Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fishermen at work

It has been over a year since I was in Tharangambadi (read my earlier posts here) but I still have some great memories of the trip. 

Dansborg Fort with the fishing boats on the beach

One of my most persistent memories was of the fisher-folk who lived along the beach. In the early hours of the morning they would shove off their boats and return sometime mid-morning with whatever they had caught. The fish was then taken to the larger market towns like Karaikal where it would fetch a better price. 

I wonder what their lives must be like. Dependent on the benevolence of the sea, each day is uncertain. One day the sea can offer up a fabulous catch while another day a not so good one or maybe the weather will play spoil sport. Incidentally, this stretch of the coast was the main affected area in the 2004 tsunami. 

Old brick walls eroded by the sea or damaged
in the tsunami or maybe both
As I stood watching, these hardworking fisherfolk went about their work with single-minded focus. They had to make sure the fish reached the markets as soon as possible, especially on a warm, sunny day. They cheerfully answered my questions but conversing wasn't easy because of the language. In a couple of hours all the fish had been unloaded, sorted and carted away. Just a few men remained behind, tidying the nets for the next day's trip out. 

A closer view of the boats near the fort

Unloading the catch (of fish) from the boat

Fish all tangled up, waiting to be sorted
Bringing the boat in

Fishermen resting and mending the nets
in readiness for the next trip

My sojourn in Tranquebar was short but sweet. The tranquil sea and the soporific effect of waves washing against the shore might have enticed me to stay on longer. 

Besides the usual sight seeing, it's the little things like watching life go by, listening to the sounds of nature, the physical journey by road or train (by air, not so much!) which makes travelling so much more interesting and enriching. Don't you think?

Nature taking back its lost ground


  1. I like such live captures!
    Great shots all.

    1. Thanks, Indrani. It was enlightening to see the fishermen go about their work with such focus.