Saturday, December 7, 2013


Wisdom from Humor
An Apocryphal Story of the Fish Stall Owner

A man noticed that more and more health conscious people had started eating fish so he thought it was a good idea to open a fish stall in the fish market.

On an auspicious day, he inaugurated his fish stall, which had a big signboard on top with the words:


The neighbouring fish stall owners came to him and protested: “Why have you written FRESH Fish Sold Here? What is the point of writing the word ‘FRESH’ before Fish? Are you trying to imply that we sell Stale Fish?”

The man felt that the other fish stall owners had a point, so to please them he blanked out the word FRESH by painting it over.

The board now had the words:


His first customer was an old lady.

She bought a good quantity of fish.

Then she looked at the board and read aloud: “Fish Sold HERE. Do you sell fish somewhere else also? This fish-market is quite far from my house, so I want to know if have another fish stall nearer my home?”

The man told the lady that he did not have any other fish shop and this was the only place where he sold fish.

Then, after the lady had left, he looked at the words on the signboard above his shop.

The lady had a point.

The word HERE seemed to be redundant and could cause confusion as it had done in the lady’s mind.

So he obliterated the word HERE by painting it over.

The signboard now read:


Soon, another customer arrived at the fish stall.

It was an old man.

He looked at the signboard and said sarcastically: “Fish SOLD. What do you mean by that? Does anyone give fish free of cost? If you have opened a shop you are obviously selling fish, aren’t you? Then why write the word SOLD?”

Taking the old man’s comments to heart, the fish stall owner removed the word SOLD by painting it over.

The signboard above his shop now had a single word:


A young man passing by the shop looked at the signboard and commented to the owner: “This is a fish market, so obviously fish is sold here – not vegetables or fruit or clothes. And everyone can see that the only thing you are selling is fish. So what is the point of writing the word FISH on the signboard?”

So, the fish shop owner deleted the word FISH by painting it over.

Now, with all the four words painted over, the board was blank.

Yes, the signboard above the fish shop was blank.

“Are you crazy? Why have you put a blank board above your shop?” a passerby jeered at fish shop owner.

So, the exasperated fish shop owner pulled down the board and threw it away.


Whatever you do, some people will always criticize you.

So, there is no need to react to all criticism.

Yes, do listen to what people say, as a feedback, but never let external criticism drive your actions.

There is no need to seek approval of others for your actions.

You must seek your own approval.

Listen to your inner self and do what you feel is right.

Start applying this right now – spend your weekend exactly as you want to and don’t bother about what others say.

Remember – whatever you do, there will always be someone who will criticize you and you need not react to all criticism.

If you feel something is right, just go ahead and to it.

Have a bright Saturday and a Happy Weekend.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
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Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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