The kids & I went grocery shopping last week when I entered a plant shop next door which had these short “Lucky Bamboo” tied together displayed prominently. Up close I realized they had yellowed a bit & didn’t look all that great.
This shop also displayed huge tanks full of colorful fish in all shapes & sizes which my kids had made a beeline for. I watched their excitement indulgently. Infact I myself was entranced by the sight of vibrant fish swimming merrily, darting in & out of the lush underwater foliage.
“Mama let’s take some home” said Nikita, tugging at my hand excitedly. It sunk in too late that I had dangerous situation in my hands. To say that I had a hard time getting both of them out of the shop was an understatement.
The whole of that week Nikita asked us everyday to get her fish. She promised she’ll give up chocolates forever, will not ask for any more toys, will study well….will do whatever we ask her to…………
…….but please, please get me 3 fishes………
……..ok atleast 2 pleaasssssee
………ok fine just one…a tiny fishiee, pleeease, please, please mama…you are the goodest mama in the whole wide world knowwwww”
Did you know in the olden days in China the prisoners used to be tortured in a particular way? It was famously called the Chinese Torture. Cold water was dripped slowly on to the victim's forehead. Prisoners could see each drop coming, and after long durations were gradually driven frantic as an increasing hollow would form in the centre of the forehead."
My elder daughter has perfected her own version of this torture. Day in & day out she will go on & on & on & on till one just wants to dig a deep hole right underneath, jump in & push the carpet over the head & sit there in peace in the darkness for sometime.
Before you ask me, yes we gently explain all the reasons why we can’t get it immediately. She listens attentively & five minutes later “So we can go get the fish tomorrow, right???”.
Then we try various other tones & she will look glum, crushed & wretched in turn. But again 10 minutes later she’ll act like the previous conversation never took place and “Just one tiny fish pleeeeaaaaaseeee”
Finally the weekend arrived & all 4 of us trooped into the shop. We decided to pick a typical glass bowl with 1 goldfish & the amenities which came along with it. We told the kids to take a walk around, take their time & choose the ONE fish they wanted. I left the better-half discussing various options & prices with the salesman & joined the kids to check out all the different types of fish.
The kids ofcourse wanted a big white pretty looking fish bigger than the size of their palm which was very cutely following their fingers as they dragged it across the glass pane. I firmly directed their attention towards the smaller fish knowing very well that I was not ready for such a BIG responsibility. I made up my mind to find out everything on the net while at office the next day.
I went back to warn my better-half about the big white fish when I found him paying up for a BIG tank[well, much bigger than the glass bowl in mind] with all the amenties & 4 goldfish.
I panicked. I didn’t know anything about fish except for ofcourse how to eat them. Then the sales guy seeing a lucrative deal going downhill quickly stepped in, placed a Fish Manual in my hands & gave me a pep-talk about how ridiculously easy it was to maintain the fish tank. Ofcourse I didn’t fully believe him though I was sort of swayed. I then opened the fish manual to avoid eye-contact with this guy & the first picture I see is of a goldfish in a glass bowl & a RED X across it. It(the goldfish in the glass bowl ie.) can make an attractive centerpiece but keeping them in the bare and confined space of a bowl make them depressed, stunt their growth, prone to disease & kill them finally.
That decided it. Not glass bowl, no way....but then what. The kids will not budge from there without atleast 1 tiny fish. And no way was I going to put my fish in those tiny plastic tanks on display. If I was going to take responsibility for a fish, then I’m going to give him the best. That matter settled & I bowed to the inevitable.
So now we have a super looking aquarium with all the settings & 4 fish of the goldfish variety happily swimming around. The kids are thrilled & so am I. And the better-half has this very satisfied look about him.
Why do I get the feeling that he got one of his secret ambitions fulfilled????
Ps:- Just incase anybody was offended about my reference to Chinese torture, please note that:
The Discovery Channel series MythBusters investigated Chinese water torture in the season 3 episode found that dripping water on the forehead, was not particularly stressful. And most importantly, there is no evidence that this form of torture was ever used by the Chinese.
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