On The Sandy Banks Of The Brahmaputra

The end of the year is always a time for celebration. On the 27th of December  we headed to the banks of the Brahmaputra.  In winter the water recedes and leaves a sandy bank that stretches for miles.  One can gauge the width of the river from all that sand. The water, where it was visible, ( in that particular stretch) was only a little bigger than a stream. But in the distance were a flock of birds and I realized it was a convocation of eagles! I’ve only seen that many at one time in flight, but never on the ground. And the beautiful collective nouns associated with birds came to mind. What birds do I see regularly? A murder of crows or a host of sparrows. And in winter, a mustering of storks, or a siege of herons.:) But a convocation of eagles? This was my first!

The day was like a usual winter day…hazy. And although the great river was in the distance the cold wind that blew made us draw our warm clothes even tighter! Seeing little children playing in the sand reminded me of the stony and shingly banks of the hill streams where, as children, we spent many happy moments whiling away our afternoons during the winter school break. The call of the water was a temptation we (siblings/cousins) could not resist. We needed to test our agility on the stones across the water. We honed our skills at playing ducks and drakes. We pretended that the gravelly bank was a golden beach, courtesy, Phantom’s Keela Wee. It didn’t deter us from building the crudest sand castles. After we were done with the ‘sand’, we would rest on huge boulders warmed by the afternoon sun gorging on the fruits of the season. Somewhere in the horizon, the infinity of blue interspersed with the gold of paddy. Those were blissful times indeed!

Coming back to the present, the water was on one side and on the other was a rock face. The most likely place for an eagle’s eyrie: high and almost inaccessible. There were bits of greenery on that rocky hill and some trees where the eagles perched and spent a good while preening.  Somehow looking at these images one cannot imagine the huge crowds that spilled over the sandy banks. It surely seemed that the population of the entire city was there! The parking area  was chaotic with vegetable vendors who seemed to spring out of nowhere..But since this is the season when carrots and radishes, cauliflowers and cabbages, spinach and coriander vie for space in the sellers’ baskets, most picnickers made a bee-line for the veggies. It didn’t strike me then to take pictures of those scenes. Amidst all that crowd I kept looking for a beautiful butterfly which had flitted by. A fleeting glimpse was what I got but it was enough to make me forget all else…….

Please click on the photo to see the eagle on the leafless tree.

But I did manage to get an image of an eagle in flight. It didn’t matter then that the patterns on the wings didn’t show up well. Now, it does!:(

The moon was out early. I took this picture at 2.45PM.  On the western horizon the sun was a usual golden orb…the sunset hues were yet to be seen.  I didn’t realize then that we were soon to see the New Year  eve ‘s blue moon. It was only while I chatted with my good friend Indrani on the phone on New Year’s day that she told me about it. Fascinating, isn’t it? The second full moon in a lunar month is known as the blue moon. But some periodic cycles play a part and full moon recurs at 19-year intervals. Then I read about the same at Diana’s Voice In The Garden, at Joey’s The Village Voice and at Birdy’s  Amateur Photography/Nature Pictures. The next blue moon will only be seen in 2028. A long wait but we all know that time flies!

And since this is about the Brahmaputra (although the water isn’t seen in these photographs) I’d like to share some lines from the book, The Brahmaputra by a noted writer of Assam- Arup Kumar Dutta.

A river is an apt metaphor for life. It is born, wends its way through the landscape of consciousness, and dies to mingle in the sea of eternity. Constant change is the rule of life and a river is constantly changing; the water it carries is never the same, the face it presents is always different. Unlike hills and mountains it is not inert and immobile; there is life and dynamism in its flow. Sometimes it is placid, sometimes enraged. And, like life itself, its death is a beginning in the most sublime sense, a recurrent and cyclic regeneration of generations, a looking forward to a future which leaves behind yet embraces the past.


About Kanak Hagjer

Hello from north-east India! I love to blog about all things floral and foliar and sharing the beauty of my region is what I am most passionate about!
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20 Responses to On The Sandy Banks Of The Brahmaputra

  1. Mildred says:

    Hi Kanak, WOW! Nalley and I are just amazed by these photos. I cannot imagine the thrill of seeing this scene in person. Your description of the vendors etc. is very interesting too. Thank you so much for sharing such a rare scene with us.

  2. islandgal246 says:

    Kanak thanks for the info on the Brahmaputra. It seems like a magical spot for children. I love looking in little rock pools to see what type of life exists and there must be many along that shore.

  3. Susie says:

    That looks like a neat place Kanak! The eagles are amazing! I would love to see them in their natural habitat like that.

  4. Shailaja says:

    A very interesting post and, haha, amusing collective nouns! I would love to see a parliament of owls :)) Next blue moon (in some parts of the world including the Far East, Australia and New Zealand) will occur in March this year! A blue moon accompanied by an eclipse is more rare, though, and will be witnessed next in 2028 and 2066.

    • kanak7 says:

      Lol! I almost included that one too! So tempting. Thank you for the info on the blue moon. It’s a most interesting subject. And thanks for stopping by.

  5. Autumn Belle says:

    Kanak, you have written well. I love all your photos. They are so expressive, sometimes even touching. It makes me stop for a moment to ponder over what you have said and captured with your lens. This place is special.

    • kanak7 says:

      Autumn Belle, thank you so much for your encouraging words….that makes me want to share much, much more and also try to be more descriptive in my posts.

  6. Carla says:

    This is so cool! Once, we lived in area where I saw a huge bald eagle fly over, I had never seen one up close (except in zoos), told the hubs, he said they will eat your cats and chickens. Told him I didn’t care!! This was too cool!! TIL they (the whole eagle family) devoured my cats AND chickens:) They are amazing to watch, great photos:) Bliss…

    • kanak7 says:

      I’ve never experienced that but when we were very young my mother and grandmother had many of these stories. The sense of awe regarding these birds must have remained in me from that time.

      Lovely to have you here:)

  7. cpollen1 says:

    Such Spectactular birds. Lovely photos and I am enjoying your new wordpress blog. I have a family blog where I use WordPress and I enjoy using it. Both platforms are great though.

  8. Stephanie says:

    Those birds on the banks must have been flying so much to keep warm (execise he he) and now tired. Love that shot of that eagle hovering above. The sky is so blue and clear. Wonderful! The thing that fascinates at your area is the many kinds of birds, butterflies and lizards (urggh) you see. Also, here wishing you a great good start for the new year!

    • kanak7 says:

      Wish you the same too, Steph! The sky wasn’t so blue in the morning but as the sun rose higher it turned to the shade seen in the photos. Despite the wind, the day was lovely! I’ve already started shooting the butterflies. You know where they come? To the cosmos!

      Have a great weekend!

  9. mia says:

    I enjoyed your post, it’s so nice to read your stories and watch your pictures. A convention of eagles, how excaiting it must be! The new years moons I didn’t get to see, it was so cold I decided to stay inside, unfortunatly..blue moon, a charming description 🙂

  10. Lillebeth says:

    What a generous climat you live in. Here the snow is deep and the cold i hellish. Have a nice week end and think of us up in the cold north!

    • kanak7 says:

      Lillebeth….you all are very much on my mind! Especially on Blooming Fridays. I hope the colours in my posts will cheer you up somewhat. You’re right about the climate. It’s kind now but a terrible beast in summer:(

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