Monday, April 13, 2009
I received my first ever aquarium in the mail. I was overjoyed - well, atleast until I opened the packaging, after that I was a little overwhelmed. It had a million parts and attachments! A filter, some filter media, an aquarium heater, a thermometer, and some plants. A little intimidated, I postponed the task of putting together the apparatus (yep, that's what it seemed like!) till the weekend.
4th April 2009:
Come Saturday, I sat down with the bunch of manuals that came with the aquarium before me. Thankfully, I had a (saner and probably smarter) friend help me out. I could not believe I was actually going through with this. I mean, I'd been researching and reading up about bettas for over a month now. Theoretically, I knew exactly what I needed to do and how, to keep it safe and healthy. But it kept coming back to me again and again - for the first time, I was going to be responsible for another living being's health and happiness. It was a big responsibility. I was a little apprehensive. What if I did the wrong things? What if I forgot to feed it one fine day? Or worse (and knowing me, more likely), what if I overfed it and made it sick? Trying to shun these thoughts away, I sat down to assemble this thing, so I could bring home my new friend on Sunday.
After about an hour of work (which included arguments, spilled water, some superglue, and a forever broken thermometer), the aquarium was all set! The plants (plastic, but great-looking nonetheless), the Greek ruins-like decorations, and the lights made it look amazingly beautiful. The filtration and the heating were up and running too! All the home needed now was someone to occupy it!
5th April 2009:
It was a cold, windy day.
At about 3pm, I set out for the Petco at Crossroads, Bellevue. I couldn't contain my excitement! I had a couple of concerns, though. How would I know which one to pick? How could I tell which one liked me, and wanted to spend the rest of its life in my house? Or did it not matter at all? Confused, I headed towards the aisle where they housed the bettas. There they were, in shockingly tiny containers they barely had room to move in. I picked up a bowl and looked in - it was a male red crowntail betta. At roughly 3 inches, he was huge. He barely moved. Maybe it was the tiny bowl, but I decided to look at some more. I picked up at least 15-20 more bowls, but was unable to zero in on one. I was running out of options. Would I have to go look in more stores? I didn't want to. I was anxious to take my pet home with me that very day. Thankfully, the friend I'd gone with spotted around 10 more bettas housed in a different aisle. My hopes sky-high again, I walked towards those. The first guy I picked up was an electric blue crowntail. He was a little smaller than the others, but what struck me about him was that he was swimming all about in his minuscule bowl. I think I saw him look up at me, but that could very well just be my imagination at work. I knew I wanted to take him home with me. But just to be sure, I looked at a couple more. In the end, it was either him, or a slightly bigger red crowntail. The choice was easy. Mr. Blue was mine! I hurried home with him. He seemed to be in a state of constant surprise - from the time we left the store till the time we got home - I guess it was the sudden burst of sunlight, and all the sudden jerks in the car on the way home. Well, he was in for a much bigger surprise! I carefully placed his tiny bowl in my 10 gallon tank, just so the water temperature equalized so he wouldn't be shocked when I put him in the tank. After about 20 minutes or so, i let him out of his bowl, into his new home. The first couple of seconds, he didn't seem to move at all. After that, he set out to explore. After his bowl, this probably seemed like the Pacific Ocean to him. He went up to each tree, the Greek structure, the filter, and the heater, trying to pick out his favorite spot. He settled on this tall tree - that extended all the way to the top of the water. He'd dart out every few minutes - sometimes to stick his tail under the filter (he seems to like the current), sometimes to feel the warmth close to the heater, and sometimes just for fun. That evening, I spent over three hours sitting by his tank, just watching him move about.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
You could call me an avid internet user. I spend roughly 25 hours a week on the internet for non-work activities. Yes, you read that right. Yes, I know that's a lot. And yes, I also know it's probably bad for my eyes. And my wrist. Can we get back to my story now?
Over the course of time, I've had about 15-20 e-mail accounts, and I'm a member of atleast 30 online forums or websites.
I opened my first e-mail account in 1997 or 1998. At the time, in India, the internet was this cool new thing that everyone wanted a piece of, and people all around me were scrambling to create e-mail accounts. I got the whole part about everyone wanting to be part of this new revolution, but what I did not get, was this obsession they all had with their names. Everyone wanted IDs that contained their names. Don't get me wrong - I love my name. But is that the only entity we can think of that establishes our identity? Sure it's the easiest one. But it's just something our parents assigned us when we were barely days old. Maybe not even that much.
Here's our chance to create something unique, something creative, something that really defines us, and there we go appending numbers to our names, because the names itself weren't available.
Why do we do this? My theory is that the human brain is wired to go back to the comfort of something it's familiar with, instead of creating something new and innovative. It's also that much less work memorizing and remembering it. As the internet expanded, and became all-pervasive, this probably became more important.
As much as I'd love to maintain a single identity all over the web, the dreamer in me usually wins when I'm looking to create an online alias. Except for a couple that I use for work purposes, all my IDs are the work of my overly active imagination. Some are cute, some are smart (or so I'd like to think :P), some are downright weird. But each of them defines me, or something that mattered to me in that moment. And although I probably don't use aliases I created a few years ago anymore, when I look back and think about them, they never fail to put a smile on my face. Sometimes even a laugh. Some of them make me wonder how stupid I was back then; still I'd pick them anyday over something as predictable as my name.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Ever since I can remember, I've wanted to have a furry friend I can call my own. When I was a kid, my folks didn't want an 'animal' in the house (as if my sister and I didn't qualify...sigh!). I still remember the little pup that followed me home from school one day. I tried hard to lose it, but it wouldn't give up. There it was, standing outside the gates to my house, staring up at me with its pleading eyes...who wouldn't give in to those sad, droopy eyes...and those tiny, furry paws...and that cute little tail that wouldn't stop wagging? I begged my mom to let me keep it. Well, she wouldn't let me, of course, the poor little being was an 'animal' after all. Numerous pleas and long faces later, I was allowed to feed it! BUT, there were rules - It doesn't come in through the gate. It stays out. I carry the food out in a bowl that noone else uses, and feed it. And oh, I'm not allowed to touch it either.
My happiness knew no bounds. My first ever furry friend! I'd wait all day long to get back home from school. And as soon as I'd reach the front gates, there it'd be, waiting for me, its tail wagging unstoppably, like all it's been doing all day is sitting there in the hope that I'll show up. I'd rush indoors, grab its bowl, fill it up, and rush right back to the gate. I'd sit and watch the little guy (yes, I found out it was a guy. So let's call it 'him' from now on, okay?) lap up everything I fed him. And no, he'd not leave as soon as he finished; he'd stay...he'd sit there beside me, and together we'd watch the world go by us.
Months passed. He got bigger. He wanted more food. He'd still show up every evening, at the same time, his eyes as joyous to see me as the first time. Then one day, why, I still don't know, he wasn't there. I came back home from school, eager to see him, but he never did show up. I waited outside for hours, looked around the neighborhood, but there was no sign of him. Maybe he got into a bad fight. A real bad one. Or maybe he decided to move. To a different neighborhood. A different town, maybe? I'll never know.
When I started college, fortunately or not, I was still living with my folks. And no, despite years of living with my sister and I, they hadn't quite changed their mind about 'animals' :P. During this time, there were a couple of cats that frequented our house for food. I fell in love again. I'd look forward to their mealtimes. Look forward to making more furry friends. It was good while it lasted, but I'd gotten busier - life was no longer as carefree as it used to be. Besides, cats, by nature, are independent. And unattached. And one fine summer, my folks decided we were moving to a new house, and guess what, we forgot to give the cats our new address.
I decided that once I was living on my own, I was definitely, most certainly getting a pet. Well, it's been a year now, and I'm yet to muster the courage to take responsibility for a furry friend. Yes, I'm a little overwhelmed! It's a lot of work, like taking care of a little kid, and I don't know if I'm ready for that yet. I'm not giving up on the dream, though. I still frequent pet food aisles in supermarkets, in the hope that I'll pick up something from there someday. Maybe I'll start small. With a fish. A goldfish. Yeah. Not as furry maybe, but its a beginning, and its a friend. Hmmm.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
I was anguished, I was lonely, I was desolate
Lost in humanity, I had all faith
Cribbed over my destiny, cursed my fate
Wished all my woes could just evaporate;
Knew not what to do, I wandered by the pool
The breeze laughed at me, called me a fool
Was on the brink of losing my head
Down flew a little birdie, this is what she said:
"The times are bad, the times are rough
But this is when you get to prove that you've got the stuff
You've got what it takes to get over this
To bring back into life that elusive bliss;
This is not a trial, this is not a test
It is but an opportunity to prove you're the best
To prove you can go on when progress seems futile
To prove you can walk on mile after mile;
Your big chance this could be, your moment of glory
On every pair of lips could be your amazing story
Stand up, forge ahead, you can turn around the tide
On the crest of success, take a wild ride;
Rise from the ashes, wash away the grime
Waiting out there for you is ecstasy sublime
Have no fear, get up, take a stand,
I'm your guardian angel, till eternity holding your hand";
Away the birdie flew, left me in a daze
Feel I could in my soul, the fire once again blaze
Jostling me awake, again the breeze flew,
Said tough times don't last, but tough people do."
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
The blooming flowers, once blossoming bright
Now look so weak, so dull, so trite
Maybe tomorrow'll bring back the hue
Buds so tender bathed in dew;
My source of joy, the mesmerizing blue sky
Now a smoky grey, makes my tears run dry
Maybe tomorrow'll be my ally
Give me wings again and help me fly;
The sparkling river, my friend in despair
Seems to have vanished into thin air
Maybe tomorrow'll restore the faith
Pristine waters of love will again percolate;
The songs of the birds used to set me free
All I can hear now are echoes eerie
Maybe tomorrow'll return the tune
The melody that made us to all sorrow immune;
The harmony of the world used to inspire
Now everywhere I look people plot and conspire
Maybe tomorrow our belief will revive
In the sole reason that keeps us all alive...
...the eternally burning flame that we call HOPE
Saturday, March 25, 2006
So high up in the stars
She said she'd touch the sky, but they said...
She's a dreamer, she's a fool
She didn't fight back, didn't say a word
Resolved that one day she'd show the world
No one could deny no one could refute
She was a dreamer, but never a fool
Time passed by, faces wrinkled, backs stooped
Only thing still unwithered was her dream
That she would fly high
High up in the sky
Zooming past the clouds into realms unkown
But they said
She'll always be a dreamer always a fool
Suddenly that night lightning struck
Bombs were heard and missiles flew
Battle was raging and then came the call
The call to serve the country, to protect, to shawl
Whilst men were inventing schemes
Schemes and plans to slip out of duty
She jumped at the chance stepped up to the fore
Stood upright and took a vow
A vow to serve, to protect
To protect till she could no more
Up into the airplane she clambered
Unsteady and unsure
Contemptuous eyes boring into her
A lone woman in a man's world
There she sat in the pivotal chair
And took off oh so gloriously
She flew and she flew and she flew
Flew past the clouds up into the sky
High up till you could catch sight of her no more
Battling it out bringing her foes down to their knees
Stopping not for a minute, not for a second
So engrossed she was so dutiful so passionate
Did not notice way inside the enemy camp she flew
Beating them at their own game she forged ahead
Ahead until she could forge no longer
Attacked she was from three directions
Bombs flew at her and at that moment she knew
Knew this was the end this was glory
Achieved she had all she ever wanted to
Up in smoke as her airplane fumed she thought to herself
"I was a dreamer, but they were the fools".