Friday, August 21, 2009

A True Incident in SunderBans- Prattoy

Guys belive me but it is one of the true incident of my life which happened recently in the mangrove forest of SudarBan.After disastrous cyclone "Aila" hit West Bengal, especially the small villages of SundarBans we all decided to visit and help the victimsas a primary duty of our NGO.We made immediate preparation and collected rice,pulses,clothes,medicines and other basic necessaries and set with our jouney.But when we reached we got to know that almost many other NGO and government agencies are giving supplies to major part of the forest.The place was full under water with dead bodies of men, women, and cattles floating all around. Salted water with mud land surrounding with needyvillagers are the left overs.We made a local teenage named Palan from whom we got to know about the small village 'Panchdanga'. Which in literally means five beaches.According to Palan it is one of the most affected forest village and none of the NGO and organization have entered to that valley. It is because the rootto the village goes through the dense, dark, and dangerous Mangove forest. We all made immediate decision to visit into that vicinity without furthur wastage of time. Back of our mind we had the jeopardy of risk associated.But we were bold and strong with our decision.Our leader Abir asked Palan for making the necessary arrangements like boat,medicines and some meager safety gears.Palan asked us to visit the Soonjan Ghat where he promised to arrange the boat.Next morning five of us including Abir, our team leader who was a doctor by profession, gave us the courage and holding his case of medicinesmade all of us boarded in that rickety boat. Palan was ready as our guide and the sailor of that ship. With big anticipation and hope of our wellbeing from the danger of reptiles maneaters, snakes and other unanticipated objects, we set sail .
The river current of ganges made our boat a negative direction as if stopping us to enter the hidden secret. Palan alone was insufficient to control boat.Hence Abir instructed four of us to get hold of the boat and start rowing.Soon the bank of soonjan Ghat became very small from our sight and gradually disappeared and left us in that over grown, roaring river-sea.Sun was dull on that day and rain cloud were surrounding the climes. Abir was careful with the radio to get the latest weather report.As i was the youngest member of the entire team hence Abir was more responible towards me. He had been always caring about me and behaved as my elder brother. Even before coming to this journey, he persuaded my family for allowing me in the trip.Soon he came to me and took control over my row. Getting some time out i went to Palan and sat with my legs down from the narrow end of our boat.Palan was not aware of this and went on with his task.I was looking at the vast river range when suddenly some hard slipery thing slapped my feet.I flung up the boat immediately and warned Palan,He gazed the water and found 12 feet long jittery river crocodile. Its face was narrow and had a huge body with the same long broad tail that touched me.Abir blowed and shouted at my casual state and warned every body. Next Palan asked every one to relax and routed the boat towards a very narrow channel which was totally invisible through mangrove forest. It was like venice with long dark and dence mangrove trees replacing the manmade architecture.The channel was very narrow and the boat was frantically touching the mud grounds from the sides and corners. The shrubs were all wet.It is said that mangrove is one the the most dangerous forest in the world.The day was coming to its dawn when we all got thing unbearable odour of rotten elements.
Palan asked every one to be aware and used his torn shirt to cover his nose.It was the dead bodies all around, Stale and stagnating the river channel ahead. The odour and the vision were unbearable.With time the bodies were all swollen,with marks of bloods and wounds still counting the incidents, Some bodies could be recognized but one only braves can see them as some were without thir legs torn our from hinge, bodies of naked women without with the head with their uncovered skull and torned and turned broken necks, with scenes of torned hands, pair of legs, streaming blood i fainted.When i recovered myself i found Abir sitting beside me with other busy with something which i couldnt find out.And our boat still stranded in thatsame unbearable place.From Abir i got to know that due to the stagnating water channel we have become immobile with our boat surrounding the "Land of Dead Bodies".
By the time being it was almost dark.I noticed my watch it was 3'o clock in the afternoon.But darkness has already overgrown in the forest.Abir gave us all some medicines which and i couldnt figure out also injected some thing into our body which is diluted high protein glucose.With that rotten environment none of us could eat something.Palan was now ready with his "Haricane"; a special type of lamp which works with burn of kerosene.Palan positioned it accordingly so as to light up the maximum portion of the boat. The first time in my life i saw Abir very tensed and nervous.Every one among us were feared about the consequences. Suddenly one among us started shouting with pain under his mountain pants.We all went up to him to keep him under control and to find out his truble.By the time he already downed his pants to give us the dreadfulsight.Leeches every where stuck and attaced like a magnet with his tigh ..!! They were the worst creatures that added to our trouble.We somehow consoled him and during this time Palan brought a pack of Tata salt fromour stock and generously spreaded them, soon the leeches started dissolving and made relief to all of us.Abir was now well aware with the incoming danger and trobles. We all were known to these dangers but never expected of this immobility.Soon night overcame us, Abir consulted Palan about the wayout.And accompanying all the seniors we came to the strong and wise decisionof leaving the boat.We were sure about that, this will give rise to new problems or will become a pathway to our safety...but atleat we cantry and become our own pathfinder instead of becoming a prey to other wild animals.
With obvious reasons we started walking in a group.Things were fine at the begining as we were going away from the horrific smell.We passed under the supervision of wild owls,muddy and marshy lands, even crossing the often sights of dead victims, getting unwanted andunrecognized sounds of wild animals; When suddenly i noticed some movements under the branch of a crooked looking mangrove, being careful i noticeda black skinned kid with muds smeared all over his body and covering his face. The small kid was howling and crying and provoking his hungerto his lost mother. His cry was a never heard voice with huge proclamation, i got distracted from other things as fatigue overcame me,i got closer to console the small kid with his arms folded for need, When i was at a distance of less than a few feet, a sudden change cameover him, instead of his cry, his half grown white teeth was full out laughing at me with a voice familiar to a warning, and soon he started running away,I called him,shouted at him and even followed some of his steps. But he got dissapeared like into the darkness, or got engulfed in to it.Then from something hard hit me from my back.....
Immediately i turned back but found no one.But i was hurt indeed. Presuming about the incoming danger i started running as fast as i can to reunite with the group.Shouting Abir...Abir,Palan..Palan...but all my efforts left me in vein leaving me fully exhausted, hungry and thirstly with fear that i have never underwent before.Shivers came to me about imagining my lone existence.I started crying and started praying to god to help me out. I became so thirsty that i teared some of the rain drenched leaves and licked them with my dry tongue.Gathering some remaining energy i called for Abir again.Then i dont know what came to me i started running again as fast as i can aimlessly towards an unpredicted direction.Gasping for breath i stopped myself till then completely lost in the jungle.SunderBan is famous for the maneater Royal bengal tiger.Due to the cyclone every part of the jungle was drenced under disgusting salted water which even i tried to taste for many a times.Soon i entered to an open space meadow with the existence of elephant grass. It is a meadow which joins forests and consists of grass of size 6feet or even more. Thery are the best hiding spot for the man eaters.Presuming about the village on the other side i briskly started to walk at my own jeopardy.I forgot the huge body pain i was going through. Luckily after the heavy storm it was a clear sky on that day and every single thing was visible under the moon light.I started moving ahead cutting the long huge grass with my knife and moved ahead when suddenly with a single stroke i removed the tall grass and a head of a young lady smeared in blood detached from its neck came infront of me.The blood appeared as the vermillion mark on the forehead. That was enough for me to break my courage.And immediately i sat down crying helplessly when i found something hard underneath my hips.I sprung to stand up to find thousands of skulls of men,women and children thrown here and there. It was like i was in the meadow of 'hades'.Moving further....
I found the same uncanny rotten smell . It was then i understood that the village towards which i am heading is having no existence except the mud house structures.Majority have died due to cyclone and the remainings have become prey to the man eater.Finding a small hill situated withing the meadow i settled myself i started crying and howling with fear which i have never faced before.I assumed myself dead and soon fatigue overcame me.With a jerk i woke up.It was Abir.I became so relaxed and happy and new energy came to me.Abir woke me up.He was still dressed in the same manner and holding his case of medicines. He asked "Where were you ?"Smile came to my cheers and i replied " Where were you Abir.I was so frightened..!!"Abir, motherly took hold of my bleeding feet and immediately bandaged me . And said " Small brother, When i am hear , then why are you so afraid ?""No Abir, i am not anymore...but where are others ?""They have all got segregated from me, eventually; and now dont ask much question getup, we need to go back home. Our expedition has came to an end as there is no existence of life in this province except us " "Abir...i really want to go back home and want to gorge on some tea and food back home"" get up...some how we have to spend the remaining night, I have already made a temporary macha in that nearby tree"Saying that i stood up and taking his support i limpingly followed his direction and instruction.
Taking his support i climbed the tree.And sat on that rickety macha. He knew that if fall asleep then that would worsen my wound and may casue infection. Hence he started chatting with me.Whole night we discussed about the various facts of SunderBans, His college diary, including his affair. He also told me that i am his beloved 'Small borther' and he will always take care of me.Abir was very cool with his attitude and narrated stories of his other expedition. He complemented that i am a real hero and blessed me that i will do all the best in all my endeavours in my life.Distant sound of an heavy engine broke my sleep. With the bright morning sun i narrowly opened my eyes to find myself being carried away in a huge military chopper.Confusion bewildered me .I was in total state of shock and wonder.Later in the military camp i got to know that they found me lying on a semi constructed macha above a tree with a red T-shirt flattering as a flag. And produced me the T-shirt which attracted there eye. It was the same red coloured T-s worn by Abir.I narrated and explained them every details and happenings.They said that they saw no sign of any living person around my vicinity.But on my repeated insistance they agreed to send a search team in the afternoon.Soon the chopper came back with three dead bodies according to my given instruction.Tears came down as i saw the body of Abir.But soon got frightened when i got to know that Abir and my other team members were found dead in a ramshakable boat which was located 80 kms away and later postmortemn report proved instant death due to poisioning.I couldnt believe anything further that if Abir was not there to my help, who took care of me,bandaged me, construted a macha, hung his T-s, discussed different happenings of his life, then who this person who looked same as Dr.Abir.I came back to kolkata with this horrific memory which will stay with me as a death memoir, forever.


  1. Your story is damn awesome and interesting and now it made a mistry for me who was that person.

  2. hmmm indeed very interesting story