Skip to main content

Fishterians In My Family


Have you experienced a ‘Fish High’? What??? A Fish High??? Yeah! A Fish High! Ask my pa-in-law about it. He experiences that often. Just request him to get some fresh fish from the market and he is already on a high. Then the routine that he follows is something that keeps him hooked on his high − gingerly cleaning up the fishes, chopping them into small fine pieces and then rustling up a yummy meen curry for the whole family. UMMM! (My pa-in-law is a handy cook and he doesn't mind exhibiting his culinary skills once in a while.) His fascination for fishes is a given thing in the family, so much so that he won’t mind paying a king's ransom for some quality fishes. He shares a deep, deep bond with his fish friends (and this is no exaggeration). In fact, he can have fishes in any form: curry, fried, pickle, chutney,with coconut, without coconut, so on and so forth.



In case you don't know, every mallu worth his salt is a die-heart fish fan. And if you are a mallu, and that too from the southern part of Kerala like my pa-in-law, the craze for gorging on yummylicious fish curries and fried fishes come inherited. People here won't mind having fishes in the morning, fishes in the noontime and fishes and more fishes when the sun goes down’. My people in Kollam (Quilon) eat, speak and breathe fish, day in and day out. Kollam abounds in backwaters and so do fresh-water fishes. You will find them all year around (except during monsoons). The families here own both small and big boats, and most of them are involved in fish trading. My mamus, in fact, can catch fishes with bare hands, while my hubby’s uncles and cousins are proud owners of life-size-boats used for fishing in high seas.



Apart from fishes what makes Kerala so endearing to the Keralities, and probably to the rest of the world, is the carpet of greenery. Each and every inch of our tharavadu (ancestral home) and surroundings perfectly resonate with the theme, ‘God’s Own Country.’ Tall coconut trees, jack fruit trees, teak wood trees, etc., make it almost impossible for ordinary mortals like us to peak heavenward. Forget about figuring out flying aeroplanes in the sky, even the sight of the sun and moon become a priceless moment for us. Only when the natural light wills it way through blanket of greenery, you’ll come know there’s a sun or moon shining out there.

So, for my pa-in-law relocating to a dry state like Gujarat was more of a nightmare than a dream come true. But his survival instinct kicked in and Ahmedabad has been a home for him for over three decades now.

Kerala though rich in flora and fauna, has the largest number of migrants because of lack of industrialization. It would be better off living in Ahmedabad than going Gulf, he thought. But, though he managed to put Kerala on the back of his mind and decided to stay put in Ahmedabad, thanks to the flourishing mill industry here, he was unable to forget his fish friends. He would get up as early as 5 a.m. and reach the market before anyone does, so that he could lay his hands on freshest fishes. He would go around the city scouting for fresh fish supplying destinations. Fishes such as prom frets, lady fishes, surmai, sardines and so on were on his hit list.

Once he's home from the market he fills the freezer with his priceless treasure. Of the many kgs he has got for the family, he would choose the best of them, clean them, cut them and then pester his dear wife to make a spicy curry and even fry some. His passion for fishes is so infectious. that everyone in the family looks forward to a sumptuous meal flanked by fish curry every Sunday.

Fish weekends are a smiley weekends for my family (a breakaway from the everyday routine of dal, roti and rice); however, it turns out to smelly weekends for our neighbours. Not just our next door neighbours, even those living two floors above us can smell fish being cooked in the closed walls of our homes. The one living above is Swaminarayan. I don’t know how does this family tolerate us? They don’t even use garlic or onion in their food and imagine them smelling fish. Well, we have been living in the same flat for over 8 years now, but our beloved neighbors have never uttered a word against us, let alone complain. I appreciate their generosity. Even the security guard downstairs knows when fish is being prepared in our house. The smell (read: aroma) spreads far and wide. We do our best to put away the so called smell by lighting incense sticks all around the house, and by burning natural mosquito repellants. But all these traditional methods of doing away with the smell doesn't help much. As a last resort, we use room sprays, etc., just to make visitors, who drop in out of the blue, feel comfortable.

Considering the consternation our poor society people suffer(how can I not sympathize with them in their sorrow?) I feel it's high time for companies to introduce sprays that has a far-reaching effect −something that would act as a breath of fresh air for the majority of the non-fish eating community. Nevertheless, I do dread the day, when someone from the society orders my family to stop making fish and do them a social favor. Undoubtedly, that would be the doomsday for my pa-in-law.


This entry is part of "Smelly To Smiley!"contest on www.indiblogger.in.







Comments

  1. :) He reminds me of my dad. He's not much of a cook but he's really enthusiastic about buying fish, identifying them and cleaning them too. And sometimes he just doesn't bother about how expensive certain fishes are. :)

    Oh, I so want some varuthe mathi now ;)

    Good for you that you have such tolerant neighbours. OMG! imagine a malayalee having to give up fish!!! Sho!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh! You are a fan of varuthe mathi. My bro-in-law is a big fan of the same. Somehow, we avoid frying this fish (thanks to the smell), becoz in no time, I fear, our neighbours will come banging at our doors.

    ReplyDelete
  3. LOL...I am glad I am not your neighbor :P Best of luck for the contest. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow Jini, you said it ! I fry fish at all odd hours too. Going to my home for summer vacation, I hog on all different sorts of fish. We don't get all the kinds here :-(

    ReplyDelete
  5. Haha.... njan ee post engane miss cheythu, I dont know :) Malsyam illathe enthu malayali , alle :)
    Well, I am a pure vegetarian, but I do know the importance that meen gets from mallus.
    Hats off to your FiL :)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

If my words are worthy of your valuable views, do share it here. Thanks a ton for stopping by.

Popular posts from this blog

Gujarat to Goa - A Photo Story

Goa - It's 3702 square kms of pure adrenaline, where the sun, the sea and the sand never go on a vacation.
But then, for me and my family, it was the Holy churches, Home-stay concept and the Carpet of greenery turned out to be the ultimate showstoppers. (Talking about churches and greenery, Goa and Kerala could be referred as twin sisters. They are so much alike in terms of food, climate, churches and the greenery around. The moment we entered Goa I became extremely nostalgic.)



We were in Thivim, Goa from January 23, 2017, to January 27, 2017,  and we loved every bit our stay at Ajit Navelkar’s Villa. We had booked his house online through Airbnb, and I tell you, it was worth every penny spent. My younger one liked the house so much so that he nicknamed it as our “Doosra Ghar.” 
By the way, our Doosra Ghar was huge. The living room was spacious and lovely.  From the wooden lamps to the lighting arrangement to the perfectly synced wall frames and the wooden furniture, almost every…

The Story Of A Designer Diya

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 43; the forty-third edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is "LIGHT" (Today, fifteen-years ago, Roshini had first lighted this antique designer diya at her dilapidated shanty. Today, fifteen-years after, Roshini is still excited about this old designer diya; and she’d once again light it up with all the energy and enthusiasm; but no, not at her shabby shanty.)                                         -----------------------------------



The designer diya was old, dull, dim and dinted. It lay there in the corner of the kitchen store room unwanted, uncared for amidst other regular diyas, half-burnt candles, unused rangoli colors, plastic thorans: all tightly tied-up and stored in a thick polythene bag.
Deepawali cleaning was going on in full swing; and for best reasons known to Reshma, my mai…

7 Bloggers Who Were The Wind Beneath My Wings!

A super short post: yes, I had reserved it for the final day.
For various reasons, one being sounding sycophant, I was wary of writing this post. But after reading, “Don’t Think of the Blue Ball” by Malati Bhojwani (as part of readerscosmos review), I knew in my hearts of hearts that what I am doing was right. Yes, the book pumped me up so much!
The premise of the book is quite promising. It talks about gratitude, thankfulness and appreciation for people around you. In fact, the author suggests readers to maintain a Daily Gratitude Journal, wherein they should thank all the people who helped them during the day. (Sadly though, am yet to come up with such a journal.) 

So much for the greatness of the book. Honestly, I always wished to thank many bloggers promptly and profoundly for visiting my small space for these last seven days (well, almost), by replying to their priceless comments, but I admit, I've miserably failed to do so. Time constraints…hope you understand. So, here I a…