Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Of fishes that inspire poetry...

I have lived. If a rogue asteroid decided to obliterate all life on this planet in roughly the next hour, I won’t care. If I am told, at this happy juncture that my eating habits merit me a place in the sumo ring, I will smile, maybe do that little yokozuna maneuver and won't ever bother to make my protest known about dressing (or non-dressing) for the occasion. Definitely won’t give a sermon about the merits of carrying saturated fat around in my body, as I am known to do usually...”Put us both in Antarctica, who do you think shall survive longer on default??” Everything you say to me now shall be wind over my ears...why, you ask? Because I just dug into the most succulent, the spiciest, god-forsaken piece of miracle ever branded as a 'fish fry'. Take a bow Mangalore, for frying fish took a turn for the better.

Just under an hour back, me and two of my friends, went into this little off the way restaurant in the old port side of Mangalore called "Hotel Narayan", a small quaint place, so close to the Old port that you could smell the sea, with their own boats to catch the best that the Arabian Sea has to offer. Alongside some plain boiled rice, an in-descript curry and some spiced up yogurt, we had probably the best version of fried Seer fish E-V-E-R ('Anjal' is what they call this fish in the local Tulu dialect, seems just right) laced with a generous helping of the yummy coating spices. Digging a succulent piece out of this fat cross section of what seemed like a monster fish; I almost repented over the decision of two years ago when in a fit of self enlightenment I had decided to become a Vegan. A delish plate of boiled egg noodles broke my resolve then (sweet, sweet Eggs, I owe it to you). I enjoyed exploring the wonders that rose in my mouth as I went piece upon irresistible piece of this cooked masterpiece. I could literally see in my mind's eye the voyages that this fish might have undertaken, the waters of the world in which it had swam in, gotten fat in, the wonders it had seen and the perils it had avoided. All that adventure to finally land on my plate…life ain't fair fishy, good for me :). Ah...this culinary delight was more than a tasty meal, it was like an intimate conversation with an old friend. Piece by loving piece we explored, the deliciousness of life, its unpredictability and its tasty rewards.

Thus, on my way back I envisioned a time when all Anjal would seem like, taste like, be cooked like this pseudo whale that we had just consumed. What Anjal we usually eat seem like they have been tortured before being set on the plate. Nah...I want my fish to seem this happy, freshly caught, with people who admire the source of their livelihood and rejoice in what they cook and so lovingly serve. Time to preserve the bounty of our oceans, for years from now; I still plan to eat Anjal the "hotel Narayan" way.

The taste mania is wearing out for now...yet the light shall remain, a next trip is due soon. About my earlier comment....let that earth shattering asteroid now wait a while, say till 2012!! :)

Food for food's sake...