Lobsters, Prawns and a Fishy Festival

Today I had an unexpected free morning so I decided to go down to the fish market at Grant Road to get fresh lobster and prawn for my family lunch tomorrow. Saturday is not exactly the best day for the market but since I wanted to be sure that I did get the ingredients I wanted, I had to make sure that I had a day up my sleeve at best. So off I went at around 8.30 and found a sleepy looking market with most of the stalls empty. Lata, herself ,was setting up for the day and was keen on making the first sale of the day or “boni/bhavani”. She had a huge basket of prawn which she assured me were fresher than fresh and insisted that I buy some . They were quite pricey but then she told me that the waters were too cold and the fish were not biting so I was lucky to be able to get any fish at all! After the customary haggling which I’m simply no good at, we agreed on a price and quantity and she set about cleaning them while I chose the lobster.

The lobster or crayfish as they are more correctly known were also hard to come buy. Infact PESCA which normally supplies good fish, have been out of lobster for quite a while. Once again Lata told me that lobster were even more difficult to source so I wonder how hotels and restaurants serve them so effortlessly.

While she was cleaning the lobster, I chatted her up a bit and she told me that her knees were aching from all the work she’s done the past 64 years. She claims she started working in the fish trade since she was 13. That was a long time working I thought, especially one which involves a lot of hard work. Fisherwomen like all tradesmen get up early in the morning to get the first and best catch, spend the better part of the morning in the market and go home to spend another 3-4 hours in the kitchen. They also have time to raise families and Lata told me very proudly that her sons were into service. No smelly fish trade for them.

When I complained about the rising fish prices, she told me that I should stop grumbling and just enjoy eating while I could : “As long as you have the means and the capacity to eat, enjoy” . Besides, she said lobsters were better than the best medicine and are therapeutic even for patients of TB and cancer!  I wonder at the truth of this statement but was ready to embrace her suggestion of eating while I could and felt less guilty about buying the lobster. One good tip she gave me was the upcoming festival in her village of Versova. From the 24th-26th January, the village of Versova would be transformed into one big Fish Party and all that I needed was a deep wallet and a  large stomach to enjoy the fruits of the sea.

So all you fish aficionados what are you waiting for? Head out to Versova for a genuine fish festival.


Author: Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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