My First Snake!
As I have already mentioned that I love snakes! To my surprise most people find it absolutely unacceptable to like snakes! Phew! I get looks each time I say this! I am hoping that you readers don’t have dung-under-your-nose expression already! (Assuming there are people to read this! :D)
I have been fascinated by snakes but never had the opportunity to hold one! My college which is by a lagoon kind of thing and the area is filled with snakes. On our way from college to hostel we see many snakes but I never got close enough to holding one!
We have this faculty in the Electrical department, Akshay Sir who is more famously known as the snake rescuer of Amritapuri! Whenever a snake is spotted, he gets a call and captures the snake and releases it to safer areas where there is reduced threat. My college is associated with the Mata Amritanandamayi Math Ashram or the Hugging saint (AMMA’s) ashram so what we would expect would be a due respect and space being given to beautiful and sacred creatures like snakes. But before Akshay Sir came to the ashram. I very clearly remember a slender harmless tree snake being KILLED right in the ashram premises! I was horrified at the sight and told AMMA about it. She was also shocked to hear about the happening and strictly instructed everyone that such an incident should not repeat! After this I was a bit relaxed!
Anyway getting back to ‘My First snake!’ encounter. One fine day after my Digital Signal Processing exam which I royally messed up. I was in a absolutely horrid mood and thought nothing could set my day right. Just then I saw Akshay Sir walking around the college corridors with a beautiful little rat snake wrapped around his arm! I was taken aback and could barely believe my eyes! I had told sir about my desire to get close to snakes earlier also but sadly whenever he found a snake he wouldn’t find me! But this time was different!!! And thank God it was different else I wouldn’t have ever experienced anything remotely close to the awesome feeling of holding a snake!
Initially I just touched the snake and had it tail wrapped around my arm while the head was still in Akshay Sir’s hand! Seeing my excitement, Sir asked me if i wanted to hold the snake! Without any delay I said yes!!! 🙂
And I am glad I did. First he told me the right way to hold a snake about the positions of each finger, about the force, about the way in which it should be done, etc. Before I could even register I had the snake in my hand!!!! That felt good!
But because it was my first time I was a little nervous and so way my little friend. I had heard people on TV and Akshay Sir say that when you are calm the animal is calm but I thought of it as a cliché until this moment! Here I could truly feel the difference, when I was relaxed the snake stop wriggling around too much and was calmly wrapped around my arm quite contrary to it moving continuously initially. We still have a long way to go when it really comes to understanding nature!
Here are some photos that were taken by Avinash’s camera phone right in the college corridor. Just reminding you that mobile phones are banned in college 😛
Anyway there were a few things I found out. Snakes are not slimy or rough as they may seem. In fact, holding a snake atleast this one was very similar to feeling a very fat human finger. Soft, not slimy and just normal! I had my share of counselling sessions by dear ones for not doing anything like this again. But, if you have read this post you know it is something that excites me! Sorry guys! There was one thing positive that came out of this also!!I felt great because of the kind of care and concern people showed.It really made me feel great! 🙂 But sadly for them I wasn’t convinced about what they were saying about staying away from snakes!
I wonder why they are so feared of and hated. I find it really hard to understand! Firstly, out of the 2100 snake species in the world ONLY 10% are poisonous! Secondly, the number of estimated deaths per year because of snake bites is MUCH lower than those caused by malaria or dengue. Even then we don’t feel the kind of hatred for mosquitoes or rats we feel for snakes! I mean how is the poor creature responsible that Satan came to earth in the form of a serpent??? In today’s world when we are speaking about being practical having this kind of prejudice for snakes is NOT justifiable!
Lets just not kill snakes on spotting them but give them respect that they deserve! Hoping at least some one would feel differently about snakes after reading this! Please don’t kill or hate snakes! When you see a snake just move away don’t go close to it give it the space it needs!