Poem and Pictures: As we go back to Kumta

The river weaves magic as stand along it, through frames we capture it.  This post contains a poem and a photo story:back-to-kumta_photo-story_priyanka

As I Stand Along….

I see the ghostly ruins of a caustic soda factory stranded in Nushikotte,
Greeted, now and then, by the sirens of the trains of the Konkan,
I walk past the railway line towards the horizon,
And I ‘See like the State’ the magnificent mangroves, washed by the tides.
I want to be silent,
I want to surrender these thoughts
I know not what we will churn you into.

You are a part of the meandering river Aghanashini,
Close to where it meets the sea of Arabia,
Along the bunds in its estuarine area,
You mark a measure of 1400 acres.
As time recalls, you were once a ghazini[1] rice field,
Till the State acquired you for building a salt making factory
You seem to rebel against your owner,
As you seem to fail the State to bring within you-
A salt factory, a caustic soda factory,
A thermal power plant and may be now a port.
You seem to yearn to re-acquire your original form:
A bountiful confluence of the sea and the river;
like now.

As you cradle the fish and prawns,
In the expanse of mangrove,
Snakes slither through your tangled roots,
Herons peck the tiny fish,
Crabs crawl into you and pour out the mud,
Men and women walk back with a bag of mussels and crabs,
Some men return from the sangamam in boats carrying their day’s catch.
As we all soil through you, I wonder what we will churn you into?

Thrashing up the mangroves and filling up the tidal land,
Discarding the fish, the prawns, the crabs and the herons
Displacing the men and women,
We may dredge you up for the docks to anchor the ships from the world,
We may deck you up for the ships to sail the Bellary iron to the world,
I know not, what we will churn you into.

[1] Fields where the salt resistant variety of paddy called, Kagga, is cultivated by controlling the flow of estuarine waters (freshwater and saltwater) through mangroves or sluese gates.

-Alphonsa Jojan


One thought on “Poem and Pictures: As we go back to Kumta

  1. Pingback: Going back to Kumta – Guftagu – Take 1

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