The Photographic Journal

A Sea of Lights

Essay 549 • Mar 25th 2024

On a dark night in the month of Kartik, the courtyard of the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram temple is transformed into a sea of lights. The sight of the thousands of oil lamps and candles flickering in the darkness are truly breathtaking, and create a magical atmosphere.

Thousands of Hindus gather at the temple to celebrate Rakher Upobash, a festival of faith and devotion. The festival is held every Saturday and Tuesday during the last 15 days of the Bangla month of Kartik.

As you weave through the throngs of devotees, their faces illuminated by the soft light, you witness a kaleidoscope of emotions. Some lost in deep prayer, others swaying to the hypnotic rhythm of the kirtans, their voices rising in unison like a wave of faith. Children, wide-eyed with wonder, chase playful fireflies that flit among the flames, their laughter echoing through the night.

Rakher Upobash is more than just a visual spectacle; it's a window into the soul of a community, a celebration of faith that transcends words. It's a reminder that even in the darkest of nights, the light of devotion can illuminate the path, guiding us towards hope and inner peace.

S. M. Roqunuzzaman Bappie, a photography enthusiast, was born and raised in the vibrant city of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Bappie’s passion lies in storytelling through the lens. He believes in capturing moments, not just images, using his lens as a portal to transport viewers to the vibrant streets, serene landscapes, and the variety of emotions that define his country. He finds immense satisfaction in revisiting these captured memories, reliving the sights, sounds, and stories etched within each frame.
Though Bappie might not hold the title of “professional,” his dedication and artistic spirit shine through in every click. He’s a self-taught storyteller. As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and this couldn’t be truer when it comes to S. M. Roqunuzzaman Bappie.
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