River with a soul
The photographs represent the crucial bonding of human beings with the Brahmaputra River. Empires and civilizations have risen and fallen around many rivers: Euphrates, Tigris, Nile, Amazon, Mekong, Indus, and Yellow river. However, Brahmaputra remained shrouded in mystery until the mid-17th century when geographers started exploring the regions. The hypothesis that a great lake exists in the Tibetan plateau finally saw the light of the day with the publication of D’Anville’s map, but it was unclear whether the lake was the true source of the river Brahmaputra.
With the coming of the British in the Northeastern region in the first quarter of the 18th century and hypothesis based on Rennell’s expeditions, they finally put the issue to rest that Yarlung-Tsangpo is indeed the Brahmaputra. It wouldn’t be wrong if I say Brahmaputra River is a sort of trail marker for early human migration. Following the river, nomads met settlers, the settlement became civilization, civilization gave birth to kingdoms and new cultures. Despite the devastating floods, the river brings forth each year, humans continue to idolise it with divinity—a guardian-angel who looks after the fate of this majestic valley and its people.
The four pictures represent the two intangible characters of our daily lives with the river: our faith and livelihood. The very water we pray, drink, and bathe in reflects a far greater truth: the truth of flowing time that nothing is permanent in this world, neither happiness nor sorrow.