Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sharky and George

Picture courtesy: Corbis

Yesterday I went to the Pet Shop after a very long time and optimisticaly picked up a pair of Goldfish. It has been many moons and many Goldfish burials since I have picked up a pair of Goldfish. The last one who died got an awesome but somber burial.

Me:(taking dead goldfish in my hands) And may God bless your soul and take you into his arms.
[Sprinkles Holy Water on the fish and places the fish gently into the grave*]
Friends: Amen!

* Watery grave

I named my new fishes Sharky and George, after my favorite childhood toon. Sharky is fat and George is thin. I was hoping that Sharky is a male and George is a female or vice versa. I had great hopes on Sharky and George like I had on the seventeen thousand others who died in the quest of fulfilling my hopes of becoming a Goldfish farmer. Like the proverbial story of the milkmaid that we all have had to read compulsorily, thanks to NCERT, I too was like the Milkmaid who dreamt of selling milk and buying hens, then selling the eggs and buying goats and so forth till she had bought up the various State Dairy Development Boards and then finally in a hostile take over acquires the National Dairy Development Board itself. (Mr Kurien doesn’t know what a close shave he has had with this one!).

My dreams were quite similar to the milkmaid in the story. I would buy a Goldfish that would give me numerous baby Goldfishes which I would sell and buy more Goldfishes who will give me another million babies that I would sell and quit school. Simple. (I wasn’t too ambitious in 4th standard)

If you bump into one of those numerous ex Goldfish sellers who live in the French Riviera and Hawaii, they will fondly recall a determined little girl who came religiously to their shops in Shivajinagar after every Sunday Mass at St Patrick’s and went home with a Goldfish. They loved the little girl, especially since they knew that she would be back in a day or two, or if luck was on their side in a couple of hours to buy another one. She was the only known person in the history of Goldfish buying to have made it to the elite list of “Frequent Buyers Club” and she earned numerous freebies like the FREE opportunity to pat the Pomeranian puppies kept in the cages or FREE ten minutes of playtime with the cute rabbits also kept in cages.

Accompanying her was a gentleman whose only purpose in life seemed to be paying for the fish. Sometime accompanying them would be a boy, a little elder to the girl who was partly mute as all he would be heard talking was “Bet you this fish will not live for more than three hours. Anyone for a bet???”

Boy: Bet you this fish will live only 12 hours.
Gentleman who always paid for the fish: No way, she will take good care of this one! Won’t you mole?
Girl: *Nods head vigorously*
Boy: What’s the bet!
Gentleman who always paid for the fish: 10 Rupees.
Boy: Deal!
Gentleman who always paid for the fish: *sigh* Here take the ten rupees, you can return it if the fish lives.

The boy would take the ten rupees and add it to the thick wad of notes in his pocket. The boy was also perhaps the first known boy in history to have his own “Cash Box” by age ten. He was the guy who came to the family’s aid when there was a critical shortage of change in India.

Dad: Son do you have change for a hundred rupees?
(Boy counts nine ten rupees from the 20 ten rupee notes he has in change)
Boy: Dad I am afraid I have only ninety rupees.
Dad: Never mind, here is 100 rupees. Give me whatever you have.

And thus he amassed great wealth while his sister still hoped to make it big and rich in the Goldfish business.

Now Sharky and George were also greeted with great glee and anticipation and lots of mental arithmetics by the the boy, now a fully grown boy. By now he had also become very supportive and extremely encouraging of his sisters ambitions.

Grown up Boy: 24 hours!! I give this fish 24 hours!!
Gentleman who did not pay for fish this time: No way, she will take good care of this one! Won’t you mole?
Girl: *Nods head not so vigorously*
Grown up Boy: 24 hours!! A minute more and I pay one thousand rupees!!
Gentleman who did not pay for fish this time: 25 hours!
Boy: Deal!
Girl: *sigh*

24 hours later Sharky and George were dead. After collecting the money, as a gesture of sympathy and support in my time of grief and my Dad’s time of loss, my brother laid the fishes in a clean sheet of paper one beside the other for the burial. The fat one first then the thin one. Under the fat one he wrote “Before”. Under the thin one he wrote “After”.


I bet you a thousand rupees that I will find him in 24 hours!! Any takers????

(I just got an SMS from him that says "Deal!")



mathew said...

Lol!!!your sunday posts brings lot of cheer!! :-)

I can imagine that you were "goldmother" for thousands of fishes...and you will be christened as the "blessed mother of Nemos"!!

Anonymous said...


Watery grave, it seems! :))

Long time reader here, but this is the first time am leaving a comment :)

Your posts are just fab!


Neihal said...


when I started reading I thought finally there is someone who can tell me few things about caring for fishes.....I so want to have a couple at my home....but I think I will wait :P

Di said...

Tcha tcha!!....wheres the PETA cum ur runnin around scot free this long!! and u actually flushed it down!! :O

Mind Curry said...

i was a big tycoon in the fish industry myself..had over 500 fishes at one point..but never attempted goldfish breeding..coz i did hear of the biz magnate..rather the goldfish biz magnate in the making. i didnt think i'd stand any chance in front of her, once her biz bloomed. now i understand it never did..amen! flushhhh!

Alexis said...

ROFL... that was a great treat to read and I can fully relate to the story.

The same thing happens even now in my home--my brother is the fish farmer and I places the bet. He must have spent a fortune on a lot of exotic fishes, all of them dead, but still have not given up.

Now he has an ardent supporter--his son :-) Together they have assassinated a hundreds of goldfishes, cichlids, gouramies,etc.

accidental diva said...

The post was simple super:):):)

Your posts so remind me of Erma Bombeck's books.......totally enjoy reading them:)

Ganja Turtle said...

Guess who bought the rabbits that you patted! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Lol. perfect way to start a monday morning at work. reach office, open silverene's blog, find new post, and laugh your guts out! keeps you smiling all day...eases off the monday blues just little bit:)

keep it up...

Amey said...

Now this is what I call "not giving up"...

This story would make a nice sequel for the movie "Guru", the story of never giving up, fighting against the odds, and how a young man uses his brains to amass a fortune.

Any suggestions for your role and the hero's i.e. your brother's?

Sachin R K said...

Simply superbbb !!! :)))

Synapse said...

too good!
what would induce ur brother to blog?would love have his POV! he seems to b the one havin all the fun! :)

shruti said...

hilarious... I am sure the dream will come true some day ...keep trying at it girl and never give up .. even six sigma doesnt promise 100 % accuracy hence ur brother will surely err one day ....Let the hope never die ..

I remember reading that story too..infact I am sure its influenced a lot of little minds with big imaginations and an entrepreneurial bend of mind throughout their growing up years ..I remember my day dreams were bizzare!!

Sanjay said...

Ever thought of making it big in the fresh grilled fish business? I believe there is lot of potential.

I am a prospective patron though am very fussy about how fresh my fish is.

If you plan to take up the opp there are 2 must do's:

1)Dont forget to serve beer with the fish. (That way you sell more of both)
2) Keep note of the profits and send me 25% as royalty.


Ashwin Raju said...

I've never tried being a goldfish farmer...

And i'll strike it out of my "things to try in life" list...


silverine said...

mathew: "Goldmother"? lol good one!! I think I was more of a "mass massacarer" :p

Sowmya: Thank you :)

neihal: No matter what you do they wont survive :( Unless you have an elaborate Acquarium.

Di: brrr girl I hope you are not those closet meat eating PETA types

mindcurry: I too had numerous guppies but the Goldfish always insisted on commiting suicide in my Goldfish bowl :(

Alexis: Thank you and I am sooo relieved that I am not the only one :P

Accidental Diva: Thank you dear :)

GT: I tried Rabbit keeping too but the stink made me abandon that :)

esprit noir: My PMI arriveth. Thank you!! :)

flieger: This would be another height, the "Height of Persistence"! And a movie with my brother would require him and wonly him in the stellar role for that authentic touch :p

Sachin: Thank you :)

Synapse: His POV is not important at all grrr

shruti: I keep trying dear. But it is burning a huge hole in the other family member's pockets :(
I think most of us will remember that story :)

Sanjay: With patrons like you I am sure I will scale new heights in making huge profits for the fish sellers :p

bleak: Gracias, I always endeavour to help and educate! btw I dont know what those guys do that the fish never survives a day outside their tanks :(

Neihal said...

Silverine tell me thats not true :(
its my only chance to have a pet around here :((

Amey said...

True... "height" is the word I was looking for ;)

So, we will cast you and your brother for the authentic touch. We can make it into an "art" cinema (unless your bro agrees to produce it)

Given my friends' "successes" at raising the fish (with a few exceptions by my cousin), it would be most interesting to know the mortality statistics of captive fishes.

b v n said...

LOL !! another classic post ! hehe..the girl who nods her head not so vigorously :)) you named a goldfish sharky...thats a height! I remember having a graph for my number of fish in the tank, it looked like nilgiris :)

Anonymous said...

kewl :)

came to your blog almost 3 weeks back and never left.. Had a great time reading your posts...


Anonymous said...

Hilarious post and well your brother seems to have great entrepreneurial skills, but I fail to understand why wouldn't your fish ever survive? Or am I missing something?

Dhanush | ധനുഷ് said...

Uff!! What is it with Ladies(Gals) and Fishes. My mom was three tanks where in she maintains, guppies, gold fishes and even sharks. The sharks are so big that it make noises in the night and I get scared during sleep.. I yell .. Ammee... Sraavu Thinnuneee... :) And the next day morning, I will say.. I will eat all these sharks (The only thing I can relate with fishes ;))

Still when I go home she will ask me to get a gold fish, I go there reluctantly and pick up one or two and then leave it to her.

I would surely say her to give Silverine special "watery grave" if them dies :)

Nice one.

shub said...

Lol! came here from Desipundit. Hilarious!

Unknown said...

fishes are playing great role in science development. they always supported for humen better grow.they always serving humen being with their death body.
a science haunter from the site

Unknown said...

In my village ,I had picked up more beautiful fishes in my school age and play like haunter in water .

have a regular look on the science haunter site

Jay Sun said...

Nice one :)

Anonymous said...

omg, hilarious. was expecting a bit staid post after seeing the pics, and the beginning sentences. whoa!! poor u.. no poor fishes.
did the ex goldfish sellers auction their shops to the highest bidders?

DD said...

Confused Cow: "Moooo..."
Dasan: "Avattakal amarunnathu ketto"
Vijayan: "Athe...Aishwaryathinte siren muzhangunnathu pole undu"

The same funda (of milk->hen->eggs->goats->Dictatorship) was in vogue much yerlier than you think :)

Oh ya, also reminds me of Paresh Rawal salivating at the grand idea of buying a few hens, selling their eggs, buying more hens, selling more eggs, ending with crores of hens (and eggs) have to watch "Andaz Apna Apna" to get that kickass dialogue!

And ya, nice post as always :)

Rebelzz said...

ROTFL... man, u make ur bro sound too interesting! :D

Anonymous said...

The post reminded me of my childhood. During vacations we used to go to our native village.Alongwith other cousins and friends we went to the waterlogged paddy fields and used to catch exotic fishes like "saree" and "gappi" (dont know whether these are the actual names. but we used to call those one centimeter long multi-coloured fishes by these names).Tea strainers and "thorthu" used to be the main fishing equipments. After the vacation we used to carefully carry those fishes in bournvita jars to the town. Then we used to "barter" these fishes with schoolmates for other valuable items like matchbox labels, nameslip stickers etc. In retrospect, i feel that some of them would have been the best deals i would have ever made in life.
And finally, as always, a wonderful post!

ToOothlEss WOndeR! said...

This reminds me of Ozzy the scorpion - he died on the same day I adopted him.
I left him outside the computerScience department when I went to the Control Systems class, and whenI came back, there was only his shell left.
Ants ate his insides. Bleddy phools!
We buried (whatever was left of)him with militiary honors in the boys hostel.

Anonymous said...

c'mon, confess. you ate sharky and george, no?

silverine said...

neihal: Well girl, either you are good at Goldfish rearing or you will have to find out the hard way :(

fleiger: "mortality rate of goldfishes" is like saying "corruption rate of politicians"! :p

bvn: Now that you have pointed it out 'sharky' was quite name for that goldfish :p And if you goldfish production chart was like the Nilgiri's then I will have to call you "guruji" :)

Anon: Thank you :)

Kusum: Thanks girl, well...I think it is a knack to rear them!

dhanush: Please tell your mom that she has my utmost respect!! Three tanks!!! This lady is the "Patron Saint of Fish Rearers!!! :)

shub: Thanks dear :)

science hunter: Sure I will def check your site out!

amooma: I dont think they had to auction their shops...guess they made enough money out of me to buy their villas in Riviera and Hawaii :P

DD: LOL on that first one. I think this story is pretty old because my Mom says even she has read this one in school!!

r.e.b.e.l: Interesting? You must be a masochist :P

jithesh: I was a champion thorthu" fisher gal myself :) Those childhood holidays in Kerala were so special!

spidey: LOL :))

jaysun: Thank you :)

toothlesswonder: *SOB* That story nearly broke my heart but of the fact that I have only debris for a heart after all those heartbreak I suffered in the fish tank :((

hillgrandmom said...

:), :). All the best for the next set, may they live long and well (and your bro have to fork out)Amen!

Dhanush | ധനുഷ് said...

Well, I will definitely tell her that some one has given the title of "Patron Saint of Fish Rearers!!!".

She will be honoured :)

Amey said...

Hmm.. so, the more fishes you have, the more they die? Sounds bad (and weird come to think of it) ;)

BTW, this site has some prayers to be said next time you get a fish, (and/)or you have to bury one. The burial one is last.

eljo said...

Lovely write-up as always :-)
i have been following your blogs for quite some time, but commenting for the first time.

eljo said...

excellent post, as always. love reading your posts as they bring a smile to the face :-)

Jeseem said...

hey next time ur buying a fish, i am joining the bet group with ur brother :P

anup.777 said...

lolz ... another gud one! Thank u for the laughs ...

" (I wasn’t too ambitious in 4th standard)"
I probably still am not .. :)

silverine said...

hillgrandmom: Thank you :)

dhanush: She deserves the title!! :)

fleiger: You should be giving me prayers for my fishy's good health brrr

eljo: Thank you :)

jeseem: Now, why doesn't that surprise me!! :p

anup: Thank you dear, you deserve a smile and more especially since you spread so many smiles with all those lovely music you send around :)

Amey said...

I thought you already knew them by now...

If I tell ya, I'll have to kill ya said...

SILVERINE...o God...I cant believe i have been away for 5 months. reading ur posts makes me feel all nostalgic again...this one had me cackling to myself, alone in my new home. but this was really realy funny. esp the fat fish "before" and thin fish "after"....hehehehehehe

Sujith Philipose said...

U know what? Goldfishes are the most difficult of the lot.

I once thought it was because I gave them too little food, so I kept feeding them every 5 minutes...they died with their stomachs burst open.

Another time they died because they received too much oxygen (I guess) from the bubbler! Some smartass told me that they need lots of bubbles.

And another time they died of the coloring in the anti-fungal solution. And yet another time they died cause I think they were bored!!!!

silverine said...

flieger: The more the merrier :p

if I tell ya girl: Thanks girl, and so nice to have you back!!! p.s it was a vandana luthra clinic flyer on which he put the fishy's :))

flipflop: You just described my experience with goldfish :)
And yet another time they died cause I think they were bored!!!! LOL good one, now I have an excuse :p

Bullshee said...

I think VLCC would've loved the fishes 'Before' and 'After' profile!

I hand it to your bro for a wicked,spiked sense of humour!!!

claytonia vices said...

Did you take proper care of them???? Like avoiding chlorinated water etc etc?

silverine said...

bullshee: It was on a VLCC flyer that he put the fishies :)

claytonia vices: I did use the tap water :( Please do share any tips and tricks if you know.

Anonymous said...

Cant help but comment again.A lazy reader that i am,din't wanna read a silly goldfish story in the begining.Once i read it ,i was mesmerized.The next time i get to bangalore,gimme your autograph. please..
And thus he was converted.I'm a Fan!!

rk said...

=))=))=))........speechless....apparentlyur bro has a really twisted sense of humour ......:).....

_ said...

This is such a cute post. I was sitting here all droopy ear-ed since I found out that you're so funny, 'so pretty'™ and also so not gonna part with your number. But this made me laugh out loud. :)

Specially loved all the nodding. :D

_ said...

And you're so online right now!! *waaah*