Terror In The Eyes Of Sunderban People

When someone says Sunderban, It reminds me of kakuli di, Our guard’s niece in Kolkata.
They came to Kolkata from Sundarbans to earn. I have heard many things about Sundarbans from her, Like the difficulties to live there and how they just live on salt and rice. And tiger, that's like a monster to them.
                                                                                                        Sunderban Stories
She also told me how easy it is to get fish prawns and crabs, they used to catch prawns and sell at Rs 2/kg, there’s no comparison to the smile when a Bengali heard 2 Rs/kg prawns.
      But still, the dread of the monster doesn’t vanquish, they sleep every night with a fear, that the monster might come and take any family member.
     Here we are in our most comfortable couch sipping coffee and it feels like a good story and there, they are facing it. Here we are complaining about everything and they are still calm with a cyclone center, No one knows when they might have to shift there. Life must be difficult for them, of course, it will, a place which is prone to cyclones, knowing the home will not be the same as before, after a storm.
Kakuli di’s mother has never seen anything beyond Sunderban because the thought of crossing the river is filled with terror. And anyone with this phobia has no way out from Sunderban because Sunderban is a land of rivers and their estuaries.
      Finally when I visited Sunderban, I thought it's a jungle so there would be hardly any shops but there were for the tourists.
      I went to a chai shop and chit chat with the lady for a while. She told me that these shops are open only for 3 months in winter. And in the rest of the year, they earn by shrimp farming. And they also collect honey from the deep jungle which indeed a risky task. They go to the city for everything by boat.   

The more you will talk to the local the more you will think, how difficult it is for them. One of the men from tour management, who was with us in the boat safari was a local, told me that his previous generation, his grandfather, father, brothers, all is in the belly of the tigers and they can’t even see the body for the last time because for that you have to deal with the great Royal Bengal Tiger. But still, they do a lot to save the tigers. I asked him “if the tigers are really dying”, he told me that there are many tigers and it is not possible to count them, Sunderban is huge, it is huge then you think. And people are counting the number by the footprint of the tiger in the jungle, Do you think it's possible in this way. He also told rich people are killing tiger just to keep real tigers leather in their home when he said this, I thought how can one just say it when his whole generation is inside the tiger’s belly.
      Sunderban is not a forest, its feeding humans and wildlife in return of fear, respect, and care.

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                            Mousuni Island-What to Know Before You Go


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