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< Back to 28th Parallel North – An Expeditionary Weather Station

Na-Bam (Measure without Measure)

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Everything alive thirsts. How to calibrate thirst, how to measure deluge?

Fishermen talk of water in some places as na-bam, where depth has no measure. Their extended bamboo measuring sticks, called ‘bam’, don’t touch land. Measure without measure.

When the ocean waters will rise in tandem with temperatures, there will be flood, an abundance of water. There will also be thirst. It will be na-bam.

Step-wells in desert country remember thirst and inscribe it as a watermark, a measure on stone. Eventually, that measure evaporates. Deserts wait for rain. Farms and forests mourn its excess.

What stories will river-goddesses tell then?

Land. River. Sea. Storm. Sacred. Rain. Forest. Thirst. Profane. Harvest.
Measures without measure.

Raqs Media Collective travel from the banks of the Teesta in Sikkim and the step-wells of Rajasthan, to a farm in Ikisé and the Osun-Osogbo sacred grove, both in Nigeria, to take a measure of what cannot be measured.

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