Thursday, July 18, 2019

100 Rays Of Son - 67

The Golden Snake
Though I struggle to walk now, I was always on my feet and used to walk miles with Rayyan (off course the untiring child) in the evenings. Since we were comfortable walking, I used to walk him to school instead of packing him off in the school bus.
During our stay in Rajarajeshwarinagar, his school was 30 minute walk from our home. I always believed that the child would learn more walking to school than in the school itself; hence, I would walk him to school and back. We took shortcuts among the nature and fields. We left home a bit early so that we could check out different flowers, birds, animals and other natural treasures of our world. It was not crowded but safe route for us to walk and we would discuss a lot of things during our walks.
Rayyan would talk as he walked. I would be out of breath to talk as we reached the 15 min mark, but he could go on non-stop. One day as we were walking on a broad road (which was called 15 feet road by locals around) and Rayyan was talking non-stop, suddenly he stopped in between a sentence and got highly excited. I was wondering what was the reason, when he exclaimed in all excitement, “Maa Banghar maa bhangaar..” Bhanghaar means gold in our language and he had fancy for gold until he turned 8. As I looked in the direction he was pointing, I was shocked to see something like gold strewn on the road. It was around 7.45 am and the sunlight was reflecting something very shiny. All the while we were steadily moving ahead as well. It took me sometime to realize that what we were looking at was a big snake which was slowly slithering on the road at a slow pace. The morning sun was reflecting off its shiny skin and from far it looked as though gold dust has been strewn on the newly tarred black road. I am not very scared of snakes, neither is Rayyan, but at that moment I shivered for a while and then froze completely. I was damn scared that day. It could be because of the size of the snake, the way it was slithering on the road or because of Rayyan being beside me.
I was trying to talk but no sound came out of my mouth. Rayyan was blinking his eyes and looking at me wondering what was wrong. Why wasn’t Maa going to explore the gold strewn on the road? It took me sometime before telling Rayyan, “Beta, please do not panic. It is not gold but a huge snake. Do not make noise. Let me pick you up and run back as fast as possible”. As I was saying that, I was trying to pick up Rayyan as well, but he refused. “No, don’t pick me up. We both will be slow if you run carrying me. Let us either walk away slowly or run together”. By then the snake was alert and moving at a faster pace. I was shocked to see that it was almost as big as the road reaching one end to other. It was slithering away into the grass and it looked agitated to me. All things were happening simultaneously. Snakes usually look much faster than they actually are. “That looks like a dangerous snake. What if it bites you? Let me pick you up Rayyan and we will wait until it goes away”. Rayyan was still struggling to avoid being picked up, “No maa. Let us take our chances if the snake is going to bite us. If it has to bite you it will bite or it will bite me. I don’t want to be picked up” I was scared, and so was the snake; now aware of two people nearby. It hit a dead end due to the compound wall on its way and suddenly hissed spreading its hood. The sight of the shining snake with a huge hood spread and hissing loudly is the most terrifying natural thing I have experienced. All my courage was lost and pulling Rayyan I ran as fast as he could. Without him, I am sure I would have been faster and even carrying him I would be quick. I kept looking back and here and there to see if the snake was following us. Every sound made me jump and Rayyan must have been surprised to see me this scared. Even I am not sure what scared me that much.
Finally, we reached school. I kept blabbering about the snake to most of the people and told them to be careful on the road. When I went back in the evening to pick Rayyan from school, I was surprised that he naturally took the route we came by in the morning without any fear of the snake. I was in a dilemma here. Should I instil fear in Rayyan by refusing to walk on that road, or should I use common sense and know that the snake is not going to wait for us to come back and walk back naturally with him. Anyway, there were few people walking on the road and I decided to go along. I started questioning him to know how he would respond to emergency situations and I was surprised to see how well he planned things in the morning.
“What would you do if the snake bit me in the morning?”
“I would leave you there and run back home”. I was not happy listening to this answer. In the morning he looked as though he was ready to sacrifice his life for me or something similar and here he was abandoning me and running home.
“Once I reach home, I will call Nana and take him to Bangalore Children’s hospital (that was very close to our home) and come back with him in an ambulance to take you to doctor”.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from this child. “Why Nana and not grandma, uncle or aunty?” I want to be sure that he is actually thinking so well without panic. “Because Nani will either cry or faint thinking that the snake has already killed you. Aunty will run to change dress and will be late. I cannot wake up uncle because he will be sleeping and it is tough to wake him up. Nana, on the other hand will rush out to the hospital without wasting time”.
“You had thought about this in the morning? Were these thoughts there in your mind when we were running” I ask, not able to believe him. “Yes maa” he answers calmly. It was such a pleasure listening to this child talking and I wanted to hear more. “What if the snake had bitten you?” I ask. “I don’t think that was possible. You would have done something to stop that happening. I am very sure of that”. I am so touched by the trust he has in me. Somehow I realize that he is right as well, because I wouldn’t allow anything to happen to him as long as I was alive and around him.
Though it is over two decades since the incident happened, we both recollect it so often that it looks like it happened just a few days ago. When I searched the internet, I saw that usually the cobras aren’t so long but I know I was not imagining what I saw. The snake was really very huge than what I had seen in pictures or videos. It couldn’t be less than 10 feet because at one point it was spread across the breadth of the road. I am not sure why, but we do keep talking about that snake even to this day and the topic crops up just out of blue.

Below are pictures of the time and place where we sighted snakes so often...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your Opinion Matters....


Rayyan Lost in Laptop

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...