Those who have read my blog before, know I had a betta fish, Lalwant Singh.
Lalwant Singh died last week. At night he came to me for his food, nipped at my finger and all was well. Morning, he was curled up on a leaf, all dead. I guess I can take consolation in the fact that he did not suffer.
But then, what do I know of suffering, and how do I know whether a short suffering is any less hard to bear than a prolonged one? Does a small fish suffer? Does it suffer as much as a human? Is the suffering of the human more evident to me because a human is bigger than a small fish, and the fact that I am a human myself? Each time a fish dies I go through similar hand-wringing and attempts at philosophical acceptance.
But even in the fiction, I can’t stop wondering about death, about what one feels when one dies, about suffering in death, about the act of dying. And all this because of a fish.
Writers are crazy. No, let me amend that, I’m crazy. Always have been.
I’ve washed the aquarium clean, run the water again, and am waiting for the water to settle down, so I can bring home a ‘replacement’.
Dead is dead, I know. But then, there is also life, for both fish and human, and the embracing of it– with a complete and acute awareness that death is, and always will be, if not the only, but definitely the most inevitable consequence.