Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sundarban 2012

Here are photos from a trip to Sundarban I took last week. Sundarban in southwestern Bangladesh (and a smaller fraction in India) is the largest contiguous mangrove forest and ecosystem in the world. It is the home of the Royal Bengal Tiger as well as countless varieties of flaura and fauna.

Sundarban can only be visited by boat. Several companies offer tours there. Boats start from Khulna, and you have to get there from Dhaka by train, bus or plane (or private car of course.) I have used Guide Tours twice. They are excellent. By the time you add up everything, a trip can run you between 20000 and 40000 Taka, depending on length, luxury of boat and whether you fly.

Osprey with fish. The Osprey is a legendary fish-eater bird.

Our boat, Guide Tours' MV Aboshar.

Flock of ducks near Mongla.

Common kingfisher.

We saw two crocodiles. This was the first.

Nypa palm (golpata), used for making thatched roofs.

Gewa trees on Kotka beach. Gewa is called Blinding Mangrove because its latex can blind.

Boroi tree whose bottom is "pruned" at the height the deer can reach.

Dome-shaped spider web in a canal.

Shikre, a bird of prey.

Otters crossing the canal. They were extremely shy.

Great Egret (Boro Bok.)

Water monitor, also known as Kalo Gui Shap.

Brahminy kite (shonkho chil.)

The road less traveled.

Boardwalk at Harbaria Visitor center.

Fiddler crab.

Fresh tiger pugmark on wet mud. Off the boardwalk at Harbaria.

Great Egrets.

Goodbye beautiful Sundarban.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Great Egret

Great Egret, known as Boro Bok in Bangla. In Sundarban.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Temporary Setup for a Religious Gathering

This is in Ashuganj, taken on January 8th.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

My Father's Tree

January 7 was my father's fourth death anniversary.

He is buried at the graveyard at Dargah near the mausoleum of Hajrat Shah Jalal, a Muslim saint from the thirteenth century.

My father spent many of his last days in Sylhet, his birthplace. He had an office up on a hill in Rainagar where he spent several hours a day. He was specially kind to the poor children around that neighborhood and often gave them food and gifts and took them around in his microbus.

On this day I go to Sylhet. Buying two goats, rice and other cooking material, I get the cooks at the Dargah to make a large pot of akhni polao, a Sylhet-style biriyani.

Then I divide the polao into packets and them distribute among the children of Rainagar. This is probably what would have made my father happy.

Forty years ago, my father's office was in Dhaka's Dilkusha, near the President House, which was closed to the public. Inside President House were these graceful, tall trees called Buddha Narikel (Pterygota Alata.)

One day my father paid a guard at President House ten taka to bring him some seeds that had dropped from the trees. He then planted them.

This is one of the trees he planted. The photo was taken on a stormy night. The tree is 6-7 stories tall now.

May you rest in peace, Mr. Ahmed Kabir Choudhury.

Friday, January 06, 2012


At Lalbagh Kella this afternoon. Although it was a grey day, the temperature was just right.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy New Year

Happy new year! Hope that 2012 is a great year for you.