Wednesday, May 29, 2019

100 Rays Of Son - 17

And Rayyan Buys A Fish

When in Byndoor, fish was very important part of our diet. Even though initially we were very reluctant to eat fish very often, slowly we started to settle down with whatever was easily available in the coastal town. When Rayyan had got used to shopping for me and also became quite good at it, I dared to send him to the fish market to buy some good fish for our lunch. Initially he was reluctant but then agreed to go and buy some good fish for me.
He was gone for quite some time while I was waiting eagerly to see what fish Rayyan will bring for me to cook that day. When he walked back in with a very heavy bag which contained a big fish, my chest swelled with pride. All I paid him was just 50 rupees and this fish inside the bag looked like something worth 300 rupees. I felt that he had mastered the skill of bargaining and purchasing products in India in just 2 years. As I stood there with stretched hands like Anil Kapoor in Lamhe to receive the fish, Rayyan like Sridevi rushed way past me to the backyard. Immediately a big tub was filled with water and the fish let inside it. To my surprise, this fish was still alive and it was the first time in my life that I had seen a fish like it. Its fins looked exactly like the soft antlers of an antelope and it was quite big; may be around 2 feet or more. In a while it started moving around and it blew up a sprout of water from its head as well. I jumped in fear and was so scared to go near it. Then Rayyan started narrating his experience in the market that day. “Maa, as I entered the fish market, I was so sad to see so many dead fishes being bargained over and sold. I wonder how people sell things which they haven’t owned in the first place. Weren’t those fish born and grew up in the water on their own? Yet they are caught, killed and immediately become someone’s property to be sold. I was really heartbroken with the sight. Nearly a hundred prawn lives are taken to make one delicious dish. Then I saw this fish which was alive and thought at least let me save this one. So I asked for the price, and fish lady offered it to me for 15 rupees as no one was buying it. What shall we do with it now?”
I was like usual holding on to my jaw to stop it from falling down to the floor. Why, for God’s sake did I send this weird child to the fish market? What was I thinking? What was I going to do with this Dragon like fish which was gaining more strength with each passing moment? When I was thinking, Rayyan filled a tank with water from our well and let the fish in it. It was a huge cement tank and was enough for the fish to swim in. But then we lived in a joint family and the other people in our family would never allow this fish to live there. I knew this was a marine fish or I felt sure that it was which was not at all based on my knowledge but I told Rayyan in a very sure tone, “Rayyan this is a sea fish and we cannot keep it in water of the well. We have to send it back to sea water before it starts suffering”. I half believed what I said, but appeared as though I believed it completely. Now Rayyan did not know what to do and looked at the fish pitifully. So finally, I decided to call an auto driver who we usually hired who was very helpful person, especially to do odd jobs like this, and told him to let this fish in sea. After laughing for nearly 10-15 minutes, he asked whether we really wanted to do this. I said, “Yes”. We poured some water in a large plastic bag, put the fish in it and sent it away. Over all the expenditure was 165 rupees to bring the fish from the market and send it back to sea; including the auto fare.  That was the only time I sent Rayyan to buy fish from Market and he bought a fish. Somehow, for few months after the incident I could not even bring myself to cook or eat fish.

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