By Moumita Adhikary
The soil topography in the Indo-Gangetic plains is more or less same, rich in minerals and nutrients. Islands are many, amongst which river islands are numbered in the Indo-Gangetic region. Such a river island nearby deltaic regions is Machranga. Though part of West Bengal, Machranga gives a site of Bangladesh, a different Bengal across the river.
Machranga is mostly a wet land round the year with number of watch towers around. This small river island is a place of delight for a day trek.
A trek once to Machranga reminds me of a generous soul Abdullah. Abdullah is a local boatman too spontaneous to ask for a stroll in and around Machranga.
Since the river island is almost without people around, it was almost next to impossible to trek in Machranga so aptly without help of Abdullah lest chunces to hit any frequent snake pits there unknowingly.
Abdullah was a boatman. He was quite polite. He was sporty and quick to cross the mushy mud to reach the island getting down from the boat having least tantrums to take off shoes to cross the mud.
Least bothered about colour, gender, caste, creed, etc. Abdullah was an amazing soul happy to visit and find how beautiful Machranga was.
Cattle reared around happily and agro-lands were all naturally irrigated. ‘Macha’ – bamboo made sitting places were there to rest upon. The glided into a beautiful afternoon sky when Abdullah helped similarly to reach Hastinapur boat stand crossing mud again amongst a bustling crowd.
That’s how I remember Abdullah in bits and pieces without who trekking at Machranga might not have been so down-to-earth and dear even if muds could be crossed obviously.
Mother Nature is bountiful. Places are there. There are many memories of a place and the way it is remembered. Happier the memories, dearer a place.