To say anything about Amitav Ghosh and his work is similar to adding a spoon of water in sea. Ghosh is a gifted soul, is all I can say. His words have beauty, grace, love, agony, and everything that one can feel, soaked in a way as cloth absorbs ink. The Hungry Tide is the author’s just another creation for the world to marvel at the beauty of human imagination and its portrayal.
The Hungry Tide is based on Sunderbans. A young and passionate researcher Piya who is studying cetacean has made her way to Sunderbans all the way from USA. Kanai who runs a company of language translators also happens to come to Sunderbans at the same time. Piya meets an illiterate fisherman Fokir, who knows the waters and its creatures extremely well. Fokir’s wife Moyna, on the otherhand believes that it is only education that can provide a living to them in the next few years, considering the decrease in fish population in the delta. The book is webbed amongst these and many other characters. One of the best feature of the book is that here the characters as well as the story are at par with each other. At every page one is rowed to the still waters of Sunderbans, the shelter of thatched roofs and the taste of fresh crabs.
Ghosh’s profoundness can be explored in simple stances. Sunderbans, the land of mangroves is often referred to as a delta. Ghosh on the otherhand refers it to be the tide country. And when one ponders upon this single phrase, one can realize how appropriate it is to be called a tide country, as it is only the tides that belong to Sunderbans. Rest everything else, from the mangroves, to the man-eater Royal Bengal Tiger and, to the man itself, are just refugees living at the mercy of tides. Tides are the Gods that rule Sunderbans. Tide is what makes this place come alive; they reveal the danger, the exquisite pain and also the peculiar beauty. It is what a childbirth is to a woman, painful and yet beautiful.
Having recently visited the Sunderbans, I am so grateful to Amitav Ghosh to have written this beautiful book with which I can any day, anytime visit those beautiful evening and misty mornings again. You can buy the book from Amazon.