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In: English and Literature

Submitted By celsomac
Words 421
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am a great observer of other people's fishing. I believe that certain national characteristics emerge in fishing and attitudes toward fishing. With this in view I have for several years studied the relationship of fishermen to fish. It is therefore natural that I am drawn to the Mulla-Mootha on a Sunday afternoon in the summer where one may observe Pune fishing at its very best.

The English tourists in Pune rival with the Americans in fishing. However, the former sit on the riverside all day long without catching one single measly trout. They use sophisticated tackles and baits, but catch hardly anything or nothing. They smoke many pipes, reduce all language to a series of grunts, and finally go back home in the evening, almost empty-handed.

The Americans conceive of fishing as more than a sport. They have with them mountains of equipment: reels, lines, rods, and so on. They endow the fish with great intelligence and fabulous strength, so that in defeating it they may seem even more clever and powerful.

The banks of the Mulla-Mootha on a summer Sunday are lovely. The fishing of the Indians there is very different. Each man has his place and does not move from it. Their fishing equipment is simple but invariable. The pole is of bamboo, not costly but often adorned, painted blue or red or sometimes in stripes of many colours. The tackle is as delicate and transparent as a spider's web. On a hook about the size of a pinhead is fixed a tiny bread pellet. The Indians are now ready for the fishing.

Now and then a silly baby fish or a fabulous one may be caught. But most of the time the Indians have a dreamy look. They turn inward on their own thoughts, inspecting themselves and their world in quiet. Because they are fishing they are safe from disturbance. They can rest detached from the pressures of their lives or others' lives. In the West, especially in the States, it takes three weeks to rest from the rigours of a two-week vacation. Not so on the Mulla-Mootha.

I find that I approve very highly of fishing on the riverside in Pune. From the sanctity of this occupation one may emerge refreshed and in control of his own soul. One is not idle. One is fishing. I want to participate in this practice which allows one to be alone with oneself in dignity and peace. It seems a very valuable thing to me

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