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Sunday, 14 August 2011

Of Koloa and Sassoon Docks: His World and Mine

This piece is currently "checked out" but here's a teaser

2011, Hawaii, USA

Ranbir and I are at the Koloa fish market in Kauai. Sid is at a convention here and R and I have tagged (happily) along. We are alone during the day while Sid is at work, and we've been busy exploring, walking around everywhere (or dangling from the baby carrier, in Ranbir’s case), taking in the raw beauty of this pristine island. 

Today is fish market day for us. We discover it by accident really. We’ve gotten up early, Ranbir and I, had our long walk on the beach and then made our way down the Koa-tree lined path to the main town for a cup of coffee. This is where we notice the signs for the ‘Wednesday Fish Market’ – they are handmade signs, oil painted letters on cardboard, glued on various surfaces. Old school! Painted on each sign is a bright green fist, its index finger pointed (presumably) in the direction of the fish market. A lot of people seem to be following the green index finger. So we follow it too.

Everything is so clean here. And so organised. Hundreds of varieties of just-caught fish, fresh from the Pacific, are lying whole, in neat rows over crushed ice. Cleaned and filleted variants lie on shaved ice behind glass counters, carefully labeled, their prices clearly marked. You ask for whatever you want, in any quantity you want. Gloved hands box it all up neatly into Styrofoam cartons, cover it with cling film, weigh and price it for you. It's all spotlessly clean. No muck, no mess, no smell.

1983, Bombay, India.

I am five years old...

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