MIDWAY : Fatuous fun

Dipesh Parajuli

After almost an hour, the old man’s rusty bait eventually did the tricks. To his delight, there was a fluttering fish hooked at the end of his fishing rod, which was dreadfully jumping and writhing in pain due to suffocation. But it was a matter of celebration for the old man and a bunch of his buddies. They were all cheering at the fish, which was desperately fighting

its ultimate war against human brutality. The callous people’s jubilation reminded me of those ancient evidences where the atrocious Roman Emperors enjoyed watching the bleeding men and beasts in their coliseums. The world might have changed radically since then but behaviour of humans has surely gone worse. The superior’s willingness to demonstrate their dominance over the inferiors has flourished even more in modern era. The busy old ‘hookers’ that day on the fishing pond confirmed this fact for me.

All my life, I have known fishes to be the most gentle and tranquil species in the world. My interest in them dates back to my childhood when as a little kid I spent long hours watching them in aquariums. Those sentient creatures, swirling and unfurling their tails in their small world behind the glasses, always provide me a supreme sense of serenity amid the hectic pace of life. But the clueless slaughters of those innocent creatures have been a serious harrowing factor for me. Three-fourths of the Earth’s surface is water; so actually the fishes legitimately own more share over the planet than us. But they are never given the respect they deserve. Even in the animal rights movements, they are often neglected. No one can tolerate the soaring birds being hooked from an aeroplane and dipped in water to die. But all is fair for fishes. Just they live underwater and out of sight don’t mean they can be treated such.

There was a time in history when men needed fishes for food and then fishing were done for the sake of survival. But now, inedible fishes are killed for curiosity, fashion and recreation. Fishing, some foolish heads may consider a gentlemen’s sport but in reality it is just a fatuous fun. Samuel Johnson, an English writer, has rightly said, “About fishing I can only compare to a stick and a string, with a worm at one end and a fool at the other.”