Vinaya Joseph

(05/10/1979 / Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh)

Sardine (A fishy affair)


I see mumma,
Inside her wooden kitchen,
Cleaning fish,
Being born close,
To the seas and the sands,
I trust her hands,
She knows the knack of doing it,
And I sit next to her,
On the blue stool,
In the kitchen,
Admiring her skills

With a knife,
She deftly goes about removing,
The lateral fins, tails and gills
Taking out the intestine
And dirt from the stomach,
All the phytoplankton,
That the little fishy had gobbled up,
Throws it out neatly,
Thereafter descaling
With a swiftness
That I could admire
And aspire to inherit
One day, may be…

I see my fishy lie there bare,
My lovely sardine,
With her sad little round eyes,
Fresh from the sea,
Devoid of her silver sheen,
Washed and cleaned,
Under the running tap water
Waiting for her turn
Ready to be tossed in fire
May be in the pan,
May be in mumma's mud urn…

Some say pearl spots are the best,
I feel they are ‘pricey' and a ‘mess',
Sardines top my list,
For, undoubtedly, you are the best,
Low-priced and rich in Omega-3 fatty acid
Nothing can beat you,
None can compete with you,
A plate of rice,
Would perfectly
Compliment you
Some days
Mumma fries you,
With a pinch of salt, chili and turmeric,
While some days
She steams you
With chili and garlic
While some days
She adds tomatoes
While some days
She simmers you in coconut milk,
What amazes me,
Is the way you ooze out oil,
Anyways you are mine,
And always a delight

Easy-to-cook
Easy-to-munch
D on't have to worry
About the bones,
As they are fine to eat,
You are definitely a treat,
Hard to resist and beat!

Submitted: Sunday, August 17, 2014
Edited: Sunday, August 17, 2014

Topic(s): nature


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Poet's Notes about The Poem

With vegetable prices touching the sky and state declaring the end of 47-day trawling ban and the local fishermen here in Vaduthala having a good catch...It is fish, fish and more of fish at home…Having been brought up in the north and north east, I am not a fish person per se like my parents but I am fond of sardines. So a few lines dedicated to sardines as I saw mother cooking it today…

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