How to Make Friends and Buy Fish

Grub

How to Make Friends and Buy Fish

Illustration: Mandar Mhaskar

“T

he eyes never lie, trust the eyes,” he told me. I didn’t know Raju from Adam, but he had noticed my apprehension, walking like a tourist along Mumbai’s Versova jetty one afternoon hoping to become the kind of person who can effortlessly pick out the best fish.

Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to buy fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. Armed with this philosophy, I had been shadowing men who looked like wholesalers, the ones who could pick the big grouper and the mesmerising giant stingray, and decide with one look that something was off with the fish. In a desperate bid to understand how they judged the freshness of a fish, I walked behind them, eavesdropping.

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