For all men are equal before fish…
“Fishing is a discipline in the equality of all men. For all men are equal before fish.” – Henry Hoover (1964)
This past weekend was spent in Cox’s Bazar, southern Bangladesh. After my initial visit in April 2011 I’ve returned three further times. Drawn by the calming natural splendour, this location exists in a certain contrast to my home in Chittagong. The noise of the traffic is replaced by the gentle lapping of the waves. The pollution is supplanted by the aroma of fried fish. The intensity of daily life is still abundantly clear, yet it reveals itself in a completely different guise.
I arrived hoping to catch one more glimpse of the sun setting over the glimmering waters of the Bay of Bengal. Blessed as I have been on a number of occasions during my time in Bangladesh, I have witnessed visual spectacles that have compelled me to inwardly plea for time to pause. A pause that will enable an opportunity to truly saviour what lies before me. However, sunset at Cox’s Bazar (viewed specifically from the small dock at Mermaid Eco Resort) has remained the pinnacle viewing pleasure in Bangladesh.
Unfortunately the monsoon rains put pay to my hopes of a perfect sunset during this latest stay. The unpredictability of nature intimating I shouldn’t rule out another visit at some point in the future perhaps? I decided therefore to turn my attention to a different kind of spectacle, spending time observing the activities of some of the local fishermen. In previous visits I’ve always watched from afar, but on this occasion I decided to get a little closer.
I’ll let the photographs speak for themselves adding only that watching these men filled me with varying degrees of respect, admiration, envy, and inspiration.
I watched for a while as this father, accompanied by his young son, dipped in and out of the waves flinging his net with what seemed like great precision. He was impressively patient, and his son followed behind with an assurity of his own role as basket carrier. Every so often he’d lag behind and his father would issue a stern reminder of his duty.
Here are some further images of the fishermen of Cox’s Bazar.