Ali is a fisherman who lives in Bachok, a fishing village on the east coast
of Peninsular Malaysia in the state of Kelantan. His day begins at dawn when
it is still chilly and dark. While he gets ready, his wife, Laila, prepares
coffee and cooks a simple rice meal of fish and vegetable for breakfast.
After eating a hurried meal, he heads for the beach, where his boat is
tied and moored. His friend, Ishak, also arrives to help him, and soon they
get to work, checking their fishing-nets, bait and sails before
setting out to sea.
As the first rays of the sun peep over the hills, they set off in their
boat and sail out to sea. The chilly, invigorating breeze brushes against
them and they shiver a little. As the sails fill with air, the boat moves
swiftly over the water.
Soon, they are in the middle of the glimmering
sea, and they begin to let down their nets. The sky looks beautiful at
sunrise with orange, gold, pink and blue tints. They feel glad the day will
be sunny and bright and hope to get a good catch.
Now and then, they pull their nets into the boat. Sometimes the nets are
loaded with fish, prawns and crabs, but, at other times, they are empty. By
noon, they start rowing back to shore. Working in the hot sun is a tough
As they reach the shore, their families await them to help
sort out the fish and prawns which are
of different types or sizes. Then, when their baskets are filled with their
catch, they are ready to meet the men who come in lorries to buy up the fish
and prawns and send them to the markets in the big towns to be sold.
In the afternoon, Ali sits under a shady tree and repairs his nets. He
also spends some time attending to his vegetable plot behind his hut.
Evening comes and this is the happiest time of the day for him as he can now
relax with his family.