Satpati fish market (Credit: Ishita Patil)
The Satpati fish market starts at 5 pm every day. The market is no more than a long street in the village, with no concrete structure. During the day, it is like any other street, but in the evening, it is packed with fish-vending women at one end and vegetable and fruit vendors at the other.
Fish-vending women from nearby villages come to sell a variety of fish in Satpati market. Every woman has a fixed place in the market street. One finds women negotiating and arguing over the price of fish. Some women are known to sell particular fish species only.
The women have a plastic stool or a stone to sit on, a chopper to cut the fish, plates or wooden planks to display the fish and cane baskets or plastic boxes with ice to keep the fish fresh. In between bargaining with the customer, the women are busy shooing mosquitos and flies from sitting on their fish. The fish is put in a plastic bag or wrapped in newspaper, once sold to the customer. The space is then filled with fish from the basket and sprinkled with water. This goes on until the entire stock is sold, after which the women stash their stone/plastic stools and wooden planks in a corner somewhere or with a shopkeeper with whom they have an understanding before heading home.
Ethnographic documentation Ishita Patil