Ask Suppandi
Fish, Tennis Players and Kites!
Writer: Suppandi and Aparna Sundaresan
Illustrator: Shrutika Gorule


Deeti Shah from Ahmedabad, Gujarat asks, “How many fish are there all over this planet?” 
That is an excellent question, Deeti. Maddy and I went picnicking by a lakeside recently and I took this opportunity to investigate the matter myself. I stuck my head in the water and started counting the fish. But suddenly, I was slapped in the face by a tail fin! Rude! So I drew back to take a breath and put my head in and started counting again. But then I saw some fish that looked familiar, and I didn’t know if I had already counted them or if they were more of the same kind. I took my head out again and pondered over this problem for a while until I hit upon the answer. And the answer, Deeti, is lots. There are lots of fish on Earth. So there! 

Bhavika Gupta from Chandigarh asks, “Why do tennis players grunt so much while playing?” 
To answer this question, I will have to be brutally honest, so please don’t take offence. The fact of the matter, Bhavika, is that tennis is a ridiculously boring sport. For the most part, it’s just two people whacking a ball back and forth. Where’s the fun in that?! Even tennis players know this, so they desperately try to draw attention to themselves when they play. Each time they hit the ball, they call out, “Hey, look at me!” or “Ooh! Watch this!” Now, if you have ever played a sport, you’ll know that it’s hard to talk and play at the same time. So the callouts from the players come out in a rush, like “Heyootme!” or “Oohwadis!” which become more and more shortened as they lose their breath. Ultimately, they end up sounding like, “Haaagh!” and “Aaargh!” and “Oohwaargh!” which you mistake as grunts. 

Sandeep Verma from Bengaluru asks, “How do kites stay up in the sky?”
With that question, you have hit upon the heart of one of the greatest conspiracies ever, Sandeep. I will tell you the answer, of course, but reader discretion is advised. Okay, here goes. We all know that birds (and some insects) are the only natural fliers. Anyone else who wants to fly must have a licence to do so. Planes and the pilots who fly them have licences, don’t they? But kites don’t! That’s right. When the licensing exam was going on for planes, kites snuck in and stole a bunch of approval forms from the Flight Bestowing Authority. They filled up the forms and forged approval stamps on all of them, thus granting them ‘permission’ to fly. Since then, they have been flying high in the sky, enjoying their ill-gotten gains while the rest of us have been clueless. Devious, isn’t it? 


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