Tuesday, April 7, 2015

'F' is for Fish! A to Z Challenge Day 6.

As a true-blooded Bengali, how can F be anything but Fish!? We eat all kinds of fish, tiny ones, big ones, medium sized ones, bony ones, boneless ones and we do not spare the head or the tail either!

Having said that, I must admit, I am not a big fish eater.

Hence, even after I got married, I couldn't cook fish to save my life. I had some idea about the basics of how it is cooked but the actual deed was done by the maid.
Then one day my father-in-law was dropping by for lunch. He wanted something light, like fish curry. 'Macher jhol'  as we know it, is a very light, mildly spiced fish curry. No problem.
Except that the maid was not there.
So what? I thought. I'll do it, big deal!
So I got the fish, fried it with salt and turmeric and made the gravy with cumin and ginger. Just the way it is done.
I was pleased as punch.
Later, much later, when we were alone my husband told me that that was the worst fish curry he had ever tasted! The fish hadn't been fried properly and hence smelled fishy and the gravy was too watery and had too little salt!
"But Baba never said anything, he ate it quite happily!" I argued.
And stopped.
Fathers are like that aren't they?
I remember when I was at school we had learnt to make 'aloo dum' which is a spicy Indian potato dish. I tried it out at home and served it at the dining table. My dad had it first and said it was lovely. Every one else had so much to say: not enough salt, too much tamarind.... Etc etc. Dad never complained. When I was learning how to make chapatis my rolling pin churned out long misshapen rotis. Everyone laughed at me. My father told me, "well, everyone can make round rotis, you can make the funny shapes!" Now I make perfectly round rotis and wish there was some one to make misshapen ones for!
For both my fathers are now gone.
And there's no one to love me (or my cooking) that way any more.
I guess F is for fish. But F is also for a father's love that turns up unexpectedly and gives solace.


  1. This is such a lovely post, Ipsy. As you said it - so much more than 'Fish'.

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  3. I've always been a seafood girl. Fathers just wanna see their children happy!

  4. What an absolutely beautiful story! Unconditional love...amazing!

    Loved it!

  5. So true. Fathers are the best. I do like fish, but hate the fishy smell that always seems to permeate my house whenever I fix it. If you have time you should stop by and check out my F Post.

  6. Beautiful story.

    John Holton
    Blogging from A to Z 2015 Cohost
    The Sound of One Hand Typing