By the sea side

Quite an uneventful day, thought Ravi, the fisherman, collecting the left over fishes that he caught just that morning. He had managed to catch much more than he anticipated. The new year’s eve was round the corner, surely he would sell all his stock. He was wrong. The sale had increased but so had the sellers. This was a new trend. Every time an increase in sale was forecasted, the fishermen from around Mandarmoni would migrate in the hope of earning a little extra. The worst victim of this were fishermen like Ravi who worked all year to build a customer base, only to lose them to these immigrants.

As he walked home, his fishing net and today’s stock swaying with his gait, he could picture his children’s face. Fish for dinner, yet again. Choti and chamcham never fussed about food. They knew how hard their father worked to fill their stomach. But it was the close of this year! No. He will not disappoint his wife and children again. Today’s collection was a meager 400 rupees. Apart from this he had in his pocket 500 bucks that he had managed to save to get a pair of shoes for himself this new year. The winter was at its peak and his feat would freeze in the cold without any shoes to cover his toes. It was decided, today he’ll spend everything he had.

Clutching the money in his hand, Ravi sped towards the only good restaurant in town. The one where all the tourists would gather to eat. Hesitating a little, Ravi sat down in one of the chairs. It was curious how a man with such poor clothing and ordinary looks garnered so many stares and gossip from people with such exquisite clothing and extraordinary looks. A menu was brought before him. The waiter wouldn’t wait on him. It was new years, rich people got generous around this time. But what can one expect from a fisherman?

One plate chicken chilli, Chamcham’s favourite; one plate kadhai chicken, choti’s favourite.
 “What will you have for desserts, sir?”
 “Halwa, gazar Halwa”. For his wife.
 Within 15 minutes he could smell the food he had ordered to be packed. A total of 1500 rupees.

After a lot of pleading and begging, Ravi managed to convince the owner that he will make the payment tomorrow. The owner agreed, on the condition that he will have to pay 50 rupees extra. The poor man thanked the monopolist and rushed home, a feeling of utmost pleasure filling him from head to toe.

His wife opened the door, smiling from end to end. 
 “My dear, I have got food from Aahar. For you and the kids!”
 “Oh”, she exclaimed, her smile fading just a little. 
 And then it stuck him. The delicious smell of steaming hot mutton curry, his favourite, had filled the entire house. 
 “ My dear husband, chamcham and choti had saved some money for the eve. I have prepared all the dishes you love. Kheer too, look!”

The family, which yesterday could not manage food for all the 4 members, now had food for 8.

The kids grabbed the containers, their father was holding and stuffed their mouth with it. The chilli chicken and kadhai chicken was over in minutes. 
 When Ravi tasted his mutton curry, the tears he had held back all this time, rolled down his cheek. 
 He held his wife and cried.

That night, the family had exhausted all it savings. New year would start with no money and plenty of happy memories worth all the money this world could offer. Quite an uneventful day, thought Ravi, the fisherman, collecting the left over fishes that he caught just that morning. He had managed to catch much more than he anticipated. The new year’s eve was round the corner, surely he would sell all his stock. He was wrong. The sale had increased but so had the sellers. This was a new trend. Every time an increase in sale was forecasted, the fishermen from around Mandarmoni would migrate in the hope of earning a little extra. The worst victim of this were fishermen like Ravi who worked all year to build a customer base, only to lose them to these immigrants.

As he walked home, his fishing net and today’s stock swaying with his gait, he could picture his children’s face. Fish for dinner, yet again. Choti and chamcham never fussed about food. They knew how hard their father worked to fill their stomach. But it was the close of this year! No. He will not disappoint his wife and children again. Today’s collection was a meager 400 rupees. Apart from this he had in his pocket 500 bucks that he had managed to save to get a pair of shoes for himself this new year. The winter was at its peak and his feat would freeze in the cold without any shoes to cover his toes. It was decided, today he’ll spend everything he had.

Clutching the money in his hand, Ravi sped towards the only good restaurant in town. The one where all the tourists would gather to eat. Hesitating a little, Ravi sat down in one of the chairs. It was curious how a man with such poor clothing and ordinary looks garnered so many stares and gossip from people with such exquisite clothing and extraordinary looks. A menu was brought before him. The waiter wouldn’t wait on him. It was new years, rich people got generous around this time. But what can one expect from a fisherman?

One plate chicken chilli, Chamcham’s favourite; one plate kadhai chicken, choti’s favourite.
 “What will you have for desserts, sir?”
 “Halwa, gazar Halwa”. For his wife.
 Within 15 minutes he could smell the food he had ordered to be packed. A total of 1500 rupees.

After a lot of pleading and begging, Ravi managed to convince the owner that he will make the payment tomorrow. The owner agreed, on the condition that he will have to pay 50 rupees extra. The poor man thanked the monopolist and rushed home, a feeling of utmost pleasure filling him from head to toe.

His wife opened the door, smiling from end to end. 
 “My dear, I have got food from Aahar. For you and the kids!”
 “Oh”, she exclaimed, her smile fading just a little. 
 And then it stuck him. The delicious smell of steaming hot mutton curry, his favourite, had filled the entire house. 
 “ My dear husband, chamcham and choti had saved some money for the eve. I have prepared all the dishes you love. Kheer too, look!”

The family, which yesterday could not manage food for all the 4 members, now had food for 8.

The kids grabbed the containers, their father was holding and stuffed their mouth with it. The chilli chicken and kadhai chicken was over in minutes. 
 When Ravi tasted his mutton curry, the tears he had held back all this time, rolled down his cheek. 
 He held his wife and cried.

That night, the family had exhausted all it savings. New year would start with no money and plenty of happy memories worth all the money this world could offer. That night they were the richest people in the world with no money in their pockets.

Like what you read? Give Aishwarya Chaurasia a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.