Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Urban Head Hunter

The teen ager head hunters live near immersion ghats of the river Ganges in Kolkata. Throughout the year and particularly before big festivals, they eagerly wait for earthen idols in the immersion ghats. Just before sinking of the idols, they leap into the river and quickly unfasten the heads from idols and swim back to shore holding the 'prize catch' above water. They are the slum dwellers near Babu ghat, kolkata.


Municipality employees try to dissuade them for possible danger. But the risky business continues for money. If they can salvage one unbroken and spotless head, they earn more than Rs.30 ( USD 1/2 ).

The cycle completes when agents from Kumortooli, the largest earthen idol-making business centre of Bengal, come and buy back only dry and unbroken heads from them.

In 'off-seasons' the teen agers collect coins thrown into the river by devotees to please Maa Ganga - the river goddess. Fastening a magnet in one side of a long rope and holding the other end, the boys throw the magnets aiming the location of coins into the river. Their incredible skill often help them to retrieve some coins.