The Shifting Chars of Brahmaputra
Chars or sandbanks in the Brahmaputra are home to approximately twenty-five lakh people whose lives are like shifting sand. When Amitav Ghosh, in the title of his book, The Hungry Tide, personifies the tide to hunger, it extends beyond its literal sense to show how islanders fight with calamitous environment each day, yet choose to live with it.
He writes: "Transformation is the rule of life: rivers stray from week to week, and islands are made and unmade in days.” (Ghosh, 2005) LIVING WITH THE RIVER Pagla Nodi or ‘mad river’ is a song of the boatmen. It captures the many moods of the river—as a ravaging force during the flood, as a nurturer and as the only reality of people for whom land and water is the same.