The Ferry Across the River

Loading Motorcycles onto the Ferry

Loading Motorcycles onto the Ferry

The allure of a deserted and isolated beach was all it took to get me and a few friends out of our lethargy and onto a rickety bus out of the small south Indian town where we were spending a few months. The conductor collected our fare; it hadn’t gone up since the year before. As the bus bounced and wobbled down the red dirt road, I looked out the window and a wave of happiness swept over me like one of those waves that I would be diving into soon.

It was morning and the locals were busy with their routines: the kids were on their way to school, their uniforms carefully pressed and the girls’ hair neatly braided and tied with ribbons. Women gathered to get water from a public spigot. The homes we passed reflected many income levels but all were tidy with plants and flower gardens bursting with fuchsia, hot pink, purple and flame lit orange-colored blossoms. We passed a sedate church, next a solemn mosque and lastly a vibrant Hindu temple. Man and nature seemed in harmony here. In an odd and curious way, I fit in too. And this made me happy.

Woman Collecting Water

Woman Collecting Water

The bus let us off about a kilometer away from the small ferry landing, our destination. As we approached we heard the commotion that accompanies the boat’s imminent departure as the motorcycles and other cargo was being loaded. The river isn’t wide but it is the unloading of the cargo that takes so long and there is only one ferry-boat.  If you miss it,  it can feel like an eternity until it returns.

The boat is small with very few places to sit. Most people stand or sit on the gunnels and a slat across the stern. The river crossing only takes about five minutes. With great care and a lot of manpower, the heavy motorcycles are loaded. People jostle a bit into position and very slowly we push-off across the river.

Boarding the Ferry

Boarding the Ferry

Waiting to Take Off

Waiting to Take Off

Landing on the Other Side

Landing on the Other Side

With grace and dexterity we hop off the dilapidated ferry. At the landing there are a few tea stalls and that’s it.  We drink a quick chai, admire the view and follow the paved road until it takes us to the canals where we will turn off.

The View

The View

It’s a sleepy place and not much going on. The locals view us with curiosity and smile.

Smiles We Meet

Smiles We Meet

Mostly people go about their business as we pass.

Collecting Fire Wood

Collecting Fire Wood…with the river behind

After the canals we turn off and continue for about an hour through fields. The landscape turns into cultivated fields and paddies and we pass fewer people until we get closer to the beach.

Walking Through Fields

Walking Through Fields

Out of the clearing a fringe of tall palm trees obscure the view but we know that we are only a few steps away from our destination, the Arabian Sea. Our pace quickens as we descend the slope that will bring us to a beach where few people have ever been.

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About ninagrandiose

I am based in NYC but travel regularly to India and Mexico. Both of these countries feel like home. In India I scour the country in search of fabulous textiles to incorporate into my clothing designs. I sit back and let the ambiance and wonder of India seep into my consciousness so I can be inspired to write about what India is for me. I bring a limited number of people to India on exclusive and intimate tours of my favorite hangouts. In Mexico I take in the natural beauty that surrounds me and dance the night away. I constantly give thanks for all this and am pleased to share it all with you.
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7 Responses to The Ferry Across the River

  1. Sue says:

    Nina i love your blog! Each and every time I get it I feel I have revisited India again. I can smell, taste and even feel the humidity. Thanks for sharing.

    • ninagrandiose says:

      Thanks, Sue. That is a real compliment and I am so pleased to be able to do that for you. India is such an inspiration for me, in so many ways.

  2. A really lovely series of images from the ferry. I can feel the heat and the lives and the quiet, hardworking people in these images. The way you shoot is with authenticity and respect. Your photos makes me want to go back to India!

  3. ninagrandiose says:

    Your words mean a lot to me. India is such a unique place that has completely won me over. When I know that I have aroused an emotional response in my viewers-like you’re wanting to go back, I am very happy, indeed. Thank you, Otto.

  4. leggypeggy says:

    We had about five weeks in India last year and enjoyed it so much that we’re heading back at the end of January. I love the places you introduce us to. Thanks.

    • ninagrandiose says:

      Though I am well traveled (maybe not in your league!), it is to India that I return to year after. India never lets me down and keeps teaching me new things and keeps opening my heart just a little bit more.every visit. Happy journey! Thanks for the lovely comment.

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