We know what we are, but not what we may be. The quote from Hamlet gets personified in the islands like Mousuni, Ghoramara and Sagar. These islands located in the Gangetic delta region are disappearing and so are the people who have lived here. The very river they hold sacred, is now encroaching, engulfing, devouring the land with each tidal flood. The villagers are not aware what climate change is, they are unaware of the term “sea level rise”, but their lives are the very testament to it. They have lost the courtyard where they have played, they have lost the trees from which they used to swing in their childhood, they have lost the bed where they made love. As the land beneath their feet got washed away, they have lost their roots. Some of them migrated and got lost in the bonds of bonded labourers, while others re-built their homes only to see the walls crumble a few years later. The already unknown people of these lonesome islands are spending one day at a time, unsure of their own identity. It is not a easy feeling to see your home, your land, your place which has witnessed generations of a family’s history, get disappeared without any fault of their own. It is like getting uprooted and getting your legacy, your identity dissolved among waves and winds.
All images ©Sushavan Nandy