Sloth’s Sundarban Trip
The belief of me being a sloth with human’s body was instilled in me through my behavior over years. My aversion towards moving at all during weekends and my undying love for “kolbalish” are just two of the many sloth traits I possess. Considering Bangladeshi ambience where even the oxygen consumption of a woman is scrutinized, I just kept being the sloth and never initiated a tour for myself. One day I came across an anime, “A place Farther than Universe”, which struck something inside me, and made me realize that I am wasting my youth. So, I ended up looking up for a trip, and being an avid follower of Travelettes, I ended up registering for their Sundarban trip, which became my first solo trip. Here goes the tale of something I feel content about.
The Transit Bus and The Ferry
I always thought that planes are supposed to have transits and connecting flight. Behold! The Tungipara Express that broke all the stereotypes and proved that buses can be similar to planes. I have always heard of the ferries of Mawa ghat, but never got the opportunity to ride on one. My first ferry trip turned out to be the one where I try to find information about barge mounted power plants, and other ferries. At one point, I got inspired by Napoleon, and tried my best to sleep like him. We successfully embarked in the connecting bus, and our hosts made sure that all of us were there.
The “Water King-8”
Our home for three days was Water King-8. I knew that I would get unhealthily attached to the ship when I saw the deck and sofa of the first floor. This ship might be a bit small for people around or over 1.68 meters, but it was a good reminder for me to mind my surroundings more.
The one we couldn’t visit because of some big shot people
Remember that younger sibling or cousin that nagged you by বেলু করতে যাব, so you just take that kid for a while to pacify him/her? Our Harbaria trip was like that. The hope of dreams of 75 women got crushed because some big official or “Bideshi Manush” came, and the whole place was locked down as per security protocol. So, we just took a small boat ride around our ship and saw some monkeys.
The Noble, Sassy Pilot
I can write another saga about the “pilot” of our boat. He was young and small, which lead to never getting the opportunity of standing on the boat. After all, we can’t visually impair him. He had a nonchalant, detached aura, which made those boat rides even more interesting. পানিতে পড়ে গেলে কিন্তু আমি কিছু করতে পারবো না-Pilot Sir.
The Guy with Red Shorts, Quicksand & Hightide
This is the part where tragedy struck. We were the first ones to reach the jetty of Jamtoli Beach and Tiger Point. However, the guy with red shorts proved us the dark side of Bengali nature. Apparently, you can shove the side of a boat like a rickshaw with your boat, jump to the jetty like a chimpanzee and act like you did nothing wrong. The way he pulled up the other members of his team, I felt like he was dislocating their shoulder. He has the silent curses of 30+ women, we can confirm that. I am a person who loves water. Ironically, I couldn’t get my feet anywhere near water, because there was quicksand on one beach, and we reached the other one way too late. It was the time of hightide.
If I fits, I sits
Nope, this is applicable for us too, not only cats. Somehow all 75 of us managed to travel for Hiron point in the boat. Considering we couldn’t stand because of our pilot; it was no easy feat.
Tigers come to Hiron point for water. If it’s the truth, then they might just sit on the tiled seats and drink from the pond. There was even a signboard. Maybe they learned to read. How can we know those things as humans?
It’s a place that felt like an unkempt graveyard for sea creatures. There was the stench of dead fish, dry fish, sand and the garbage of Allah knows what. Even after those unholy things, the sunset at Dublar Char was phenomenal. We were going back to our ship with somber sky and bits of the red setting sun as the backdrop, while the 4/5 ships looked like mythical creatures perfectly fitting for the atmosphere.
“Crocodiles”, Deers and Watchtower
The crocodiles of Karomjal are legends. You should see them at last once in your lifetime. Also, it was my first time getting to touch the velvety smooth horns of a deer. Their beauty is captivating. The serenity and peacefulness of the Karomjal jungle can’t be expressed through words.
Imagine finding a heartbroken kid who was shedding tears at the watchtower of karomjal, as he couldn’t see any tiger. He was wailing, and I should have tried better to control my laughter. বাঘ কই ? আমাকে মিথ্যা বলে এখানে আনসো
This city is far better than Dhaka. Dhaka should be named as ময়লা পোতা. The train station, new market, hadis park, the café near the park; everything was worth visiting. I still can’t get the super catchy live performance I heard at Hadis Park.
Hohoho Hohoho Hohohohohoooooooohooo
Mothers everywhere are the same
Youngsters these days often trolls Aunties and considers them as burdens. I really wish that they would start beyond surface and treat them better. In this tour most of the aunties treat them as their child. I felt the warmth with their gesture and words. Never have I ever imagined that I would end up having long conversation with my ship room mate Aunty like we have known each other for ages. Also, whenever I was around someone senior in the dining room, they tried to serve food for us. I will always remember what two apus did for me in Khulna. We met them for 30 minutes and they felt like real big sisters. At this day and age, those bonds are way too precious to forget.
We were blessed with moon since the beginning of the trip. Let it be in the ferry or the Sundarbans, the glistening moon on the water over the horizon of the jungle seemed surreal. The red moon rising slowly and then turning into shining orb aka fullmoon made me want to savor the beauty of nature even more.
Manasi Apu and Sakia Apu created a platform where womenkind of Bangladesh can roam freely like a clan. An initiative like this is something we can all be proud of. Our hosts for the trip was Shuva Apu, Zidni Apu and Silvy apu. Shuva Apu was the ultimate mother hen who took care of us without thinking about anything about herself. Zidni Apu acted as the peacemaker who helped us throughout everything. Silvy Apu had the patience to go through any kind of hassle and constant nagging. Our hosts are the perfect embodiments of all that corporate leadership things we hear a lot. I am truly grateful to come across people like them.
The Human Aspect
Is it possible to get invested in a seeming nonsensical game of pillow passing? The answer is yes. We cheered, rejoiced, took sides, and all of it made sense to me when a tenth grader kid gave me a tight hug for my support. Finding people with similar hobbies is as precious as finding natural pearls to me. To my surprise, I found them. There are so many things to write about. It was a trip that can be remembered by everyone who was a part of it. The meteor/shooting star, which was only seen by one person except me, the Drum which I thought was a submarine/whale/torpedo, super delicious meals, and the list can keep going. I will always cherish those memories.
I am going to end with something my father said, ওরা মিক্সড ট্রিপ করেনা? আমি বোরখা পরে গেলে কি আমাকে নিবে?
Tasnuva Tabassum Noirita