Celebrating Bandra as the Locals do

Waiting and Watching

If you live in Bombay it's hard to escape Bandra, this suburb by the sea in this glorious city reels you in, seducing you with her music, culture, people and her genuine all round trademark Bandraesque attitude to life in general. Every November, Bandra plays host to the "Celebrate Bandra" festival -its aim is to do just that 'Celebrate' this city suburb with a galaxy of events ranging from theatre to food to music to sports.
This Sunday I decided to celebrate Bandra as the locals do, so I took my camera along (as usual) to an event which is not quite on the schedule of the Bandra festival but should be - I went fishing.
Tide Fishing is a weekly affair on the rocky beach that forms the outer rim of Bandra's Carter Road.

Celebrating Bandra Life; My fishing buddy Kishore
[Kishore - my most gracious guide]

Kishore, my guide for the evening explains tide fishing to me - swishing his fishing net into the air he tells me "we first set up a perimeter of rocks so as to form small lagoons of water when the tide is low ". Pulling the net back his forehead cringes as he seems to come out empty but he throws the net back in again for the second time and looks at me and continues "we then swim in here when the tide is high and set up the nets ". His facial expression changes to a smile as he pulls back his net this time laden with a fruitful catch of silver dangling fish with pearl like eyes. "See", he tell me as he shows me his catch gleefully " when the tide is low again this is the result - fish and a lot of them". Kishore is one Bandra's invisible residents, this 13 year old boy is an economic migrant from Gujarat, who came to Bombay a few years ago in search for a better future. He and his family of 6 live in a shack by the Arabian Sea near Khar Danda. You might often see him outside the pan-wallah near the snazzy Café - Crêpe Station - cajoling passerbys into buying him a 'dairy milk' [a Cadbury chocolate], but today he is a fisher boy.

Netting it in

Fish

Swish

As the crows fly

It is fun therapy observing people doing what seems to them as fairly routine but to you fairly exotic This Sunday evening was definitely one such occasion . The cool sea breeze brushing against your brow and the cold sea waters running up to your knees, slippery green moss, sharp barnacle filled rocks - it definitely didn't feel like anywhere near an agglomerated mass of civilization that is Bombay but at the same time it was. Fishing definitely has a Darwinian "survival of the fittest" ring to it, as the tide retreats all you have is pools filled with hundreds upon hundreds of fish- all fighting to live. There comes man - catching them left, right and centre. The fishing is subsistent, the kohlis [fisher folk] let the smaller fish back into the sea and throw the dead fish to the birds.

A Frest Catch

Kishore shows me some biodiversity
[Kishore shows me some biodiversity.]

Eel
[An eel; one of the many casualties]

Subsistent it might be but it was fruitful .......by the end of the day they left with a crate full of fish and me with a flash card full of photos. Till next Sunday then when the nets will be up again and it would be yet another day for yet another fresh catch.




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20 comments:

bluegreenflysplat said...

you should come out to versova sometime... would be glad to show you around, bigger village, madder, drier fish, and smells so nice too.

Ash said...

Loved the photos of the fishing nets ! Do you do this as a hobby ? I hope not, cos you should be making a living off this :)

Mridula said...

Lovely photographs and you had such a lovely host too! And it also reminds it has been ages since I went anywhere. But come December and too will get some opportunity to use my camera.

Melody said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Melody said...

I just wrote the whole thingie & it went away whoosh...

Anyway just dropped in to say I'm back from Pune - couldn't see the cemetry that you took pics of last time. Will try again.

In the meanwhile your pics of Bandra are breath-taking as usual!!!

TC!

Sakshi said...

Really good pictures....

aparna said...

i echo phal.

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

Lovely pictures and a wonderful write up too. Was going through your archives - loved the picture of the cycle against the red wall.

Akshay said...

bluegreenflysplat - I would take at offer up some time for sure. Enjoy your trip to Lahore will you even though its sans camera - memories develop better in the mind then on film.

ash - thanks for the many kinds words on Desipundit. Photography is very much a hobby, I don't think I'm quiet good enough yet to do it fulltime but I would love to do so all the same.

mridula - I've realized that you don't always have to leave town to have a satisfying travel experience. I never be realized that they fished like this near my house. Just take walk around Bangalore I'm sure you'll fine something interesting.

melody - Blogger comment systems are crazey at times, but I did recieve your earlier comment. Last time I checked they're was some renovation going at the Khadki War Cemetary, it was probably best that you couldn't make it. Thanks, you're from Bandra ain't you ? enjoying the Bandra Festival ?

Sakshi - Thanks

Aparna - I echo my reply to Phal then

the rambling of a shoe fiend - thanks, yeah the cycle against the red wall, I think it's the Khotachiwadi post. Khotatachiwadi is definitely one of Bombay's hidden wonders - you should give it a visit if you're ever in the city.

Ash said...

Well, you know what they say about persistence. Keep clicking away, and someone is bound to recognize and acknowledge your talent.

I like your particular style of linking photographs with the unique little details of cities - specially my city !

And it is an absolute pleasure to link your posts on desipundit, and introduce your work to others. I usually end up linking almost all your post - its hard to resist their charms :) So anyway, if you're ever 'discovered' through Desipundit, remember I get a cut ! :D

K said...

Lovely post! When did you do this?

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

I lived in Bombay for 2 and a half years before moving to London. And I must say I loved every minute I was in that city. Some of my Goan friends took me to Khotachiwadi and this really old ramshackle restaurant... very famous... but I can't remember it's name for the life of me :(

Geetanjali said...

You shud visit Versova fisher's village sometime - they even take you across to Madh in their jetty's...it's quite fun! :-)

Loved that biodiversity pic - last one made me feel sick, but then I'm not a fish-lover...

Viewer said...

Beautiful pics esp the one where birds are trying to pick the fish from the net....
Well I used to wonder wht all the ads in newspapaer mean abt celebrate bandra ... thanks for posting the info .. now i know :)

Neha said...

first time I am reading your blogs, and very nice pictures! Looking at the pics, makes me want to experience it also.

Anonymous said...

first time I am reading your blogs, and very nice pictures! Looking at the pics, makes me want to experience it also.

Anonymous said...

thasnk akshay...great pics!

Sigbhu said...

I really loved your blog; the photography was excellent, especially the one of the hands--that was my favorite. it really gives a good feel of the place! can't wait to do soemthing like that! look at some of my photos at sigbhuphoto.blogspot.com

Anamika said...

Well written and excellent photographs. Stumbled across this by chance, and will certainly be coming back!

Anamika said...

And, just realised that this post is almost 2 years old. Why did you stop?