Following Fish: Travels Around the Indian Coast

Following Fish: Travels Around the Indian Coast

Samanth Subramanian / Oct 16, 2019

Following Fish Travels Around the Indian Coast In a coastline as long and diverse as India s fish inhabit the heart of many worlds food of course but also culture commerce sport history and society Journeying along the edge of the peninsula

  • Title: Following Fish: Travels Around the Indian Coast
  • Author: Samanth Subramanian
  • ISBN: 9780143064473
  • Page: 175
  • Format: Paperback
  • In a coastline as long and diverse as India s, fish inhabit the heart of many worlds food of course, but also culture, commerce, sport, history and society Journeying along the edge of the peninsula, Samanth Subramanian reports upon a kaleidoscope of extraordinary stories.In nine essays, Following Fish conducts rich journalistic investigations among others, of the famedIn a coastline as long and diverse as India s, fish inhabit the heart of many worlds food of course, but also culture, commerce, sport, history and society Journeying along the edge of the peninsula, Samanth Subramanian reports upon a kaleidoscope of extraordinary stories.In nine essays, Following Fish conducts rich journalistic investigations among others, of the famed fish treatment for asthmatics in Hyderabad of the preparation and the process of eating West Bengal s prized hilsa of the ancient art of building fishing boats in Gujarat of the fiery cuisine and the singular spirit of Kerala s toddy shops of the food and the lives of Mumbai s first peoples of the history of an old Catholic fishing community in Tamil Nadu of the hunt for the world s fastest fish near Goa.Throughout his travels, Subramanian observes the cosmopolitanism and diverse influences absorbed by India s coastal cities, the wthdrawing of traditional fishermen from their craft, the corresponding growth of fishing as pure and voluminous commerce, and the degradation of waters and beaches from over fishing.Pulsating with pleasure, adventure and discovery, and tempered by nostalgia and loss, Following Fish speaks as eloquently to the armchair traveller as to lovers of the sea and its lore.

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    • [PDF] Download Û Following Fish: Travels Around the Indian Coast | by ☆ Samanth Subramanian
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    About "Samanth Subramanian"

      • Samanth Subramanian

        Samanth Subramanian is the India correspondent for The National and the author of two books of reportage, Following Fish Travels Around the Indian Coast and This Divided Island Stories from the Sri Lankan War His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Granta, the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Intelligent Life, Aeon, Mint, Travel Leisure, and Caravan, among other publications His longer reported articles occupy the confluence of politics, culture and history, examining the impact of these forces upon life and society his shorter pieces include op eds, cultural criticism, and book reviews.He also co hosts The Intersection, a fortnightly science and culture podcast from Audiomatic This Divided Island won the 2015 Crossword Prize for Non Fiction and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Non Fiction Prize the same year Following Fish won the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize in 2010 and was shortlisted for the Andre Simon Award in 2013.Samanth Subramanian grew up in Madras, and he lives and works in New Delhi.


    1. শেষ কবে এমন দুর্দান্ত ভ্রমণ সাহিত্য পড়েছি, বলতে পারবো না। তবে একথা নির্দ্বিধায় বলতে পারি যে ইংরেজী ভাষার ভ্রমণ-সাহিত্য গুরুদের যে কোন সৃষ্টির পাশে এই বই মাথা তুলে দাঁড়াতে পারবে। ব্রুস চ্যা [...]

    2. Samanth Subramaniam’s first book, a travelogue of India’s coastline and its favourite fish is an absolute delight. The writing is consistently brilliant; Subramaniam’s friendly monologue is funny, knowledgeable and throws at you little nuggets of savoury information all the time. I came to Following Fish after reading the author’s second book, an oral history of the Sri Lankan Civil War, the critically acclaimed This Divided Island, and you can see here shades of the mastery that he achi [...]

    3. Lookee here -- another five star book! I guess they tend to cluster during the year.Being rather an Indophile (or whatever someone with a South Asian interest is called), I had heard of the legendary hilsa fish a while ago, wanting to try it myself someday. Sadly, the Bangladeshis I spoke with in NYC told me that I'd have to go to Bengal for the "real" thing. So, I decided to test read the first essay on that very subject to see if I liked the author's style. Yes, indeedy - and how! Travel narra [...]

    4. I'm a fan of narrative journalism and Samanth Subramanian's Following Fish is an excellent example of such long-form writing as he weaves a beautiful, eidetic narrative about the Neithal hinterlands. As much as this book is about the karimeen and the hilsa, it's also very much about communities, cultures, histories, tales, recipes, social commentaries, fishing, boats, travel, and people. I had picked up the book expecting it to be a travelogue through some of coastal India. There is however a la [...]

    5. I believe in discovering books on my own. I do not believe in recommendations because I am scared that most people do not know what I love to read or do not care to ask. It is a fact. Most people just put a book in your hands and tell you, “You must read this.” There is nothing more to that interaction. And yet there are times when I am completely taken in by a recommendation and love it to the core. This was the case with, “Following Fish” by Samanth Subramanian that was highly recommen [...]

    6. Travelogue with a twist. Just as you thought you'd seen — and read — it all about India, here comes Subramaniam's deft take on a very specific culinary and cultural niche: fish. In particular, he follows fish, fish stories, fish people, all around the coasts and inner lands of India. Quite fittingly, he begins with Calcutta: the land of the Great Bong Fish Addiction. Each chapter focuses on one place, one story. There's wistful longing for Goan fishing before the crowds, and you can almost s [...]

    7. By using the varied preparations of fish as an entry point, Subramanian attempts to explore the coastline of India in this ‘difficult-to-categorize’ piece of non-fiction. for his e. Understandably, while the diversity of our land prevented him from giving us a comprehensive picture, he still manages to showcase a beautiful kaleidoscope of lives, occupations, localized issues and of course food. We have the ‘hilsa’-craze of Calcutta, the asthma healers of Hyderabad, the ritualistic Christ [...]

    8. Deprivation makes room for desire. This line perfectly describes my feelings, having chanced upon this thoroughly enjoyable book by Samanth Subramanian. It HAD to be read by me, no? I am a Bengali after all, and the first chapter itself starts with the fish I have detested since my pigtail days - the Hilsa or Ilish. Now if you're a Bengali (or Hilsa lover) reading this, let me clarify before you can express shock. I hated the fish because of the million bones it has. My family tried time and aga [...]

    9. As an avid fan of Indian fish curries, this travelogue by Samanth Subramanium attracted my attention. But, “Following Fish – Travels around the Indian coast” goes beyond just fishes. The traveler explores many things that surround the marine fishing, lives around the coastal India and everything that influences it. He first tries his hands on Hilsa which is highly thorny but most prized fish among the Bengali communities. He masters the eating skill required to eat a Hilsa. Similarly, he t [...]

    10. Nicely written, articulate & interesting.Each chapter is in a different location, following a story related to the central theme - fish. Fish as food, fishing as an occupation, fish as medical cure, fishing as a sport, building of fishing boats, and fish and fishing as a part of culture.1 Kolkata - the Hilsa fish - Ganga or Padma2 Hyderabad - the faith healing of asthma3 Tamil Nadu - the Parava people and their famous fish podi(powder)4 Kerala - the spicy fish dishes of the toddy shops5 Mang [...]

    11. Ramchandra Guha in his review of the book refers to the author's writing as a rare variety of journalism of the 'long-form' and "a travel book like no other". The narrative style is certainly interesting - it has the brevity of the journalistic form, with longer chapters and with greater details. Among the ones I really liked were the travel in Kerala and Bengal with a single objective in mind - to relish meen curry (slurrp!) and ileesh! Samnath nicely intermingles food with culture (for example [...]

    12. I am a violently vegetarian individual with no inclination in the past or hereon to ever alter my food habits. And yet this book was unputdownable. I wilfully followed Subramanium from the very familiar Park Hotel b of Calcutta to the entirely alien ceremonies of eating live fish whole in Hyderabad, to the struggling and diminishing fishing communities along the West coast and the vegetarian carpenters of Surat. I enjoyed very much learning about unscrupulously belligerent tailfish, Bangladeshi [...]

    13. The author takes you through India's coastal garland, starting from West Bengal on the east and ending up at the boat-building docks of Veraval in Gujarat. The book is essentially a gourmet tour, and you will come across the most famous piscine names of each region - the hilsa or ilish in Bengal, the karimeen or Pearl Spot in Kerala and the Bombay duck in Mumbai. However, the book looks at fish not just as food, but also medicine (albeit doubtfully) at the famous Hyderabad treatment for asthma t [...]

    14. Under the pretext of "Following Fish", Samanth weaves a commentary on the society, ecology, cuisine(s), geography, religion, language(s), and more around the coastal places of India. But, in surprisingly light text. Each of the 9 essays talks about a different place and focuses on a different aspect. If someone likes fish for food, is interested in the lives of fisher-folk, or wants to know the history of migration to Indian coasts or anything else about fish, they'll enjoy reading this book. My [...]

    15. Following Fish was the second book of Samanth that I read (after This Divided Island). Quite like this second book, Samanth creates a story around his travels with a good mix of both research and pleasure. The best parts of the book came from the essays on Bengal, Tamilnadu, Kerala, and Bombay. Writing about travel is never an easy task and Samanth, given his journalistic capabilities treads the line separating a fact-based journalist and a trivia-based traveler successfully. Looking forward to [...]

    16. fun, entertaining narrative journalism of some 9 selected areas of india coast, author discovers area and history and culture (somewhat, it is pretty light writing, very funny too, and he hits lots of topics of culture, like food, religion, language, politics, work, play, housing, history) through hands on visiting, eating, and learning. has 9 very small photos, no map, no index, no glossary, no bibliography, but fun and fast read. and gorgeous food writing

    17. While the connection to fish often seems oblique, a larger theme gradually comes into view: the challenging nature of belief and tradition in a fast-modernising India. The author gradually piles up episodes in which his nation's older, softer ways are being quietly eroded. This is a book about the persistence of tradition as much as its destruction, a point made by the continued popularity of the Hyderabad fish festival.

    18. Meh. This was misrepresented to me as being about fish. It's primarily a coast-of-India travel book full of untranslated foreign terminology, tidbits about politics taking place half a world away, and descriptions of various kinds of fish curry, primarily rated according to how badly they scorch the author's palate. I could never tell what this guy's goal was as he travelled and whether he ever found what he was looking for.

    19. I am a foodie. The title was very appealing and I fell for the book. The only thing good about this book is its alluring title. It is a very boring read.

    20. I read this book a long time ago. I will part with the subject by saying this; it was absolutely the best book I read that year and I would recommend this slim volume to everyone.

    21. Yet another travelogue on Indian cities. But the author has tried hard to keep it relevant to the title by associating them to some form of fishing culture/cuisine/commercialism/communities.Initially when I bought this book I thought I would learn about different fish species with their biological names along the Indian coastal lines. But I think if this book would have been that way. I would have certainly dropped in between.Indian coastline is big and complex as the subcontinent in it selves. [...]

    22. A fascinating narrative of the different contexts wherein fish shape our destiny - trade, food and even social status. Incredibly well written and lucid, this book is definitely worth a read. Subramanian has a marvellous ability to draw you in and keep you hooked.

    23. A well researched book filled with not that known facts about India's sea faring communities and the seafood culture .

    24. I don’t go fishing, I don’t swallow a lot of fish and its turns out that Following Fish doesn’t actually conform well with my blog goals. There are few travelling details and Samanth reveals that the places depicted were not visited in one trip (for wholly practical and understandable reasons but, again, doesn’t meet my goals).This is more of book for fish foodies and those interested in exploring the sub-cultures surrounding the fish of India. That said, Samanth’s food writing is drip [...]

    25. Samanth Subramanian’s book about ‘fishy’ travels across the coast of India is a treasure trove of anecdotes about people who dabble in anything to do with fish. Samanth takes us through West Bengal where he learns to eat Hilsa, Andhra Pradesh to swallow a live fish to cure asthma, Kerala in search of traditional fish recipes and toddy, Mangalore in Karnataka fishing around for the perfect fish curry, learning how to fish and angle in Goa, and wrapping up with building a boat in Gujarat.Whi [...]

    26. Samanth subramanian, the author, is a quirky character. He seamlessly fits into odd places and blends in with weird characters, makes them feel good about themselves and ensures the reader has a good laugh without offending anyone. I read this after finishing "This divided island". Looking forward to many more from this author.

    27. For someone who has grown up on fish, to see it become the subject of a book is very exciting. This books is part-travelogue, part-food critique, and part-political commentary, and such a fun, and funny, account of the Indian coasts. Perhaps because of the way he did his journeys, in short bursts as opposed to one long trail, or perhaps just because of his writing skill, he brings fresh flavour to each new chapter/place that he talks about. All the coastal peeps of this country will love that so [...]

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