Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Fisherman...

It was a beautiful Sunday morning with clear blue sky. We were in Malacca last week. On that cool Sunday morning I decided to take a drive out of the condominium complex at Tanjung Puteri and on the way back stop at the Fisherman shack along the beach. I parked my car and went to look around. There was not a single fisherman around. They must have gone back home to rest after a hard day at sea. The life of the fisherman is not easy. They had to wake up early to go out to the sea. If they leave for the sea in the evening they had to be at sea all nightlong and back to the land in the early hours of the morning.

In this case it is the Straits of Malacca where the border of Indonesia and Malaysia is not that clear. Stray away into the international water one might get into the Indonesia water and get caught for illegal fishing. Then there are those huge tankers and big cruisers that ply the sea all the times and if one is not careful especially in the middle of a dark night one could easily collides with those ships. At time there are the dangers of pirates on the high seas that one had also to be careful and not to get into a fight. There are so many risk that fisherman had to go through whenever they went fishing. But then that is their lives and perhaps the only way they could make a living.

I walk out at the beach which was calm at that early hours of the morning and look at all the small fisherman boats now lay idle on the beach. This is the west coast and the rising sun is on the other side of the nearby hills. The reflection of the morning sun could be seen glittering on the surface of the calm sea; like little diamond sparkling everywhere. There was not a single fisherman there but the nets and other equipments for the fishing lay there all organized for the next trip out to sea. I could feel the quietness as I browse along those boats and the fisherman's gear including the nets. Only the buzzing of the flies feasting on the dead fishes that were left to rot on the beach breaks that peaceful feeling of the place.

There was no wind and the seashore nearby was calm as well. I took time to look around and snap some picture. It was indeed a rare and unique assort of fisherman's things that could only be found at such a shack along this beach. Actually I was mesmerized with the serene of the scene at the shack and for a while forgot about the world around me. It was the sudden bashing of the shore by the wave that jolted me back to reality. I then remember as a small boy on the beach at Tanjung Lumpur in Kuantan where I would wait for the fisherman to come back bringing their catch. And I would get to buy fresh fish whenever we go camping on the beach. At time we just got the smaller fish for free. The smell of the salty sea is still the same and it does add color to the memory of the boy in me. Actually I do enjoy this moment in time at this fisherman shack.

Here today I did not see the fisherman. But still I could imagine their presence when they had arrived as they hauled their boats to the beach for safekeeping; taking the day catches to the market for sale and some for home to their family. All wet and sweating they would take their time to do whatever needed doing in the same fashion of ritual that had been going on for generations before them. Contented with their day taking they would move on perhaps smoking a cigarette, the only luxury that they could afford and head for home to be with their family and take a good rest.

Tomorrow it would be the same ritual again. That is the life they had chosen for now so that the next generation of their family would have a better day. The irony of all this is the fisherman never gets rich although it is their catch of quality fish that get to the table of the rich and famous. Well folks, that is life.

Have a nice day.

[Please click to enlarge]


~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

It's a hard life for fishermen, Pak Idrus, especially now that the world's oceans are overfished and fish populations are not able to regenerate. Deep sea trawlers are going deeper and deeper to find fish. Small time fishermen have it even harder. Many of the fish we find in the market today, like ikan parang (dorab wolf herring) and the Chinese pomfret are actually endangered and will be extinct in 50 years.

I love the photos you took of a lifestyle that is fast disappearing.

louis said...

Hello Idrus,

Your compelling and haunting narrative and remarkable pictures make this a very delightful post.

Joe D said...

Great piece of writing and beautiful pictures too. I like them.

Joe D said...

Hello Idrus,

Beautiful piece with nice pictures.

Pak Idrus said...

~Covert_Operations'78~, Ee Lynn thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting. Thanks as well for the good words on my kind of photograhpy. I am indeed glad that you enjoy it.

As for the fisherman I believe we all know their plight but it look like our species refused to either to understand it or just refused to accept the reality of what our species did to the other species on this planet. Which I believe would lead to our doom as well if we did not he care of the other species as well.

I am now reading a book 'The World without Us' by Alan Weisman' and it does tell of what would happen to our world when we are all gone because of our own doing to mother earth. We all have to change our diet and go vegetarian for that is the only way we could saved this beautiful blue marble of ours.

Anyway do have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Louis, thanks for the visit and the good words on this posting. Glad that you enjoy my short adventure at the beach that morning.

I was born and raised near the coastal town of Kuantan as such the beach and the sea has always been part of me and I get alive just been there. So that day at the shack it was just a natural awakening, thus it made me to write the happening like I did. I truly enjoy writing that piece and I am glad that you too enjoy it.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Joe D, thanks for the two visit to my blog and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting. I am indeed glad that you enjoy this posting and the accompanying images of that day at the fisherman shack.

I grew up near the sea in Kuantan and love the sea and its surrounding, thus the feeling in the of the writing on a subject that is close to my heart.

Thanks as well for the good words on this narrative and the images that I took.

Have a nice day.

Zaharan Razak said...

In 1978, there's a stretch of beach at Teluk Kundur with many food stalls and homestays (they were not called homestays then but by another name which I've forgotten) serving budget travelers (post-hippies) from mostly western countries including Oz. I was at Bernama then. I was struck by the scene and wrote a newspaper article about it published by Bernama and carried by newspapers such as the Straits Echo of Penang and Berita Harian (translated version).

Pak Idrus said...

Zaharan Razak, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting.

Pantai Kundur is now Pantai Putri and is where all these images was taken. It is just near my condo there. Scroll down there are some images of my condo.

There are but a few budget hotels there now and not many matsaleh comes this way anymore. No Beer so no matsaleh tourist especially the backpackers. Anyway the scenes is still nice but the beach is not a place to swim.

Well, it is changing time lives goes on as usual. Have a nice day.

Temuk said...

Salam Pak Idrus
Splendid pictures. Yet, hidden behind them could be life surrounded by poverty and hopelessness. I hope this is not the case, especially that we are now so very close to 2020 already. Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Temuk, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the plight of the Fisherman.

Well, it is a noble profession that provides us with the best protein and yet they had to be contend with living their kind of lifestyle. We all should be thankful that there are folks like those fisherman who risk their lives trying to make a living and provides us with all those fishes.

Thanks as well for the good words on my kind of photography. I am enjoying it and learning along the way. Gland that you enjoy those images. Have a nice day.