"You can a wait a whole day with a fishing line in water and catch nothing," Subu told me. He was my youngest uncle's friend and a fisherman.
It was a Sunday and everyone at home was busy with chores. I thought of walking to the nearest lake and enjoying the evening breeze. Summers are hot in Odisha and the large lake in the centre of the city was where people flocked in the evenings. I wanted to have few peaceful minutes to myself when I found Subu fishing at a distance. Thinking it was better to sit with him and talk, I had walked to the edge of the lake far form the crowds. He knew me as he often visited Uncle. After the initial pleasantries he asked me to sit beside him.He spoke little and was focussed on the fishing line. It was only when I started displaying my impatience that he blurted out the sentence.
I understood and hushed up as he spoke and began keenly listening to him.
"Our net is broken and needs to be mended.So I have no choice right now but to use this fishing line. Have been here since late afternoon," he said. I nodded.
"Maybe I will not find much today except these dozen or so small fishes which would weight half a kilo at best. Not good for the market but sure we will not go hungry tonight. I knew there were big carps around here, till now no luck though. But I know you are a lucky person. Maybe you will help me," he said.
"I am scared of water. And I do not know fishing," I replied.
"Well when a fish comes by we have to catch it by pulling the line, you will learn," he said, handing out a second fishing rod to me.
It was about half an hour more when I felt a tug in my rod and screamed as I tried to pull the fish up. I never had an experience and the fishing rod was bending.
"Pull up, pull up," he said as his own line began to wobble.
In a minutes he had pulled his line up and there was a huge carp which he began to remove from the hook.
I looked at him and imitated his action.
However in the next minute I knew I was splashing in the water. The fishing line and the fish had fallen on the ground and I had fallen into the water. It was not deep but it was scary.
He rushed to my rescue and pulled me out, I was dirty and dripping wet.
"See you did it," he said, as he pointed out to the carp in my fishing line and continued," you can take it, It is your catch".
I felt a bit amused. But knew I would be scolded for falling in water. So I hit upon an idea.
"I can take all these small fishes.You keep the big one. I can tell them I caught a fish. And you gave me some to take with me. But do not tell I fell into the water. No one will believe I caught this big fish, anyway," I said.
He nodded and patted me on my back as I walked back home.
"Next time when you come here bring an extra pair of dress," he quipped.
We both broke into a giggle.