I was at Shantiniketan last weekend.
No, that is not a big deal, because Santiniketan is the place where I lived in my past life and had a romantic encounter with a snake charmer who later strangled me with silk cord because his snakes refused to strangle me…
Yeah, that was crap.
But I keep going to Shantiniketan because I love the place. So that really is not the big deal.
This time we also visited Lipi Di. (Now, that is a big deal.) Now, if you have visited Shantiniken and not visited Lipi Biswas, you have really missed something. So the next paragraph, I shall write a bit about her because she is a bundle of awesomeness.
|Lipi Biswas's Pottery Studio (Picture taken from the internet)|
Lipi Biswas is a potter who lives amongst nature. Her home is ecologically built by her and her husband, Bidyut Roy who is an artist. Lipi Di has her studio in Shantiniketan and she makes beautiful ceramic pottery. You can know more about her here and here. And next time that you are in Shantiniketan, do visit her.
So while we were at Lipi Di’s place enjoying some lovely coffee, She asked Ri if he wanted some guppies. (Guppies are tiny colourful fishes.) Before Ri could say a thing, I jumped and said, “of course he wants some guppies.”
SSM gave me a glare almost instantly. It is amazing how instantly his reflexes work some times. It is even more amazing how I choose to ignore them. The only reaction that Ri had was – Do the guppies eat ants – which meant that he totally wanted the guppies as well.
But SSM started being difficult just then. Statements such as these started flowing out of his mouth: We have no place to keep guppies… They are in natural environment here – let them be… We already have birds… The guppies will die by the time we reach Kolkata…
Lipi di was sweet enough to say that the guppies do not need much space and they can stay easily in a jar. That was all I wanted.
I had decided by then that I may leave SSM behind but the guppies go with me. (SSM drives the car so I couldn’t possibly leave him behind as much as it was tempting at that moment)
When Lipi di left us for a moment, SSM glared back.
“Are you mad?” he asked. I wonder why he keeps asking me that all the time.
“We take the guppies or I take a billy goat from one of the villagers back home. You decide” I hissed. (I half hoped that he would agree on the billy goat)
“Are you mad?” he asked AGAIN. It is like his mantra.
“Listen, no one says no to free guppies… or free anything” I hissed again. (Wow, I have been hissing quite a bit. I am now starting to believe in the snake charmer crap I wrote in the beginning.)
“The fishes will die. How on earth do you think they will survive all the way to Kolkata?” SSM asked.
“They will be fine. I will take them to Kolkata alive.” I replied
“They need oxygen and vitamins and blue and you need to change their water regularly. It is a hassle. I know; I have had fishes.” SSM argued. (It was a one sided argument because nothing that he said in that statement made any sense to me.)
“Look, a billy goat!” I pointed out.
He replied with something that sounded like a groan confused with a grunt.
So, finally, Lipi di gave us thirteen guppies; in a tiny bottle; and they looked super happy.
|Guppies in a desi daaru bottle|
Ri was super happy too. We made a plan to build an ant farm in a jar to feed the fishes.
I was super happy because the guppies and Ri were happy.
SSM was the only one super upset. He should have just agreed to the billy goat offer.
SSM made a final feeble attempt. He said, “Imagine how disturbing it will be when we eat fishes as we watch the fishes”
“I agree”, I said “We should have a code word every time we mention that we want to eat fishes so that we do not cause trauma to the guppies”
SSM gave up.
The guppies enjoyed journey back to Kolkata. They seemed extra happy every time a Salman Khan song played on the car stereo. They swam like crazy then, and THAT moment created the special bond between me and the guppies.
|Guppies in the car enjoying the ride and dancing to Salman Khan songs|
They reached Kolkata, alive. Ha! To SSM.
I placed them in two glass jugs. I then added some money plant twig to the jar and shouted aloud loud – the plant is to give you oxygen and food, my little ones – loud enough for SSM to hear.
SSM shouted back – two more days and they will be dead. (They are still alive and
|Look at them - playing 'let's strangle each other with the roots' (Okay, Now I totally believe that snake charmer strangling me, crap)|
|In the jar|
The same evening at dinner,
Me: The dead swimmer
Me: The dead swimmer – that is the code
SSM: Code for what?
Me: Code for whenever we want to eat fish, so that the guppies don’t know that we are eating fish.
SSM just walked off from the table then. I have a feeling he did not enjoy his dinner much.
PS: The guppies love ants.
*** Since SSM has jinxed the life of my guppies so much, I am going to use this post as one of those spam campaigns that run on social media these days. So all you need to do is leave a comment on this post to give life to the guppies. Each comment on this post will give an extended life of two months to each guppy.