Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The jack of all trades and master of some cook of my sister's as usual went down to get some freshly harvested onions for the days cooking when dumbstruck and frightened when he skips and hops the stairs hastily as if running to safety which in this case was the master of the house.
" Saheb ji! Saheb ji! pyaaj mein Naag phan mar kar baitha hai !", (Master! Master! there is a full hooded cobra sitting on onions) he breathlessly beseeched his master, the Senior Forest Officer who was savouring his morning tea with his fresh newspaper in the balcony.
"Naag saanp!! kahan! baap re! (Cobra snake!! where! oh Father!) shrieked my sis who was about to join her husband for tea and stopped half way twisting and shuddering which from a distance would have given the impression of a lady getting electrocuted.
She then ran and clutched her hubby hard as if some calamity had already struck her and she wants immediate respite which none but he could provide.
This was expected out of her as she suffers from the same phobia as me.The kids who were in their respective rooms heard her scream loud and clear to come out and were eager to see the beast, the unwanted intruder sitting on their onions.
Heroically the Officer examined the serpent from the doorway and in a muffled tone claimed, "This is an adolescent cobra and not a fully grown one". He should know better as he is the Wild Life Expert.
One by one he let his family member have a good view of the most feared and also the revered serpent.But all this talk and movement was getting the venomous one very restless now as it could sense danger too. Excepting my sis who was still clutching her husband's kurta sleeve, the entire family was thrilled by the intruder and before anything could be done, my elder niece took a shot of the adolescent King from her mobile phone.By the time the younger one could get her cyber shot and take a stance to shoot a better picture the forest Officer was in full form doing a Romulus Earl Whitaker with the help of a hollow bamboo thick enough to house the cobra and closed at the end from which he held the bamboo.
Balancing himself on the heap as the onions slid, he slowly and carefully made his way more near the snake which had started hissing now.My sister who was terrified at her husband's heroism screamed again which led to more hissing which made the officer back out a bit.He looked now more tense than he was earlier as he held the open end close to the snake and kept absolutely still.This is what my sis told me over the phone that he was like a statue legs apart for balance with the pole sticking close to the snake and it was a successful trick.The adolescent Cobra slid inside and the cook who was ready with a gauge of rolled old clothes plugged the open end tight.
My sis who was standing with her nephew slightly away now was shuddering and trembling still.The fact that the Cobra was inside the bamboo which her husband was holding was giving her the jitters and she was screaming asking him to throw it as fast and as far as he could.
The Hero was smiling and just to freak her out a bit more brought the bamboo close enough to make her hysterical while he kept chuckling and even laughing, very amused at my sister's fright at the caged beast.
However he relented and took the bamboozled cobra far away from the colony and released it into the wilderness.
Mission accomplished like a true wild life enthusiast.Hats off to him.
Was my sis all well after that and after what her nephew told her i seriously doubt.Which was something like this, " Chachi Cobra toh gaya par ab iske bandhu bandhav bhi toh yahin kahin honge unka kya karoge?''
( Aunty the Cobra is gone but it's relatives could still be here what would you do about that?)
She must be sleeping with her lights on i know and it is surely going to take sometime when she can be normal again, this i can vouch for.
On my conversation with my younger niece i realised how upset she was to miss out on her father's brilliant Operation Cobra and heroism which merits a national award.
''Mausi i had to search for the camera upstairs and by the time i came down the entire thing was over", she complained in her sad voice.
i tried to pacify her and tell her that hence forth she should take complete charge of the camera and keep it handy so that next time she will not miss a thing.As if the relatives of the Cobra will come looking for it and the entire operation will be repeated. Anticipating such, her innocence soon replaces the sadness with excitement
when happily she starts mimicking the hiss that she got to hear in real and narrate the day's incident with much enthusiasm of a 11 year old.She went on to inform me with a sense of pride in her new found hobby as a shutter bug that the second shot of the swaying Cobra was taken by her.Also that her pet Pomeranian Buddy had just few days back saved the cook from another snake which lay coiled below the scooter in the garage.As i listen to her another thought crossed my mind and i spoke aloud my thoughts to my 11 year old darling," Wow what a family where Master toh master but Doggy bhi... baap re baap!"
Now i sit and think about this fear that my sis and i share.What is it about the snakes that causes this shiver and this eerie goose pimples to appear at the mere thought of it. i wonder if i would've acted any differently.
Is it it's slink and slither or even it's sinuous ease? Why is it that a mere sight begets fight or flight and even intense fright?Why does it look so eewwww so yucky?
It is not as if the snakes will come get me no matter what but then why this fear? Is there any way to get rid of this? So once again i sit and Google about Ophidophobia and i am informed of many solutions including knowledge about snakes and hypnotism but none is a full proof method.
I guess some fears still remain no matter what just like the fear of darkness.However some thoughts expressed and more findings were impressive enough to link them here.
Before quitting i must say however that though he has his own idiosyncrasies like all of us do i am only more impressed with this man my sister is married to. If there is one person i know in my life who followed his heart in choosing his profession it is him.i can say this with certainty because the love that he exhibits for flora and fauna is not only evident in his day to day routines which he executes with sincerity and committment befitting a Forest Officer but also the values for nature and its creatures that he has instilled into his children.
Thank God Shiva that His ornament which bedecks His blue neck had accidently ventured into my sister's house and not somewhere else in the colony.Or else today instead of living it's rightful life it would be mercilessly clobbered to a very painful death.
i have been educated by this wild life enthusiast about the snakes too when he once told me about the venom types of snakes.Explaining Neurotoxic Venom he had informed me that snakes like Cobra and Krait have venom that is neurotoxic which affect the nervous system leading everything from seizures to death.But snakes like Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake has venom that is hemotoxic that affects the blood and organs causing a breakdown or inflammation of the body.These bites are more painful as breathing hurts and tissues begin to die.He also told me that most garden snakes are non poisonous and that they are just killed out of fear.
As a mark of my intense respect now for this handsome Officer who sort of resembles Omar Shariff i will try and convince myself that SNAKES like all creatures are beautiful and my fears are dumbfounded.
And to those who call me crazy for identifying snakes as beautiful i say, ''Go Hang!!''
Posted by shivani singh at 1:55 PM