Time: 9:30 PM, Place: Kochuberia Ghat (sagar dwip) We are all on the launch deck, launch is about to set free towards kakdwip LCT ghat. Its the only way to enter into West Bengal’s main land from this scattered island. There is a strange expression on each person’s face.
It was an unexpected journey, we did not expect, specially me- to have a visit to Sagardwip, the island formed on the place where the Hoogly river (The Ganges) empties into Bay of Bengal. Its the delta, so scattered from the continental parts. We planned to come over here with our own vehicles, but we were late for some previous carriage tasks by the vessels in kakdwip. And the vessels’ tasks are dependent only upon the tidal forces. Whenever the sea water level is lower, its impossible to float for the vessels. As we missed the big vessel, the other two options were- either to wait for the next day big vessel carriage or to move without our car – then we need to hire private vehicles after crossing the river. As the big vessel carriage is limited only once per day , so without any more single time we decided to move without our vehicle.
This carriage also dependent on tidal forces. But only carries passengers, no vehicle transfer is permitted, it can carry up to 500 persons once. We took that & it took almost 40 minutes to reach to Kochuberia ghat , Gangasagar (the other name of sagardwip) , or sagar island (‘sagar’ is sea). Then hired a private car & reached the saint’s hermitage named Kapil Maharaj’s Ashram. We spent the day in the hermitage & finally it was the time to leave for, as we heard the last vessel time is 7pm only.
We moved so fast & reached the ferrighat to take the final vessel, but alas! It was some unexpected thing waiting for us- the abnormal tidal timings that leaded a delay in the ferry timings, and we got news that our ferry time is delayed by almost 4hours. Its the last week of december, 5pm, you can easily understand hou much cold it could be. Almost 500-600 people were waiting there, and most of them were some non-bengalis . They came from different parts of India, just to visit the holy place- its said that all pilgrimages are again & again but Gangasagar is only once in lifetime. Its for the holiness of this place. I had a bad headache for cold, the timepass seemed to be a very hard work for me. My family sat in a place , they were having a great time with gossip & songs. A huge number of passengers were waiting at the entry point of ferry, they were not looked similar faces like the bengalis, possibly they came here from other states by some bus. Finally it was 8:40pm after a long break, the ticket counter was opened & a large number of people flocked to the counter to buy tickets. I took my own luggage & waited outside as I knew this huge queue would move fast when the ferry would come, as for all the ‘come fast sit fast’ rule is applied. And as I assumed, it was. People started moving so fast all together through the jetty. It seemed like a rally with utter mismanagement. Somehow we managed to come into the vessel. Now it was a time to wait for the engine to start its journey.
During journey on the sea or sea-river there can be many types of issues, so its a practice to remember ancient gods, singing devotional songs. When the vessel’s motor sound it was 9:30Pm, the atmosphere is completely covered with fog, only light dots are blooming from the veil of whites. Each person from the deck was frightened as they thought they were going to be misleaded. Suddenly the devotional songs from those non-bengali groups sounded thicker & more people engaged themselves into that prayer, it was seemed that soon we would be into the sea. I remembered one novel from my school days, named ‘sagar songome navakumar’ (Youngman in sea-island)- the plot was something same, where one boat suddenly lost its way & the residing passengers cried out of fear. Anyway our story didnot conclude like this. We reached to our ferrighat destination in a short 30 minutes interval with no issues. It was a great feeling after reaching there to find our driver is waiting there with the vehicle ready to go.