As I traveled down south of Pondicherry to a small place, historically known as Porto Novo, the strong smell of fish decay couldn’t keep me away from the intriguing shouts of fish dealers and fish bidders. Porto Novo is a major fishing hub for the state of Tamil Nadu and also exports sea food products. Porto Novo is now known as Parangipettai. Historically, it was a major trading center particularly for the Arabs, especially the Yemenis. Being such an important center it could not save itself from frequent colonization by Portuguese, Dutch and English.
It was almost noon and the sun was blazing on top of my head. I decided to take a small stroll around and observe the people. The first sight itself was incredible! As soon as a boat entered the port a big crowd gathered around it. As I became a part of the crowd, I figured out that a bidding was in progress. It was fascinating to see that a lady was driving the whole bidding process! Fascinating, cause I least expected to see a woman in Tamil Nadu to play such a pivotal role!
Time flew by…..Lady shouting out the latest bidder’s call, people crunching numbers on their calculators, fishermen praying for the calculators to throw big ones for a happy days ending, children playing around with their elders and learning the tricks of the trade, ice crushers churning out flakes in blistering heat and men tanned in the same heat playing around with numb fingers on the crushers…..exhilarating!!
As I went through the pictures, I realized how inter-twined are the lives on this earth…..