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Photo Publication XII

Photo Publication XII

Spice Route

February 2016

Three of my photos on Boat Makers of Balgarh was published in the February 2016 issue of Spice Route (In flight magazine of Spice Jet).

Pages from the Feb 2016 issue of Spice Route

Pages from the Feb 2016 issue of Spice Route

The article titled The Vanishing Boat Makers of Balagarh was an extract from the book “The Lost Generation, Chronicling India’s Dying Professions” by Nidhi Dugar Kundalia.

Semi prepared boats in Balgarh

Semi prepared boats in Balgarh

The article also featured a small write up by Swarup Bhatteryya, curator of Maulana Azad Museum, Kolkata, along with a few photos by him.

Nidhi is a friend of mine and my name appears in the acknowledgement section of her book. I helped her onthe article on the Bhistis (Water Carriers), which is also part of the book.

Swarup da is also a good friend and a boat lover by passion. Please do have a look at his amazing blog on boats.

By first visit to Balagarh happened during my visit to the temples of Sripur, which was part of the Mitra Mustafi Trilogy.

A small and big boat under construction

A small and big boat under construction

Balagarh, on the Bandel – Katwa line, was the nearest rail head of Sripur and I decided to walk the distance of about 3 km.

As I made my way past the bamboo groves the rhythmic sound of the hammer striking the wood drew my attention and lead me to one of the numerous boat workshops along the Hooghly River.

There were boats of different sizes in all stages of construction and the craftsmen were friendly enough and explained me about the basics of boat making.

I returned a couple of years later with a film crew from DD Bangla, who was doing a travel documentary on Sripur and Sukharia.

A finished boat being transported on a three wheeler

A finished boat being transported on a three wheeler

The boat makers of Balagarh was an integral part of the documentary. It was during the long shooting session I had the opportunity of interacting with the boat makers and came to know much more about the vanishing boat makers of Balagarh.

Last of all a big thank you to my fellow boat and heritage lovers Nidhi Dugar Kundalia and Swarup Bhatteryya

  1. March 9, 2016 at 12:43 AM

    Congratulations to all of you. Great team work!

    • April 29, 2016 at 2:12 PM

      Thanks Sandeep, Nidhi and Swarup da are very knowledgeable person in their own fields.

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