In a fast expanding township with much better road network, the countryside is ceaselessly receding from Santiniketan. But then one can always move away from the humdrum and can get into peaceful stroll to explore the landscape. Unlike decades ago, the little water available in the canal, river Kopai and ponds in winter, aided by underground water in pockets, agriculture is a 12 month activity around Santiniketan area. At this point of time, the mustard is the third crop cultivation done in pockets where some water is available. In short the nearby areas of Santiniketan are now fertile land for agriculture; the barren ‘Khoai’ is no more visible. Trees have been planted in the small pockets where the red soiled Khoai still exist. Except for the few Months after the winter, the surroundings are invariably green, rather intoxicating green to be precise!

I have been rather casually but pretty regularly interacting with nature around Santiniketan, just out of curiosity, finding the exercise is pretty rejuvenating. Without a weekly sojourn into uncharted and unpredictable nature, existence becomes pretty unpalatable for me. Hours of walking alone in strange areas, sometimes meeting stranger people, is quite a real experience for me. In consequence, by now, I have grown an allergy towards city life. For example, more than 2-3 days in Kolkata is a suffocating experience for me, though the Ghats of Ganges fascinates me a lot, and I will surely explore those Ghats at Kolkata somedays.

The jeans clad tiny trot is actually Surja Ali Khan; he proclaimed his name rather proudly without even asking for an introduction. His elder brother Akash Khan got a bit curious about a lone walking soul with a backpack and camera at hand at a rather odd stretch of land around Ruppur village. Over the conversation he got inquisitive about the kind of photography I do, promptly asked for a friend request in facebook, and I had to share my nature photography album with him in his wall! That is a perfect meeting with strangers, and perfect example of making a friend without any age bar at all! Well, to be honest, this is what Nature is, the ageless wonder on Planet Earth.

I shall explore Nature around Santiniketan methodically each month and post a narrative in this website, just to keep track on how life moves around at seemingly idle pace. To me it helps to get a feel of the pulse of life at this place, you may call it the residual music of life, ever present and incessant, but mostly lost to ears used to louder sound byts. Which one is the true story, the incessant softness of flow of time, or the outspoken manifestation of human might? I really do not know! The Nature might possess an answer.
Regards, Shubhashis

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