Harbinger of Life
The mighty Brahmaputra is the harbinger of life for the city of Guwahati. Despite the destructive annual floods which lead to loss of land, life and livestock, the river remains the most cherished attribute of the city. One cannot easily comprehend the magnitude of the Brahmaputra’s impact on the lives of the people of the city of Guwahati, and the state of Assam at large. Settlements by the banks of rivers are a common phenomenon across the world. Given the alluvial soil around the Brahmaputra, it is only natural that populations have settled very close to its shores. For the people who have settled in colonies just by the banks, the river means more to them than a mainstream city dweller could ever imagine.
Their day begins with a prayer to the sun, taking a holy dip in the water. Their livelihood depends mostly on the river; some belong to fishing communities, cloth washing communities, boating communities, and vendors who bring produce from their remote villages in the ferries to be sold in the city.They reflect how these people mark a positive beginning to their day - taking a holy dip at dawn, invoking the blessings of the sun and the river god; and set off to work for the day.