I asked the cab driver – I want to take photos of a very interesting place. Where can you take me? I do not have much time, half a day!
“Have you seen the floating market? It’s outside the city! But we can manage to go and come back on time for your flight if you start little early in the morning!”
So we headed to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market next day morning. It is around 100 Km from Bangkok city and we took around two hours to reach there. There were rates for hiring boats for a fixed time and I had only one hour! I bargained and got a fair price. So far it was just any other tourist’s experience. But my homework told me that there were possibilities left to explore certain facades of life here. People change and their expressions also change. And I was certain that I would be able to capture the moments of life as a continuation of the journey by itself. But I got much more.
There are maze of canals and shops are lined up one after another. There are shops on art, artifacts, gems and jewelries, fashion, food and restaurants etc. But there were things beyond this- there was joy, there were expressions of accepting you as a great friend even if you were not buying! There were moments when I felt someone needed my assistance. There were sales promotions but at one corner, someone was busy in eating her missed breakfast. There were floating food stalls and the welcome promotions were coming from the heart! Though everything was pricy, the sincerity and the heartwarming welcome erased those feelings! Is it called the business? No, it was truly touching. And there were interesting findings too. It was a Wall Clock numbered in reverse! It was in a restaurant and people were busy in eating. I was not sure whether they realized it or not! Definitely it was amusing but later I thought what’s wrong? Why shouldn’t we go back riding a time machine?
The most heartening was the older generation’s approach towards life. It moved me. Along with the elderly men, ladies joined the business too. There are boats driven by septuagenarian ladies even. Someone was selling foods, and someone took the tourists out for a ride. Physically it is a demanding job and not an easy one to maneuver in the canals. I could closely observe them and I could see the joy of living in those eyes! It was a story of dignity, independence, pride, self-respect and more than there was a touch of stoicism which one could rarely find! I got a lesson of how we all should live life or a path to follow!
About Abhijit Bose
Though the journey in photography started in 1978 with ISOLY-II, a point and shoot camera, Abhijit started serious photography from 2014. Abhijit extensively travelled in Europe, Asia and Africa on professional assignments. It helped him to understand people and culture more closely.
In 2016, He received the Excellence FIAP Honors from Federation de l’Art Photographique, France, followed by Crown 2 Honors from Global Photographic Union, Greece in 2017. Awards started pouring in from prestigious international competitions. His works got widely accepted in more than 50 countries in international salons. He became thrice finalist in HIPA, UAE, and also a Silver Medal winner in Moscow International Foto Awards, 2017. His works were also awarded in most prestigious professional competitions like IPA 2017 and Paris Photo Prize (PX3) (2017) to name a few. Dodho magazine of Barcelona carried a dozen photo stories so far. His works also got published in Nat Geo and The Statesman Tabloid, London.