Back to Lakmahal today, and the pond which I have not spoken of much so far in this series, the biggest in the garden, and the first actual pond. Before it there had been the yellow bath tub, the lotuses in which I described a couple of weeks back.

It had been essentially for lotuses that I had got that, though I put in a few fish to begin with, and then grey gouramis. Seeing them dashing about in there I decided to give them more space, and so had the area just opposite the door into the garden dug up and lined with irregular stones. I also wanted to have there a waterfall, which Kithsiri managed to create with a motor that drew water up to a cement tank we affixed on the wall. I got the water to spill over it in sheafs by placing ornamental animals on top, while on the front of the tank I affixed a little ceramic face that I had had on the wall in my bedroom when I first moved downstairs.

Into that pond I moved the gourami and the carp I had bought for the first pond, and the mozambique Kavi had given me initially, while Kithsiri’s son Lohan gifted me the catfish that remained to him of a pair he had got and kept at the cottage. By now it had grown very large, and I loved to see it glide around the pond. 

Soon after they were moved there, the gourami spawned. Though at first I did not understand what the foam was, Kavi soon enlightened me, and also said I should take this away in case other gourami ate it up. So I did, and in a little blue case they grew up, and in time I was able to return nearly twenty of them into that big pond.

The first picture is of the whole pond, with the animal statuettes ranged round its edge, including a deer and a bird from Cambodia and three stone elephants from my aunt Ena’s workshop. They are at the back, below the wall which I decorated with left over tiles from the yellow bathroom. In front you can see lots of frogs, stone and metal, though this picture does not show the serried rank of tortoises on the other side of the fish in the centre. Beyond on the left edge you see a number of sphinxes.

The second picture shows the tank above the pond from which the water flows with the striking face in front. Then there is the pond in its early days, with a host of carp and gourami, the Mozambique at the bottom and the catfish looming above on the left. This picture intrigued me for a long time because I could not work out what the buildings are that are reflected in the water, but then I realized it was very simply the tank on top, with the face also discernible.

Then there is a later picture, with lots of gourami, but also the multicoloured carp I got later. After that I have two pictures of the gourami together with the white carp I also put in there, and in both of them you see the mozambique, and the catfish, gliding along at the bottom in the last picture, a wonderful contrast to the rest.