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The shape-shifting beach

| Updated on: Mar 02, 2018
In the middle: Sandwiched between a river and a sea, Talasari in Baleswar district is among the more obscure beaches of Odisha

In the middle: Sandwiched between a river and a sea, Talasari in Baleswar district is among the more obscure beaches of Odisha

Rhythm of life: The fishermen return in the evening and sit on the beach mending their nets

Rhythm of life: The fishermen return in the evening and sit on the beach mending their nets

Desolate beauty: From Talasari beach, the estuary of the Subarnarekha river is visible in the distance

Desolate beauty: From Talasari beach, the estuary of the Subarnarekha river is visible in the distance

Quotidian life: As the waters recede, boats are grounded where they were floating earlier, a phenomenon that occurs daily

Quotidian life: As the waters recede, boats are grounded where they were floating earlier, a phenomenon that occurs daily

Hide-and-seek: At high tide, one can only reach the beach via boat. At other times, one can walk
across the deceptively dry riverbed

Hide-and-seek: At high tide, one can only reach the beach via boat. At other times, one can walk across the deceptively dry riverbed

Constant friction: Grounded vehicles rise and float as the saline water from the high tides makes
inroads into the land

Constant friction: Grounded vehicles rise and float as the saline water from the high tides makes inroads into the land

Rise and fall: People travel across the riverbed during low tide

Rise and fall: People travel across the riverbed during low tide

In tandem: Talasari is named after the line of palm trees that guard its
shore

In tandem: Talasari is named after the line of palm trees that guard its shore

At Talasari, the sweet waters of the Subarnarekha merges with the saline waves of the Bay of Bengal, over a piece of land that keeps changing constantly

The waves here are constantly at work. They do not thrash or howl but crawl in silently, and then recede — covering and exposing three to five km of land, depending on the time of the day. Waves are relentlessly engaged in the process of regenerating the landscape here.

The sweet water meets the saline in Talasari, barely five km from Digha, in the southwest end of Bengal. Talasari is one of the more obscure beaches of the country. Here, the sea is alive, toying with the beach like a seasoned painter on a tested canvas. The slope of the sea-bed is so gentle that the waves get time to do much more.

A distributary of Subarnarekha surrendering to the Bay of Bengal adds the finishing touch to the drama that unfolds on the strip of land in between the river and the sea — subject to the saline and freshwater influences on either side. A path that imprints your footmarks in the afternoon gets submerged under navigated boat rides in the evening, as the once-distant waves invade the mouth of the river. Fishermen tirelessly mend the loose ends of their nets on the shores and prepare for the next catch as you look on at this everyday encounter.

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Rhythm of life: The fishermen return in the evening and sit on the beach mending their nets

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Desolate beauty: From Talasari beach, the estuary of the Subarnarekha river is visible in the distance

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Quotidian life: As the waters recede, boats are grounded where they were floating earlier, a phenomenon that occurs daily

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Hide-and-seek: At high tide, one can only reach the beach via boat. At other times, one can walk across the deceptively dry riverbed

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Constant friction: Grounded vehicles rise and float as the saline water from the high tides makes inroads into the land

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Rise and fall: People travel across the riverbed during low tide

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In tandem: Talasari is named after the line of palm trees that guard its shore

 

Sreedeep is a Delhi-based fellow at C-PACT at Shiv Nadar University

Published on March 02, 2018

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