Photographing the Indus River Delta – Creeks of Keti Bandar

Photographing the Indus River Delta – Creeks of Keti Bandar

The eternal contact of Man and his Creator. The ultimate truth of this life. Time is running, and the day is about to embrace the night.

Life is just one day, and it’s about to end. I was sitting in the ultimate feeling of nature around me, watching nothing else but this endless, unimaginable vastness.

I lost my existence though I was alive and breathing.

Boori Creek, Keti Bandar. Sindh.
12 Oct, 2008 —


A unique ecosystem develops when freshwater from the Indus River meets with the Arabian sea and forms hundreds of small and big rivers that extend through swamps, mudflats, creeks, estuaries, marshes and mangrove forests. The abundance of coastal wildlife and breeding sanctuaries of marine life makes this place even more important. 

Unfortunately, the communities surviving in these areas are illiterate, poor and have no understanding of this delicate balance of natural resources and the dependent species. Mostly they catch small fish from these creeks, which ultimately end up in different forms of commercial uses. I have visited these areas a few times and photographed the wildlife, communities and some landscapes of this area. Let me share such a memorable visit to this place where I spent a few days.

This hut in this picture is a local community school in Bhuri Village of Keti Bandar, and for one night, it was my guest room shelter to spend the night. All day passed, roaming through the creeks in a small boat; I ended up here by the sunset. It was a small one-room community school where I had to spend the night. I joined the study benches and made a platform to straighten my back. The twist started when I saw the dinner, which was nothing more than a big pile of red chilli masala and extremely aromatic fried fish. The smell filled my nostrils so much that I could not overcome the aroma, and to avoid the consequences of eating the spicy meal, I decided not to eat anything. The Chicken Biryani could not survive the extreme humidity and heat of the day and was already smelling rotten. I had no other choice except for some biscuits and milk as my dinner.

After the dinner, the fishermen started celebrating because they had a good catch of Palla Fish, a local delicacy, and I could hear the drum beating, loud songs and claps of the celebrating crowd. They happily danced for a couple of hours, and their fierce dogs joined the party by barking in chorus. I was hardly able to straighten my back over the wooden benches. Though I tried to rest for some time, the dogs were aware of my presence on their territory, so they gathered around my hut from all sides and started singing.

A Valley Ball net on the entrance was the only barrier between the party of these macho dogs and me. Every now and then, the alpha dog used to lean forward and start directly barking at me. The humidity, mixed with the pungent smell of drying fish, made its way from the nostrils to my brain, and it was so unbearable that I started losing my senses. A few moments later, at about midnight, I felt twisting movements with recurrent attacks of pain in the belly, and I then picked up the biscuit wrapper to check its expiry date. I felt like killing myself with pain when I discovered that the biscuits I ate already expired six months ago. I was like killing myself because the biscuits and milk both were out of date. Rest, you can imagine. My tummy kept gruelling all night, but I could not go out as there were hundreds of wild and fearsome dogs in this small place. I was sweating badly and shivering with pain, but there was no one to call except to wait for the morning. This food poisoning experience was my worst night in the field.

I was awake all night, waiting for the sunrise and the boatman to come and ward off the dogs from the entrance.

I hardly took a few pictures of the surroundings and the hut, jumped into the boat, and drove away in the safety of the water.

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