Made for Each Other


Photo by Q.U.I on Unsplash

Nina: Nana, isn’t lockdown great?

Nana is speechless and goggles at her making a Bertie Woosterish frog face.

Nina: I mean, we get to spend so much time together. You’re at terribly high risk being so old and what not, you can’t leave the house at all. But aren’t you lucky to have me entertain you with interesting facts.

Nana: Oh just kill me now! It’s been 3 months of being cooped up with you. The only blessing is online school, that keeps you out of my hair for a few hours.

Nina: What hair?

Nana: Aren't you the funny one?

Nina. I am. How else could I effectively entertain? Anyway, I was just thinking, we are totally made for each other like the zooxanthellae.

Nana: The zoozoo what? Bet it’s not even a real thing. You just made it up to come and annoy me.

Nina: No Nana. The zooxanthellae are single celled algae that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef and global warming is destroying them.

Nana: Well global warming is the great destroyer. But it’s just algae, not the actual corals. Did you know they are getting bleached due to global warming? Soon one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world will be destroyed because of global warming. I remember telling you this before, but you never actually listen to me, do you?

Nina. But that’s exactly what I am talking about. I read an article about these algae, which live inside the corals and have a symbiotic relationship with them. The algae prepare food using photosynthesis, and share it with the corals so the corals have enough energy to build the reefs. They also provide oxygen for the corals and help them get rid of their waste. In return, the coral provide the algae with some nutrients it needs.

Nana: So what’s global warming got to do with any of this?

Nina: When the water gets warm, then the algae get stressed out and the corals evict them.

Nana: I can sympathize with them. Every time you get excited, I wish I could evict you.

Nina: But Nana without the algae, the coral lose their color. That's how they get bleached. It’s true that like the algae, I add color to your mundane life. The corals also eventually die. Don’t you see, we are just like them? I make you angry, grumpy and sarcastic. But, because of me you experience strong emotions. I give you something to look forward to, even if that thing is being prickly with me.

Nana: Oh and what do I do for you?

Nina: Oh you listen to all my stuff. You get annoyed, but at least you listen. Not that many grown ups actually listen to what kids have to say. I love you Nana, and I couldn’t do without you. Just like the algae can’t do without the coral.

Nana: Hmph. Go away. Don’t you have some homework?

Nina: This was homework Nana. They asked me to research the Great Barrier Reef.

Nana: Stupid school. can’t they just give you normal homework like 200 problems in algebra?

This post is a part of the #NinaAndNana series I co-host with Lavanya Srinivasan. Her posts can be found here.

Tags: values, science, biology, humor, Nina and Nana, family, environment, animals, geography