Saturday, 1 January 2000

8. Dinajpur: Journey to the Northern Soul.


       north by northwest

               to find in others 

       courage to be themselves, 

to face adversity, 

                  to remain true...

      in archaeology and nature, to find new

   to learn to look beneath for what the 

                         earth has bestowed.

         where people are yet people.

Back from the Brink
A story of addiction, loss and recovery. 

"I built good relations," he says, "They'd ask me to stay for dinner. They never asked about my past." 

Are there unknown things inhabiting the world that from time to time visit us? 

"There are big trees in the forest," offers Anwar as he finishes his tea. "People hardly go to the deepest places."

Work and Prayer
The Oraons speak of two brothers, one who prayed while the other worked.

In the comfortable, spacious afternoon in the courtyard of Badol Minji's house, they've hastily arranged a table and chairs.

A Conversation in Clay
At Kantaji Temple the walls tell stories from a distant age.

With hand to hip she's kneeling: a repose that brings comfort to the carriage of the ox cart. Puffing on a hookah pipe as ladies like to do, she's a connoisseur of culture.

"We're always surrounded by people," Miss Maya continues, "but we're all alone. In this world we have nobody."

Life is hard at the top of freedom.

The simple book which is not grander than a basic exercise book, has well-decorated but worn and faded pages."

Discovering the religion of the Robidas.

They're slightly odd, those human choices: we'll survey the scene in front of us much more readily than we'll cast our minds inwards. 

Contemplating Raja Ramnath's tank.

With lives shaped by geology, they're supervising the crushing machine.

A visit to the only underground hard rock mine in Bangladesh.

The late Hafez Abdur Rahman was no ordinary uncle. Blind from birth, he was renowned for being spiritually gifted. 

...and one day his nephew saw just how gifted he was. 

Coal Street
It's better to stay in Coal Street. It's more personal, more real. 

In Bangladesh, any engagement that gets beyond a "hello, hi" holds significant risk.

Mr. Zhang likes to travel. "Bangladesh is poor," he says, interpreted from Mandarin, "but people are very honest, especially in the northern villages. 

A visit the the only underground coal mine in Bangladesh.

Sun-bright, heat-baked, sweat-dripping, glare-straining...

An ancient Buddhist monastery where Sita's legend of Hinduism's Ramayana came to settle.

From field to farmhouse, the cycle van winds along the track into this darker but not-less-beautiful world. 

Meeting the Santhals of Alekuti.

What makes the Dinajpuri?

The Ibrahim Store
Experience the Bangladeshi national art of adda  or chatting in Monpura, because adda is at its humorous best on the islands in the Bay of Bengal. 

"The start of a journey is a beautiful island."

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