The alarm was set for three and it seemed to go off just after I had gone to sleep. Cursing myself for getting into this stupidity, I changed, had a coffee and picked up the gear box, water and some packs of jerky. Then clock goes to 3.45 … at 0400 hmmm maybe the good Doc has flown out with the air ambulance, so I take off my boots and prepare to go back to bed. I am almost happily walking to bed when the phone rings, the good Doc is at the gate.
I think Eljefe has decided to make a man outa me and wants to take his ambassador instead of my jeep to Indian Gypsy’s house. So we then rush to South extension. Indian Gypsy loads us into his Qualis and the three of us are then merrily rushing into Gurgaon. Indian Gypsy is prattling away about fishing tactics and lets us know that he has only slept for twenty minutes having just returned from a party. (So those darned other cars weren’t driving crazy after all.)
Indian Gypsy has now contacted Sanjay and Mahaseer Ken, they are in a CRV a few miles ahead. Finally we reach the village where our guide awaits.
Here we all have a brief reunion and bundle up into the two cars. We
head towards the legendary pump house but the pumps are running and so its no point fishing there.
We change tactics and head towards a pond nicknamed as the bathtub. It is a twenty meter square where Mahaseer Ken, Indian Gypsy and Eljefe had had a great time before. But today it’s different; there are no bites to our protein laced lures. But even then Mahaseer Ken catches an eel, about a foot long. It is released and then he and Indian Gypsy go to a river a few feet away and have better luck. But Sanjay pulls out a fingerling that proves Eljefe right, the tub does have potential.
But they aren't amused much by the finger lings that keep taking the bait.
From here we move to another jodh (haryanvi for pond or lake). Here Sanjay and I set up just at the mouth of the lake and Eljefe, Indian Gypsy and Mahaseer Ken fan out on one side.
I was slightly sleepy and kinda sleeping on my feet when Indian Gypsy bellows," You got a bite, mind your rod." And so I begin to reel in the line and find a handsome six inch grass carp.
The good Doc (Eljefe) shoots a photograph and then I release the baby back. Now its Sanjay's turn he watches his float go down and…he screams," What do I do?"
So a chant of," reel, it in dear henry, dear henry, reel it in”, accompanies his furious reeling. It is an eight inch carp, I think, so again we let it off with a stern warning.
But this place is magical…I get another small guy, he is let off.
Then Sanjay reels three more in. Somehow he had trained the fish to keep coming back (even fish listen to commandos)
. If I hadn't taken the fish off the hook myself, I could have sworn that he hadn't taken them off and merely kept chucking the same guy back and kept reeling in the same one.
By now Indian Gypsy has had one just about run away, Eljefe has had a few bites and Mahaseer Ken strangely is pensive (normally he is strangely quite unless you talk about Masheer).
The decision is now to hit the bridge.
The fish being sough now is a sole. So we all regroup again and move to location four, the bridge over the river kwai...or more likely
kaka. Here we rig up for sole and the team fans out with Eljefe, Sanjay and me taking one side. And Mahaseer Ken and Indian Gypsy on the other side, the winning team so far and we nubies notice the most driven.
Noticing Eljefe’s faith in chicken sausage (and the fact that it doesn't squirm around and because you could possibly bar-be-cue it with a lighter on the hook), we both load up our hooks with it.
After a while of great casting and keeping a wary eye on the buffaloes that were in the water, I decide to move to the bridge. Indian Gypsy is standing where I wouldn't have the nerve to in a thousand years (he has them brass ones).
He is precariously perched on a small, round concrete pillar dropping his bait exactly where a large sole is doing what Northy guys do with a car that’s wired for sound at Gk’S M Block market.
I watch as I get the guide to fasten an earthworm on my hook.
It seems to be the bait the fish are taking today or maybe I had a quite bar be cue?
Naah I’m not squeamish it’s just that he does it with so much more élan. The big sole sniffs around the bait and leaves with another babe.So I plonk my line exactly where Indian Gypsy points. I watch the Kay Mart round red and white float bob up and down. A few minnows begin to play catch with it.
And then it goes straight down. I have been tutored by Eljefe earlier to let the fish take the hook for a while and so I watch the float travel for a few seconds and then I begin to reel it in.
I am waiting for fight but nothing happens...slowly a teen age sole appears, he is removed warned with dire consequences and again let off.
That takes my total score for the day to four and my ambition is
fairly whetted, by now. Finally Mahaseer Ken speaks and reports that he had about six or seven catches but being no more than seven inches he let em go. Damn him! He's again beaten our cumulative score. I'm convinced he uses voodoo bait.
By now hunger pangs are felt and as I was about to pull out the two packs of jerky, (I like to torture hungry fishermen with em) but the Doc’s decided to go soft on me. He is almost maternal as he pulls out a dozen or more keema rolls…Sanjay stacks (two dozen easy) out some amazing sandwiches. (I thought that he was just gonna straighten a hook and chew on it for lunch.)
We munch like a bunch of kids from an Enid Blyton book and drink
cool water from Indian Gypsy’s cooler who fends off all attempts at gratitude by saying that the water is DDT laced and from a pond. (Such a sense of humour he has…you were kidding…you were weren’t you?)
After a few moments we all suddenly remember that we have to bow to
superior power…yup twelve hours without SWAMBO on a Sunday…skating on really thin ice we were. Quickly, gear is stashed away, deciding that it’s been a good day and we all leave with plans to head to more exotic destinations loaded with coolers full of iced drinks and do an overnight stay etc.
I laugh nervously at the mad dedication of this crazy group and nod at all the right places. They all seem to be holding responsible jobs(you’d think that they do nothing but live from one fishing break to another). Finally, I reach home with Asif driving all the way (told you he was tough, I suspect a lot more though);-). Eljefe has driven more than two hours that day and I’m really grateful that he did, I would have probably wrecked his car on the way.
After a quick shower and a coffee I dozed off to sleep. Somewhere I hear an alarm bell ring and I think its 0300 hours all over again.