Every day Shivan transports people accross the river Peryar in Kerala charging about 30 rupees per trip. He has been a boatman for the last 25 years. He is married and has a 21 year old son who is a painter.
His boat is a handmade piece with typical Keralan design, not really an eye catcher, but very sturdy and enduring and definitely pretty unique for the European eye.
When the sun gets unbearable he wears a funky big umbrella-looking hat (it is lying in front of him in the boat on the first picture). He doesn’t like it so much when people take his pictures, but I haven’t been giving him much choice, so he eventually gave up.
Shivan likes his job and he is good at what he does. There is a certain ease with which he operares and his focused yet very relaxed manner of pedaling gives his passengers a soothing vibe.
Every boat ride with him is like travelling back in time- him silently rolling his beedi (tobacco rolled in a dried leaf), me enjoying the warm Keralan breeze at the time when the sun is setting and sky and water are merging in a beautiful purple-shaded embrace. It is a truly special boat ride every time.