Friends from the Irrawaddy

Irrawaddy & Fisherman Cropped

With my Master getting rid of his vermilion gown,

Misty daylight adorned my river’s crown,

Her beings, now emerged out of a temporary eclipse,

With our Thai Tung ke-boats filled with nets and fish-fodder,

We floated calmly up across the serene Irrawaddy,

Determined to catch a lot of fish for the day,

We oared past the hills of Mandalay,

With fresh fearless minds,

That simply felt, nothing could perturb, nothing could bother…

Soon, we could see traces of our marine friends in the distant,

Shiny snubbed beaks rising up and down the water,

Leaping high, showcasing their grey and slate blue streamline,

Forming a group with their buzzes, creaks and clicks,

The Irrawaddy Dolphins announced they were here…


In a semi-circle, two of our finned friends start moving to and fro,

Pushing a huge school of fish towards our boats,

They slap the water hard with their tails,

A magical semi-circle, they form,

Swimming closer, they reducing the circle in size,


One of them swims out of it,

Stands to stop the fleeing fish,

As our oceanic watch guard…

Within the next few seconds, he splashes his fins on the water,

Only to let us know,

There’s enough fish, it’s time to take out the nets,

It’s time to throw…


We tap the walls of our boat,

Try creating a noise,

Signaling, we are ready, bring on the final push, here we go,


The final push comes from one of them,

Hoards of fish flood our nets,

We look up at our Master, we feel blessed…


The dolphins wait by our boat on the Irrawaddy,

As if waiting for our orders,

For us to tap the water with our oars,

Only to let them know of our plans for a second round,

But we decided, we had enough for the day.

We tapped our boats, instead,

Letting them know, we’re done for today.


Sprouts of water are shot in the air,

Their good-bye, that’s how they declare,

As we watched on with gleaming smiles,

They dived into the depths of Irrawaddy,

It only took them seconds to disappear…


We headed back towards Mandalay,

With our hearts filled with gratitude,

Towards our oceanic friends,

That seemed to be the only ones,

Who knew how we lived,

The only ones, aware of our hardships, our pain,

Like saviors of a fading Eastern trend,

It seemed, as if they were the only ones, who understood…




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