F – Fishy Tales #AtoZChallenge

Last Sunday I visited a fish market after very long time. It was refreshing in many ways. While malls, e-stores are convenient, I enjoy buying certain things myself and Fish is one of them. Observing my grandmother and then my mother I have learnt buying a fish is an art and bargaining is the masters! I am fairly good at art and fail in masters.

In my childhood we bought fish at the doorsteps. Our regular firsherwomen would visit us at a particular time. During my primary schooling, it would be the time for my school bus to arrive. The sight of my trying to jump over the huge fish basket was common. Granny would be checking the fish and bargaining with one eye on me to see if I am going down the staircase without falling. On some days I would get a chance to watch this routine process, try and imitate my grandmother. My cheeks would grin with a smile when the fisherwomen slipped couple of more pieces of prawns, Bombay duck extra to please me.

Over years we developed a different bond with fisherwomen. I would be eager to wave them out if I see them around in the area. Granny also knew what kind of fish to buy from which lady. Each of them had a unique way of selling fish. Many years later when I attended wedding of one of the fisherwoman’s grandson, I realized what this bonding was. The smile on her face on seeing us at the wedding said it all, likewise for us!

It was my mother who taught me to buy fish from a market. A few years later she started buying fish. Again she had her set rules and preferences. Our fish destination was the famous City Light market at Matunga, it remains so.  This market is packed with people and a variety of fresh catch.

My mother would take a direct bus from office, buy fish and come in time to cook it for dinner. Her shopping bag introduced me to huge pieces of surmai, king size prawns and fatty pomfret. On weekends I started accompanying her and was learning other side of household shopping. Buying other necessary items, other than fish. How to make effective use of this single visit. Round it off with a spicy pani puri !

And what I called the Masters – bargaining I observe from my father. After every visit to the fish market he asks me – what price did she quote, how much did u bargain for? Then I get advice on how should I bargain, what should I quote.. something I am yet to learn.

How can I trade these fishy tales for an online delivery? Will you? I rather enjoy my fish and the happiness!

5 Marathi children songs that bring me smile!

A few days back I noticed a young mother’s Tweet about rapping Sassa Sassa Kapus Kasa to her twins. Her Tweet made me nostalgic and next day I woke up humming Asava Sundar Chocolate Cha Bangla. I wondered when was the last time I heard someone humming Marathi children songs… couldn’t recollect.

This weekend we eagerly went to watch second part of Bhai – a biopic on Maharashtra’s favourite writer, director, orator Pu La Deshpande. Bhai is a visual treat for all those who have read, watched, and heard Pu La Deshpande. The simple, emotional and beautiful rendition of Nach Re Mora Ambyachay Vanaat Naach again took me back to my childhood. After almost two decades I still enjoyed this song, mind going back to the time I use to listen to it as a young girl.

A young girl growing up in early 80s I was blissfully unaware about whom the writer, composer or singer was. For me, Naach Re Mora and some of other children songs were a part of my childhood. They bring memories of my aatya feeding me food while reciting Chandoba Chandoba Laplas Ka, me singing Nach Re Mora while playing on the swing… Somethings are so intrinsic to your upbringing that you do not want to associate them with anything else.. Like while watching Bhai I realized that song is written by GaDiMa and composed by Pu La Deshpande..

That evening I found myself searching for these songs on YouTube and reliving this childhood magic. Sharing with you my childhood favourites –

Asava Sundar Chocolate Cha Bangla: I imagined this bunglow while listening to this song. Chocolate chya banglyala toffee cha daar… I perceived this bunglow made of all chocolates from Nanu Mama’s shop, where we usually use to buy toffees and biscuits from. No wonder chocolate is my weakness!

Naach Re Mora: I think this was my all time favourite. I had never seen a real peacock, untill a few years back. My village tales were made of mango trees and rain. This song brought peacock’s picture in our school textbooks live to me. Maybe my liking for rains was subconsciously ingrained by this song?

Zuk Zuk Zuk Agingaadi: I have a funny memory of this song. My father use to take Mumbai local for work. All the stories of my village were related to ST bus or road travel. So I use to think who goes to a village by train?  One day I asked my Aaji, she said some people travel to village by train. The other train travel I associated was with Pune, as visiting Pune meant going by Deccan Queen. Somehow I associated the train in this song with this.. Again I had never visited Pune till then.

Chandoba Chandoba Bhaglas Kaa: Our house had big wooden window overlooking a tall tree. Watching the moon over this tree is one of my distinct childhood memories. As a toddler, my aatya use to make me sit near this window to feed. This song was her way of making me eat.

Gori Gori Pan Phulsakhi Chan, Dada Mala Ek Vahini Aan: I liked the rhythm of this song. I imagined a Vahini been pampered and loved. I got this love from my family in reality. I liked the hot chapattis that Aai prepared. This song refers to Poli and Shikran. I was delighted that Aai’s chapattis are mentioned in the song!

What children songs did you grow-up listening to?