Wednesday, August 29, 2012



            I am working on an expert suggestion to empathize with a fish by looking into its eyes before it becomes the victim of my atrocious appetite. Once in the middle of the fish market, the task of hand-picking one out of the many varieties is confusing and thus difficult. I have very little knowledge about fish and none whatsoever about the local names of its types. I confess that I know only a few names in my mother tongue!
Today’s venture proved a little bit more exacting because the task was to find a big-eyed fish! After a cursory glance in every direction, I pointed my index finger at an array of sleek flattened fish flashing a silvery body, wet with thawed ice, and with a small head bearing a protruded lower jaw like a bull dog. The eyes seemed bigger than the other species. So I decided to buy that. But before I told the fish-monger to chop, weigh and pack 300 gms, I looked into the right eye of my dead prey! It was circular with an inner black dot and looked no different from the eye of a living fish because it was constantly staring at me! The fixed look not once appeared bereft of life!
I also bought prawns to add variety to my buy!
            Once at home, I became curious to know names of fish types found in India and after an hour with Google I believed I was fairly educated. Images of Mackerels, Carps, Catfish, Sardines, King Fish and Lady Fish appeared familiar. They escaped being my choice today. The protagonist of my story was probably a Herring! As I looked into the eye of its fellow in an enlarged JPEG image, it appeared like a target every time! Arjun too had famously hit a fish in the eye!

            I made the final nod of acceptance about the name of my buy and I recalled the term “herring-bone pattern”! It made me greedily imagine a pile of fish bones! I cooked the pieces of the Herring and also the less mentioned prawns and ate a sumptuous meal.

Dave Matthews' Big-eyed Fish:



Dr.Mayurakshi said...

Gaurav Da, I'm a vegetarian who (forced by parents) have recently started including only Rohu fish and prawns in the diet. And that keeps my parents satisfied for the time being. So, I'm at sea too (pun intended) when it comes to identifying fish. But two weeks ago I had read Jules Verne's 'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea' and the man lists every damn fish in the world! Seriously. It should be a fish buyers manual! Did you know swordfish were a henpecked bunch? That's the kind of weird trivia the man gives apart from Nautilus's journey. Read it if you haven't done so already and humour the fishherman with such trivia :)

Gaurav Das said...

Yes Mayurakshi,the book is an interesting read. I was very much fascinated by Captain Nemo in school days and imagined him to be huge until I saw Nasseruddin Shah! ;)