The Fishing Village

The fishing village. We discovered the fishing
village quite by accident. We were wandering around like fools when we came
upon the fishing village. None of us was clear about what to do, so we
wandered around, shooting pictures like idiots.





It
was quite an unremarkable village, indistinguishable from any other fishing
village in India. The only difference lies in the detail.





The boats, the method of fishing, the traditions –
these vary from region to region. Their eating habits; the seasons during which they fish;
the type of fish that they catch and consume – all vary
.





I
think
that fishermen across India are almost always burned black by the sun. In my opinion, they all lead very simple lives - On average. They don’t have much
money, and definitely don’t have much bargaining power with the middlemen. We
often romanticize their lives, but I am convinced that they all lead difficult
lives.





The men go out and catch the fish. They use nets.
The women then dry the fish and prepare them for the market. This seems to
be the way that they have divided the work amongst themselves.





The fishermen don’t go out during the monsoons.
People have given me two reasons for this. One, the water is choppy and it is
unsafe to go out onto the waters. Two, the fish breed during the monsoon rains.
The fisherfolk respect nature. They respect the breeding cycles. This will
change in the future, as commercial pressures increase. For now, they do follow
sustainable practices.





We walked around. I took some blurry images of the
boats. A couple of boats on the shore caught my eyes. I liked their shapes.
Most of my focus remained on the people. There was a young kid, missing some
teeth, who seemed to find his way into my frame more often than I thought he
might. One chap probably considered himself to be a budding film star or model.
He was definitely the local hero, and I am quite sure that all the other young
chaps looked up to him.





Most of the kids were content to have a blast. Some
of the older men had a distinct paunch. It’s strange when you think about it.
Someone who has to do a physically demanding job like going out onto a boat
to fish should not have a paunch.





I would have liked to have stayed out until sunset.
The girls wanted to leave, and I figured that it’s best to leave with them.
With then, I was
assured
of an auto-rickshaw back to the station. Later, I would not find
one!


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