The secret stories of a fish-pond

I was at the theme park yesterday organized for fun at the workplace. After taking a few rides for the sake of colleagues, I was wandering around to see if there was something suited for me.

Soon enough, I came across a fish pond with brilliantly colored fish: red, golden, orange, shades of black and grey. It was a sight to behold. Being a park for thrill, there were not many people at the pond and it was quiet. I sat myself by the pond and spent close to two hours watching fish.

I had not known before that watching a fish-pond could be an opportunity for meditation. The fish-pond spoke different stories.

First, the fish, like us, is life. Here were forms of life that kept running into each other all the time. Though the pond was somewhat big, it was limited and the fish could easily traverse the pond several times  in a day. However, none of the fish seemed bored about running into each other or traversing the same pond. Some of the fish were very active and leaped outside water (I don’t know why). It is probably because fish are such organisms that they accept the current condition and are not looking for thrill or excitement, taking life one moment at a time – the present. Outside, there were humans visiting different avenues to thrill themselves bored with their ordinary lives. I couldn’t help smiling at that thought and the pond-keeper must have thought me weird for smiling without apparent reason.

Then the time came to feed and the keeper threw food into the pond.  The fish that were closest rushed to the spot where the feed had landed to grab a snack. Instantly, all the fish in the pond rushed to the same spot though the food had already been consumed. It is not clear that they actually realized the presence of food. They must be taking the activity shown by their neighbors to infer it. The fish, which had consumed already and left the scene, must have noticed that the activity of their friends and inferred there must more food. They hurried back to the same spot. This set off a seemingly endless flurry of activity with the fish rushing to the spot, leaving it and returning back in a hurry. After some time, they must have realized that there is no food and it is simply fruitless activity. The pond went all quiet.

I was amazed by this sight. It was very much like the working of the mind. The mind is always receptive to drama. Once one thought latches on to drama, a host of other thoughts get agitated. And, they keep feeding off each other to keep the mental agitation going for a while. Then, the mind decides there is nothing interesting left and decides to await the next source of distraction.

In a way, this event in the pond was not very different from what was going on in the minds of people around. They were rushing from one ride to another. Some wanted once more! of the same ride until they felt they had exhausted the experience of thrill in it. Once again, I couldn’t help but smile.

I also noticed that some fish were taking some brief rest at the bottom of the pond, but other fish bumped into them and then they all got agitated. It was like putting a thought to rest only to find it agitated by some event.

At this point, it began to drizzle and the cool breeze carried droplets of rain onto one’s face. I sat by the pond watching the fish, watching the rain create small ripples in it, the fish swimming in and out of those ripples, the trees and shrubs around the pond laughing for having been tickled by the breeze, the water droplets descending and bounding from the graceful leaves as if they were ballet dancers, the sky clearing its throat in thunders. In the words of JK, one couldn’t tell how time flew.

For someone, who falls short of relating to adventure and thrill, the visit was not so bad after all.


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