Ok, so my inspiration remains the pond at Afsanah Guest House in Auroville. But I am as far from Afsanah as chalk to cheese. See the thing is, I haven't cracked the whole water plant/ biome thing. Having grown up with a father who has fish tanks, weeds and snails running as far as the eye can see (Madan once stuck his head into a tank, no doubt to catch a better view of a passing Gouramai, and had to be rescued... Who has to be rescued from a fish tank, I ask?) I thought it would be a breeze. Dig a hole, add some plants for green cover and then add the fish. The turtle, I was advised by an online pond friend, was a bad idea. Choose between pretty pond and turtle pond, quoth he.
Anyway, so the pond was dug. Three levels were scientifically carved out so as to simulate the littoral, the limnetic and profundal zones. Next step - plants. Kuki and I stopped by the pond near Taverekere. How hard can it be, ya? We'll just grab a few of those gorgeous white lillies and transplant them into our pond.
I made my way over abandoned Ganeshas and Marigolds at the water's edge....and yanked. Nothing. Not an inch. So then we (note "I" has now become "We" and a crowd is gathering to watch) rescued a Casurina pole from what looked like an old hearse or litter and try to disentangle a lilly bulb. Kuki held onto one end as I dangled dangerously over the other tugging ernestly at weeds. Someone claps when it looks like I might keel right over into the slush....that did it. Let's just buy some water plants from Siddapura instead, I screech. So we do, several hundred rupees of water hyacinth-like plants otherwise seen clogging the lakes at Varthur and Hebbal and surely available free.
These lie around in the pond looking bored before giving up their ghost. A particularly ravishing pink lilly that I buy from a nursery on Sarjapur road actually blooms a few times before it too languishes and fades away.
Up untill this point, Nagaraj (aka Doomsday Donna) has been valiantly cleaning the pond to keep the water clear. No more, declare I. From henceforth we place a moratorium on Clean and encourage, endorse and welcome Grime, Silt and Sediment. Therein lies the answer to prettiness and water-edge fronds and ferns, mossy rocks and lilting lillies.
And what of the fishes, you may well ask? About 50 guppies from The Father's fish tanks were transferred with much optimism. So much optimism that we also bought several hundred rupees more of fish from Russel Market (very hardy, Madam. will only die of old age) for diversity. Word in the bush spread like wildfire. Open Water Body, Captive Catch, no Green Cover. The fish, it hurts me to say, are no more. But we did have a happy Cormorant for a day. And frogs (soon to be extinct due to climatic changes) will be saved (in a Noah's Ark kind of way) because they have made a home of our now grimy pond and have turned Silent Mirror Pond into Mosh Pit Pond.
The last I spoke to Nagaraj, he said we have a couple resident snakes in the Pond. I suppose it will be a bird of prey next. So...water lillies or not, it augers well for the future, biome-wise.