It was one fine morning in 1998.
My uncle Niharendu was going through the newspaper while sipping on a cup of tea in the morning. Suddenly, he stopped on an advertisement welcoming admission application from the interested undergraduates.
He threw me the offer, "Why do you not try this?"
Because my uncle knows well that I have always been an adventurous fella. And from then on, he pushed me into a world of fantasy for a few days.
In my imagination, the adventurous profession of a mariner is always drawn with the imagery of an international man who has access to almost every country in the world. I read many such books and watched numerous movies wherefrom I came to know the mariners travel all over the world which no other professionals can do.
To me, the calling of the profession was like a daydream come true. I must go there!
There are two groups of marine study: nautical and engineering. The engineering people have less scope to enjoy voyages as they have to pass most of the time inside ships.
I took the admission test. They selected a hundred from all over the country. I was one of them. The journey started.
In 2006, I started my sea life as a trainee on a Japanese ship named MT Eastern Darma. It was a chemical tanker. The journey has extended for 14 years and still I am on it.
By this time, the earth became 14 years older. And I put my footsteps on the soil of a good number of significant cities. I got married in the year 2009. I got a family. My two beautiful children got their mariner father.
I love them blindly even though I could not stay with my wife during the pregnancy and the delivery of my sweet little daughters. Yea, I was in the stormy part of the Atlantic Ocean that night.
And that is the biggest challenge of sea life. That separation and solitude with solid responsibility of the ship with whimsical uncertainty of the nature of vast oceans, the three-fourths of the earth. We do not have any idea of that life. We cannot see that morbid life or only see those off-duty pictures where the mariner is rambling around the anchored land in holiday cheers.
The real life of a mariner in sea is like a secret world. I saw untold stories of that hidden world. Water everywhere…
Think of a 6,000 square metre ship floating in the vast ocean of 12,00,000 square kilometres. The marine life has been one of the ancient and daring professions in the history of mankind contributing to civilisation.
I always dreamed to be a photographer but my fortune pushed me into the marine life. But I never gave up my hope to be a photographer and I started photography in my ship. I started capturing the story of mariners. Now I would like to complete my project with some new documentation of the mariner's family life.