Saturday, April 5, 2014


Salmon - A 10 minute object writing prompt!

Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family - Salmonidae. Other fish in the same family are called trout. I asked the rickshawala - where to get fresh fish. He advised me to go the roadside fish lady. "Uhmm!" my friend said, "that will be so dirty!" "Don’t be silly", I said.

I didn’t know how to buy fresh fish, my mom used to press the gills, check the colour, the eyes had to pop out like… I used to depend on her now I can’t - the malls have good fish but there is nothing like fresh seasonal fish, she used to say…

The lady sat in the shady area with a hat umbrella, quite western, with a flat slab and a huge cane basket of fish some just arranged on the wooden slab. She had set up shop. An old wrinkled face looked up at me. “Kai bahngda kai salmon thech salomon thech rawas!” she said dramatically.

So I found the salmon and in clean surroundings and my friend agreed. Only a cat purring at her legs made him reconsider but the cat would wait for fish lady to throw a few scraps, she didn’t come within the customer boundaries!

Her huge gold earring almost made another earring in her ear lobes, she had  experienced wrinkles and a toothless grin. Her hair was grey with black streaks, she had tied it in an amboda or bun, she had a nav wari (nine yard saree) as it is called in India,  I explained knowledgeably.

The kolis are traditional communities who live near the sea, fishing being their means of living. The ladies sell the fish and fish lady had been doing it for the past 50 years. The men went sailing and fishing, sometimes even the women went sailing. Don’t say women haven’t pushed the envelope broken bastions. I kept giving this ‘gyaan’ to my friend. Hey he is from the US!!

I asked how much for a medium sized piece- 500 rupees for that little piece - "what" I yowled "gosh is that fish or gold “ …. “you can’t eat gold” she chuckled…and chicken you buy na, this is so little but has so much strength, what ‘sukda bombil’(thin Bombay duck!!), you are”, looking at my stringy legs!! 

She wrapped the fish in paper and then put it in plastic. My friend eco- protested but we had to catch a rick and the house was far. He shrugged resignedly “huh” I said!

She cut the fillets and i tried coaxing her to give me a piece more but she dint budge, suddenly she was a fortress - then i smiled at her and she laughed her toothless grin- she transformed from the iron lady -  “why bargain with the poor lady"  “poor” "she has more money than you could imagine" and then I added pensively “and you’re not Indian if you don’t bargain!”

This prompt is from the - check for new prompts every day. And, read the posts! 

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