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Monday, September 6, 2010

There was a strange visitor at home

This happened on the 21st August. I was preparing a post for my Hindi Blog and it was already half past ten at night. Suddenly I heard my son calling me and there was a kind of emergency in his tone. I ran down and found him pointing towards the main entrance. There was a curled snake lying between the door and the wall. It so happened that he was about to close the main door when he spotted the reptile. I pacified him and suggested not to panic. I asked him to bring the camera, to which he retorted, what dad, there is a snake in the house and you want to have a photo session. He did bring the camera and I took few snaps randomly.

Because of the noise from my house, my immediate neighbor dropped in and got scared. Then there was an influx of young and old with sticks and all that. I requested people not to hurt the creature which has factually strayed in seeking shelter. The same snake was spotted  a day earlier at night in front of the main gate of a house adjacent to mine, remaining closed.  Up to midnight people were hunting for the poor thing but it could escape un hurt.

I had some basic  ideas about the Indian Snakes but the common view emerging from the small gathering of people from my campus was that it was a Python. In that case I would have ventured to catch it by its head and put it in a sack. When I had a closer look and particularly when it moved its head, it occurred to me that this is the deadliest variety, a Viper, referred to as Russels Viper. It is also sluggish but when threatened  could become extremely agile and attack. Among all the Indian Poisonous snakes, Viper’s venom is deadliest as the venom required to kill a person is the least when compared to Cobra and Krait. However, normally, they  do not attack humans and it also does not inject the fatal dose required for a human to die of the bite. As compared to this the Cobra injects a much larger quantity of venom per bite.

At my request, the snake catchers were summoned. They came in their van. Pretended to be scared of catching it telling people around that they can catch cobras by hand but not this one. This spits venom, very very dangerous and so on. Then they asked for a large container with a lid, which was provided. The Viper was not willing to get into the trap. It moved forward but obstacles were created and finally it was in the container with lid tightened with a rope. We heard its angry hissings. It was thus taken away providing the relief we needed but at a price.