A new coffee table book simply named The Mahabahu Brahmaputra is bringing the river to life with its endearing photographs depicting the mighty river and the life that goes around it. The book has been published by the Flood and River Erosion Management Agency of Assam FREMAA. It is an endeavor to take the reader on a photographic journey around the river and inform them about its life-cycle and how it has played an important role in the lives of the people living along its edges.
Every year due to the onslaught of the monsoons, there is massive destruction. Families lose their loved ones, animals get washed away, lands get eroded, crops are destroyed—there’s hardly anything exciting about living a life like that— a life full of so many misfortunes. Every year, in fact, it’s the same story repeated. It only provides more fodder for people to lament over it instead of coming up with something more constructive.
This book, however, tries to provide a more hopeful picture. Replete with images shot using a drone, the river and the places around it come alive. There are mesmerizing underwater shots, extensive shots around the surface of the river and various 360 degree aerial views portraying plant life, wildlife, aquatic life et al. I was particularly impressed by the pictures of the animals. I am sure it wasn’t easy at all to take such stunning photographs without going through a lot of hard work. Some of the never seen before aerial shots in a book were those of the Rang Ghar, Talatal Ghar, the Kamakhya temple and the Umananda temple.
The book provides so much information about every aspect of the river and the land that it is going to be very useful for researchers, academicians, policy makers and anybody who wants to gain some knowledge about the Brahmaputra.
The book edited by Dr KK Dwivedi, an IAS of Assam cadre, who was the CEO of FREMAA, says in the introduction of the book, ‘The Brahmaputra is my home. I still remember the wonder I felt when I saw for the first time this mighty river, nearly an ocean that flows to the very end of the horizon. This sense of wonder gave rise to a passionate desire to know the river and to protect it.’
Apart from Dr Dwivedi who is also a nature and wildlife photographer, other people involved in this book are nature photographer Dhritiman Mukherjee, anthropologist Farzana Begum, wildlife biologist Kashmira Kakati, plant taxonomist Pranab Bujarbarua, economist Purusottam Nayak, fisheries biologist Dr Ranjita Bania and conservation geneticist Udayan Borthakur.
All the images in the book are exquisite and extremely well composed. Both Dr Dwivedi and Dhritiman Mukherjee need to be credited in this regard. The book should also provide learning experience for upcoming photographers. The content along with the pictures is well researched too.
The 168-page picture-heavy coffee table hardbound book covered in a jacket, measures costs Rs 2000.
This Book Review Appeared in the September, 2017, issue of Eclectic Northeast