Monday, 3 November 2008

Fishing for compliments

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.


  1. So you all wanted it anyways.. but like a seasoned parents u dithered until the end.. to the inevitable.. how mean :P :P

    Congratulations btw!

  2. Wow! Congrats on the new addition in your home, I am sure the girls will be very happy with their new acquisition.

  3. Hey--U expressed my sentiments exactly about keeping fishes in a bowl.Your aquarium is looking super.
    Congrats! (Did I tell u i have one too?)

  4. what a beautiful aquarium. If you are going to keep fish this is definitely the way to go!!!!

  5. Our supermarket here just put up some aquariums on display this weekend and hubby was giving them some long, considering looks.....till he saw my absolutely-no-freaking-way look. Then he sighed and said, yes, they need lot of maintenance etc etc.....

    What can I say, I'm just not a pet person :)

  6. You never disappoint me, Nancy.
    This post again was so worth the wait :-)

  7. cool aquarium....even i like to tap the glass panes to see the fish's reaction :)

    btw, did you change the post heading....yest, when i read it, i thot it had a diff. heading

  8. Winnie: Heeeheee.... I know!!!
    And what is so mean tell me??? we are bringing in LIVE beings which we were going to be responsible for...
    ...hmmm actually it was my ignornace which had me dithering:-D

    Goofymumma: The girls are maha thrilled coz for them its just new something. For us its enchanting....after I feed it, I stand & watch till the last bit of fish food is gone.

    Ps: Thank U. Seriously even i'm quite surprised at the end result...individually all the pieces were looking quite gaudy:-P
    Yes I know I sort of remember u have guppies, right????

    anjuli: Thank U!!!!!!! Glad to know u think so too;-P

  9. Hey Good for u. It is no nice to have a fish tank. And like the salesman said - So easy to manage. I have done so much research on fishes before I actually boughtthe aquarium just to see what I was in for. And ur tank looks super too!!!!

    Fishes are very therapeutic. They say the stress just ebbs away when u see them swim around.

  10. looks cute :) u shud b proud of ur fam :D

  11. Shalom: If ever u guys end up buying it, u'll be the one who falls hard. MARK MY WORDS:-D!!!!!!

    Agnes: How do u do it??? Without saying a single word about the post itself u have managed to make me feel good:-D

    scribbler: Heehee I did. I put the title & realised that I had used the same title in my picture blog:-P.

    Bins: "Fishes are very therapeutic. They say the stress just ebbs away when u see them swim around."
    This is exactly what ur brother says & he makes the kids sit with him atleast 15 mins everyday & we all stare at the fish. Yes it does feel good.

    sansmerci: Thank U!!!! Yes I am:-D

  12. hehhehe...luvly post :)...nd aquarium looks super kool!! I want one!!!

    **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????**

    hehehe...may be...he also loves aquarium as much the as the kids :)

  13. Thank U. Yeah, even I'm sure he always wanted one but when I asked he just shrugged:-P
    And get one....really, its lovely.

    p.s - always wanted to ask u...are u the person who come in here from Japan??
    :-P....curiosity & all tht.

  14. You never failed to bring smile on our faces nancy. I had a hearty laugh when I read....""Why do I get the feeling that he got one of his secret ambitions fulfilled????""...

    We had ( Past tense to be noted) couple of fishes.I think we didn't refer a manual.

  15. "One of the best posts I have read in a long time". Just took the hint.... I am lying - just copied the line authored by the blogger. Just joking - like your sense of humour.

    You actually write well and have a very conversational style of writing. Enjoy reading your writings.

    I can actually vouch for the therapeutic effect of fish watching. I have been cured once - thanks to a good knowledgeable friend and the fish, of course.

  16. ohhh its a beautiful aquarium!!

    i always wanted fish as well but i could never convince my parents to get the whole thing with the big tank so we used to end up with a small bowl...and yep thats def a big no-no!!

    i shud prob pick up some lessons of convincing from ur daughter! :)

  17. Nancy. You don't want to know the reason I didn't say anything about the post itself.... OK, I'll tell you but promise you won't tell your kids.

    Agnes has had goldfish more than a few times in her life and she always managed to kill them... trust me, you don't want advise from me when it comes to goldfish...

    But be as it may, I did love your post. I am a sucker for good writing and I love everything you write.

    I hope you'll keep writing after you leave the company (now that we know you wrote all your blog posts at work, LOL)

  18. maddy: Thank U:-)).
    Hmmm...I think Fish Manual or no Fish Manual....we shd be prepared for a few fish to die :-(

    jp joshi: Thank U, thank U sir for ur kind words:-)).
    Even my better-half believes in the therapeutic affect & makes us all sit together & watch fish for 15 mins every night before going to bed;-P

    sunshine: oh u must...its really nice.
    And I'm seriously thinking of putting her in for MBA marketing or something....coz now itself she's so good tht she can convince a eskimo to buy a refridgerator;-o

    agnes: LOL really??? I can just imagine:-D
    But like I told Maddy, we must be prepared to lose a few fish in the beginning coz inexperience does cause a bit of damage;-P

  19. hey your aquarium is super..the girls sure have u bth wrapped around their fingers..sigh! and we parents think we actually decide for our kids!!
    btw fish is lucky...some feng-shui thing..shucks it was tues ystday...missed my date with money honey!!(ref-nailed!)

  20. heheh congrtas on the new addittion and new responsibility...LOL coz it is certainly ur duty to take care of them :P

    hey i have heard abt that kind of torture, but i hav read that it was the japanese war torture, where they tied prisoners and let the water drip from huge heights...its told to be very painful and results in death....

    anyway not sure...just read about it..

  21. my space: lately the realisation has sunk in that the kids seem to be ruling the house not us:-(
    Hehe...there is always the next tuesday, just dont forget;-P

    enigma: oh yes one more responsibility to add to my list;-P

    Well it is famously called the Chinese torture tho if u read up on it they say tht there are no records as such tht it originated from China. I read somewhere it originated from Mexico.

  22. what!! i am 2 posts late.. where the hell have i been

  23. ooh, looks good, and nancy! am sure even u wanted one.. good to blame the kids eh ;)
    i had one while in college, but it died within 2 months, i learnt later that you should keep them only in pairs.. ur post has got me wanting one now! i will blame u!:D

  24. Ish: Hehe I wondered where u'd been:-D.
    Go on blame me...I'll take responsibility. Get one...its really nice & soothing too just to watch them.

  25. aahh..we too got a big family of around 7 fishes, just a couple of months back. and ya can give you some pretty 'interesting' tips, like how to get back life into a floating fish!! :) great times, the entire process of feeding, cleaning, watching....lots of fun days ahead..! :)

  26. Really....u too???? Oh yes gimme tht sounds real handy for a life & death situation:-)
    Yes, yes am enjoying it:-).

  27. now why does that remind me of me? :D:D
    the torture part that is :P

    your girls are adorable:))
    hubby was looking satisfied s if it was his dream too?:))
    awww...god bless your family

    lol@I didn’t know anything about fish except for ofcourse how to eat them

    I want to get them too someday...just as soon as our foulegged baby understands that they are not to be barked at/eaten/pawed at furiously(if only from outside the aquarium):D
    she barks her head off!:D

    absolutely love your posts :D:D

  28. Wish I had read this before. I always thought bowl is the beginning of keeping fish, if you want to start with a lil step & 1-2 fish. the store guys never tell you the truth and i dint see any manual either :(

    we lost 5 fish before we moved into a tank but this one also lacks the filter & temp controller. There is just oxygen pump.. hope the fish do good here.

  29. Indyeah: Ditto...I too didnt know anything abt fish other than the fact that they tasted good;-D

    Get urself a tank....I'm sure ur baby is better behaved than u give him credit for;-D

    Mindspace: Bowl is still a popular thing with people but it is true tht u tend to lose fish quickly in there[I personally saw it happening with a friend of mine].
    Get a tht u dont have to keep cleaning the tank every week;-).


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