SInce childhood, river ferries have always been an object of fear for me. I feared them as much as I feared water, backwaters and swamps. They leave me with images of wild anacondas in the Amazon, tribal attacks during expeditions and crocodiles on the Nile. They are always loud and ramshackle, with the engines sounding like they might explode. However, my fear of backwaters and ferries was one of the things I had to overcome during my travels. There is a route from Kollam to Alappuzha which can be completed by boat in India. These backwaters are like canals which stretch for 80km, passing through local villages. As soon as you leave the land for your 8 hour water journey you start seeing how people live and work on water and how it forms the basis for their lives and businesses. They fish in it, deliver goods, work as taxis, wash clothes, use it to irrigate the land and practice sports. To them the water is like an unlimited supply of borderless possibilities. To me it became a place to marvel at.