LIVING WITH SNAKES
Living with snakes ? Unbelievable? But yes it is true . And where else but in a country known to the western world as country of elephants , of snake charmers and of magic.,. It is in a village called Chotto Pashla. The number of people living in this village is 600 and that of snakes 3000 .One snake for two people?. And most of these snakes are poisonous monocled cobras and surprisingly no one seems to be afraid of them . In fact the women worship them . In a country where myths and mysteries are woven around every monument ,temple or place , there is a local lore about how these snakes came to this village. It is said that these snakes came en masse the village during floods six centuries ago .The people here say that the snakes considered the representatives of a Goddess have helped the village to prosper! No wonder that the the people not only feed them with milk ,worship them but also perform their last rites. It is not that no one has been bitten by these snakes. Almost a dozen people die of snake bites here every year . The villagers rely on the traditional medicines to cure people bitten by these snakes. Well a unique village where cobras coexist with human beings! But then India is a strange land !
PUBLISHED IN THE HINDU DAILY ON SEPTEMBER 3RD 2007