Hey awesome folks, hope you’re doing good. Yep! Real story time! So sit back, relax, let go of all your thoughts for a while and embark on an unscripted journey through my words about my real life encounters with one of the most ferocious of the beings; snakes (lol no, not talking about people here but snakes literally!)
When I was in grade eighth, my dad got transferred to Bhopal, a city in India (PSU kids, where you at? You know what I’m talking about. Mid session admissions, several first days at several new schools and the customary hawk eyed welcome from your new classmates. Because obviously they need to be scanned thoroughly, for all they know, these new joiners could come from planet Z and might eat them for breakfast 😱😱)
Our residence was in a township that was quite away from the main city and had been built years ago by cutting down a thick forest to accommodate another city in itself.
So we reach our quarter at night after a long journey with some staff already there. We were exploring and suddenly a sub of my dad comes up to me and says, “Dhyan se, yahan na peeche hai,” (Careful, it is there in the backside lawn.)
I’m like, “Kya hai?” ( What do you mean?)
He’s like, “Hai yahan! Uska waha pe ghar hai” ( It exists and that’s where it resides.) He said all of this pointing in the direction of a far off tree in the huge lawn.
My family had joined me by now, “Kiska ghar? Kaun hai?” (What you on about?)
Then he spills, “Saaaaaaanp (snake).”
That word hit us like
All of us had been city people all our life where we hardly ever got to see any animals (leaving aside dogs, cats and sometimes cows) let alone dangerous. As far as deadly animals were concerned, somehow I always imagined them restricted to closely vegetated, moist, murky and scary looking woods of Africa. And now he was saying that there was one residing in our lawn.
“Yes, madamji, there is a snake in your backyard, just be careful. Don’t worry, only one.”
While my dad was chill, me, my sister and my mom had gone white with fright but dad’s relaxed demeanor made us think that he might just be saying shiz afterall he was new to the place just like us.
But the sub was right and wrong both.
So next day, my dad goes to work. I was still waiting admission, so I stayed home with mom.
It was all going good, we were unpacking and setting the new place when suddenly I hear my mom jumping and clapping, wide eyed, staring through the window.
“What is it mom?”
She didn’t answer.
So curiosity took over and plucked me out of the spot and almost latched me to the other window.
The sight in front of me still make my stomach turn.
I saw the head first. The jet black cobra like snake was all agile, staring at a bird, with it’s long body lining the greens.
That was the first ever snake I had seen ever in my life, that too from such close proximity. But this was no zoo, this was our own place where the cobra was basically enjoying an afternoon sunbath.
So we make haste and call dad who calls up a famous local snake catcher. The catcher said he was on his way. He also adviced us to keep an eye on the snake and that to make it wait.
Lol! To this day, we are awaiting the arrival of the snake catcher. (Yeah even when I’m not in that city anymore!!)
And seriously what on earth? Why would we even think of drawing any of its attention towards us like ‘hey please stay for dinner? Anything you like including Twinklingwords?’
Chances of survival if you let the snake be, without disturbing it
Chances of survival with efforts to make it wait
And also, the snake waits for no one. You might as well be the queen and the snake would glide in and out of the palace however it pleases hissing “mah life mah rules!”
So it was off in five minutes.
We were frightened honestly and avoided going out other than for work.
Then one day, our next door neighbour dropped in and adviced us.
“So what there is a snake? Maintain your lawns. Keep them occupied, go out, spend time outdoors. This dissuades it from coming into your land or it’ll never leave.”
The locals treated snakes as casually as if they were stray dogs.
You’d never know the “hat, hat (shoo, shoo)” was for a dog or a snake.
The advice worked somewhat because for the next three-four months we hardly came across it again and were convinced the snake had left this territory until summer came.
Side note – summers and rainy season seemed to be the two period when they came out the most.
Now I was in ninth grade and my summer break had started. My morning routine also involved watering the plants in lawns.
Despite zero sightings of the famed snake, I still avoided that one tree (home to the tastiest mangoes) where it supposedly resided. But that day I defied my instincts and went ahead with watering it.
Once done, I headed back towards my house with my back to the tree.
My mom was standing next to the backyard door. Her expression calm and relaxed. Then it turned to horror and she screamed to me, “Run.”
(More in next part.)
Pictures – Google se chepa hai mixed with my creativity because time crunch yo (From Google)