Skip to main content

Kartar Singh on Hunger Strike

Kartar Singh has stopped eating.

He swims up to me when I try to feed him, looks at the food, and then looks up at me with his beady eyes, as if to say, What, you think I’m going to eat this crap? You have another think coming!

Kartar Singh the beady Betta Fish

Betta Fish on Hunger strike

I’ve tried all kinds of food good for his kind, but he turns his tail at them, and flashes in indignation. The water parameters are fine so I can only try and imagine what is wrong with him.

I’m told Betta fish are moody, can go for days without food, and given my experience with thoroughly spoilt BettasΒ before, I’m holding on to that.

Or, our Kartar Singh has figured out the Gandhian way of protest, because the only change in his life so far has been the trip to my study desk... and now that he is back home in his own aquarium, he has taken to sulking behind the leaves.

He’s also ignored the mirror all of yesterday (beware the Betta who ignores the mirror, this indicates he means business). Maybe his charter of demands includes a room with a view of books, and the Singaporean skyline from the window.

I’m tempted to take a picture of the view from my study desk and paste it behind his aquarium. How would he know the difference? He is a fish, after all.

But something tells me that with a name like Kartar Singh, he might be on to me.

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • xalmo says:

    big like! – thanks .

  • marianallen says:

    Hope Kartar Singh is better today. People who don’t keep fish don’t know how much personality they have. All our fish passed when the local water company changed what they put in the water and our home water treatment couldn’t counteract it. πŸ™ We had goldfish and a dojo loach. After such a loss, we didn’t have the heart to try again.

    Marian Allen
    Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

  • Petra Hefner says:

    Maybe he’s a studious fish and likes your study desk better. He might not be the scenic type at all. :c)

  • S.B. says:

    One thought is he might be stressed about the mirror– in my experience, territorial fish that get overexposed to a mirror can think they’ve lost the fight and get bummed out. Or he could just be being picky. My (sadly, given away…*sniffle*) betas used to go for up to 10 days without eating and were perfectly fine.
    Oh yeah…or he’s plotting against you.

    • Damyanti says:

      The mirror is only around for an hour or two, just to keep him fighting fit. I’m hoping he’s just being picky. Hope you get a new pet soon :0)

  • K.C. Woolf says:

    Poor Kartar Singh! πŸ™‚

    I like the idea of pasting a picture with the view behind his aquarium. Through water and glass, he shouldn’t be able to tell the difference =)

    • Damyanti says:

      LOL my family will think me truly mad if I paste pics of the view behind his aquarium πŸ™‚

      Things we do for our pets!

  • Joy says:

    I think I saw a post before this one about your fish, but didn’t remember to check it out. Hope he’s only being temperamental and will get back to feeding soon.

  • Title Loans says:

    The worst that you could do is try it and find out! I once (accidentally in college) left my Betta, Shark, for a month in the dorm without feeding him. Surprisingly, he survived- but he was not very happy with me. I felt like a horrible mother, so you’re not alone in obsessing over your fish. I say post the photo and feed him. Maybe it’ll work.

  • Funny the way pets can have such interesting personalities.

  • tina says:

    It would be a bit scary to think the fish would be on to you but then again…..:)

  • This is all a cunning plan, to lure you into false expected behavior. I’m with Pencil Girl… watch your back! πŸ™‚

    • Damyanti says:

      He is a cunning little thing :)…my fish-keeper friend suggests live food, but I’d rather wait. And yep, I Am watching my back. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  • Damyanti says:

    Pencilgirl, he’s gone a little awol from his usual self, but should be back to fighting fit soon πŸ™‚

  • PencilGirl says:

    He’s stopped fighting with himself??!! I think you need to go on red alert! You might be his next target! πŸ˜›
    PS: Is it my imagination, or is Kartar Singh rolling his eyes in that pic? : :

%d bloggers like this: