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Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Write a Short essay On the river described in Nirad C. Chaudhuri's " The River and the Rains".

"The River and the Rains" is a selection from Nirad C. Chaudhuri's masterpiece The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian. In this section of the book the writer gives a vivid description of the rainy season and its impact on the little river that ran beside the author's small native town of Kishorganj. The river is at the centre of "The River and the Rains". In this section the author tells the reader how the dry river, which appeared like an emaciated channel in the dry season, became a place of attraction and activity not only for the villagers or town people but also for other creatures.
Short essay On the river

The river that flew beside the native town of the author was in its impecunious condition. It was quite shallow in depth, only knee- deep in most places. Though in general it was knee-deep, it had, every two or three miles of its course, a large pool where the water deep, dark, still and cool. The author comments - "Just as an old family fallen on poverty happens to keep a few pieces of valuable antique furniture, so our decayed river had, every two or three miles of its course, a large pool where the water was deep, dark, still, and cool." 

But the river would hold a completely different scenario during the rainy season when it rained heavily during the monsoon. During the monsoon the river filled out, became swift and permitted navigation all the way through. After the first few showers when the water began to rise and soil became muddy, the river became abundant with life. Then the river turned into a place of abundant activity of different creatures and people from the adjacent places. The first visitors were the frogs. They appeared in groups to ravel in the water of the river. The frogs were followed by the leeches. In the next stage came the peasants from the adjacent villages with bamboo fishing cages and small fishing nets. They had flat and wide-brimmed leaf hats on their heads and only barest clothes below their belts. They ran into the water with loud shouts, plunged and shoved in search of fish. This continued until the water became too deep for fishing.

But the loveliest and prettiest sight of the river emerged when boats like migratory birds began to ply, at first in twos and threes and then in large numbers, on the river. The boats that used to ply on the river added a special charm to the total scenario. During the daytime the boats offered a very pretty and friendly sight, but at night they appeared propelled with mystery. These country boats adorned with kerosene lamps could only be seen as blurred masses through the thick darkness during the night. The light of the lamps could not break the nearly solid darkness, but the reflections of these lamps seemed to set the fringes of the river on fire. This is a vivid description of the river - "During the day the boats were a pretty and friendly sight. At night they became something more, mysterious. They themselves could be seen only as blurred masses,  for their little kerosene lamps could never break up the nearly solid darkness around them, but the reflections of these lamps seemed to set the fringes of the river on fire."

The river took a colourful and vibrant shape when hundreds of boats appeared on it on one day of August or September each year to compete for boat-race. All the boats and their oars painted with different colours. The whole river with innumerable boats of different shapes and colours and adomed with various statues of different creatures presented a flamboyant scene.

Thus the river, in the rainy season, became a centre of activity for people and creatures equally. Though for most of the time the river was dry and appeared like withered channel, it was a source of tremendous pleasure for the writer when he was a boy and many others. The author in "The River and the Rains" carefully and minutely records every detail of the river and we visualise the scene as we go through the chapter. The graphic and striking description of the river has turned it into one of the unforgettable part of our culture.

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