic Christians. During the festival of Diwali the Hindu Santals paint their houses & during christmas the Catholic Santals paint their respectively. They are very creative & they arrange their house in a very proper way which had been forever going on for generations. Some of the noted festivals they celebrate are Sohrai, Bandana, Christmas & the most colourful one is the wedding. The whole colouring of the house revolves around these festivals. Santals mostly resides in the north of Bangladesh such as Chapaynabaganj, gaibandha, Rajshahi, dinajpur. Being one of the ethnic group of this country they are indeed a very colourful bunch of people & for that we as a whole nation should preserve this very unique cultures that has been breathing for ages. Some recent issues caused a lot of damages to them as they are one of the group which is slowly fading away & if this continues our next generation would fail to know that there was such an ethnic tribe of people with so much colour.
Folk art is almost on the verge of extinction. Due to mass urbanisation this culture is almost in the end. Our new generation has very little knowledge on this scenario. This fine form of art can be helped spread throughout with the help of a photographer.
I was always fascinated in this form of art, which was one of many reason which drove me to this project. Then I started researching on the internet and started understanding the different form of folk art in different village. I found out the locations & noted down the time on which they indulge themselves in to art, took the visa for India and went for it.
Well at first I did not jump in and start taking photos. I went to each place two or three days before, met the people, shared my views with them as well. By the time they got accustomed with me & it became very comfortable for me to take the photos as well.
Portrait photography has always been one of my passion. I have spent almost many years for portrait photography. For this project i have spent a month.
I want to share the fact that since folk art is almost extinct, my work would give people the glimpse how amazing this form of art is.
Folk culture is something that has always intrigued me. Bangladesh and india is famous for its immense folk culture & during my travels initially as a photographer i became very fascinated with the culture. The important thing is to know their views on life & their society.
Holla Mohalla is one of the biggest festival celebrated by the Sikh community. It’s a one day Sikh festival which most often falls in March and takes place on the second day of the lunar month of Chett, a day after the Hindu spring festival Holi but sometimes coincides with Holi. Hola Mohalla is a big festive event for Sikhs around the world.
The words 'Hola Mohalla' would thus stand for 'the charge of an army. The festival was founded by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru. The Guru was in the midst of fighting both Aurangzeb of the Mughal Empire and the Hill Rajputs, and had recently established the Khalsa Panth. On 7 March 1701, Guru Gobind Singh started a new tradition by overseeing a day of mock battles and poetry contests at Lohgarh Fort. The tradition has since spread from the town of Anandpur Sahib to nearby Kiratpur Sahib and the foothills of the Shivaliks, and to other Gurdwaras around the world.
Famously known as Banaras or Kashi, the holy city of Varanasi is located on the banks of river Ganga and is considered the holiest city in India owing to its location and history and the numerous temples in it. The city of temples or Banaras, as it is popularly known, is a holy city on the banks of the River Ganga. Said to have been discovered by Lord Shiva, this city has immense historical as well as religious importance. Not just a place where pilgrims throng to visit the temples, Varanasi is also the destination where most people come to spend their last days as it is believed that a person who dies in this sacred place can attain salvation. Varanasi is one of the oldest continually inhabited places of the world and oldest in India.
The beginnings and ends of shadow lie between the light and darkness and may be infinitely diminished and infinitely increased. Shadow is the means by which bodies display their form. The forms of bodies could not be understood in detail but for shadow.
Leonardo da Vinci