Once upon a time, in a land far far away, there lived a fish called Big Fish.
Now Big Fish was a really big fish. So big in fact that no one could catch him, much less fillet and serve him on a platter with fries.
Over the years, Big Fish travelled far and wide, battling many anglers and fishermen and women, always triumphing, always swimming away to fight another day, his reputation bigger and better than before.
Then, of course, Big Fish arrived in the sweet water rivers in eastern India. And before the day had passed, Big Fish found himself, caught, trussed, iced and on display at Shehnaz Fish Center in Aundh, Pune.
How? How did that happen, one might well ask. Well, it was quite easy you see. Big Fish was a Kaatla fish. And Kaatla fish are a delicacy for Bengalis, specially the kind who like eating fish but not necessarily the Ilish kind.
And so, there I was sitting on the Shehnaz Fish Center website and click! I had a nice fat sweet river-water Kaatla delivered to my doorstep.
Delivery to the doorstep ain’t nothing new. But fresh(ish) fish? Well, yep, that’s what this 40+ years old Fish Center on Aundh Road is doing now – delivering fish to homes. They even have Android and Apple store apps apparently.
Now I have been going to this fish shop for more than two decades and for the most part (say 90%) I come back with fresh fish at a decent price (that could have been cheaper), but the ingenuity of the owner (Najmabi) and her sons and the efficiency of the staff always leaves me feeling satisfied with my catch. (Not everybody who goes to this shop may agree). The routine at the shop is straight-forward: the fish are all lying prone on a table (understandable given that they are past life), Najmabi and her team are on the inside, selling or chatting with customers (who are on the outside), fish is picked, price paid, and then it is cleaned, chopped and bagged.
But last week I was whizzing past Aundh Road and there was the shop and there was this huge banner atop, announcing its website, apps and the like. And so there I was googling and surfing and apparently they offer mutton and chicken as well.
Oh well, I make a fish curry once in a while, and I like going down to the shop and feeling the fish, checking out the pomfrets, Rohu, prawns and then buying a Kaatla or Rohu that is red behind the gills, so am unlikely to be ordering online every day.
But I figured others who are tuned to online shopping and love their fish home delivered, might want to. So there.
I wonder if GST is applicable on fish purchases…
Sanjay Mukherjee is a Pune-based business consultant. He is Founder of RedstoneSummerhill and The Mountain Walker and also serves as Chief Strategy Advisor for the Hong Kong-based learning technology company, Peak Pacific Limited