Land of the Snake Charmers

25 Jun

Who can argue against that?
I’m on my way to a glitzy IT office in India in the 21st century, walking on the narrow path along a 8-lane flyover. The path is only wide enough to allow 2 people to walk alongside each other. So who happens to come from the other side but 2 young, sturdy fellows dressed in the most… well, religious attire. He starts asking me for a rupee, thrusting his vessel before me.
Now I don’t mind giving 10 bucks to a slightly handicapped person but I’ll be downright damned if a fellow asks me for as much as half a rupee in the name of religion!
But hark, in one hand this man has a harmless vessel but in his other, a small snake!!
I try walking right past him but his other comrade blocks my way with another snake in his hand! No wait, this one has 2! Gosh, so does the first one! I hadn’t noticed the python around his neck! So i’m confronted by 2 men and 4 snakes for a measely rupee… In the name of Religion!!
The second one comes closer, and they’ve blocked my way entirely. I must choose between cutting my way through snake-bearers or stepping onto a road on which cars are moving at the speed of torch-light (assuming torchlight moves slower than sunlight.)
Alternatively, I must choose between life and principles.
I keep yelling at them to let me go, to get away from me. They keep flashing the snakes and asking me for one rupee!
But I’m not going to let myself be held ransom for a rupee! Somehow, after a few minutes of squirming and wondering what to do, they let me pass. They do not realise why I did not part with a rupee, they probably think I’m extremely miserly. So be it. I refused to be extorted by religion, in the land of the snake charmers.

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13 Responses to “Land of the Snake Charmers”

  1. Rani June 25, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    U did right. Its utterly stupid to beg in the name of religion. And its even dumber to scare poor souls with snakes!!! 🙂

  2. v June 25, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

    Its good u did not budge and gave any money to those snake charmers, it has become an business worth multi million rupees, no dollars to exploit people‘s faith, their insecurity and fears and people do act inane and fund such an religious industry, be it snake charmers or big guru’s, they take money out of their followers and they themselves live a life of sickening opulence..All in name of religion!!! Yes it is important to give someone a helping hand but to those who r in need, snake charmers I guess were healthy enough to earn a living

  3. D June 25, 2009 at 2:25 pm #

    They couldn’t charm you, could they? So you see it is not a country of snake charmers at all. It is a misnomer!

  4. onlymyrants June 25, 2009 at 2:35 pm #

    Such new n innovative ways these people find out n beg! Good u didnt get scared of the snakes 😀

  5. Dark Knight June 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    thank god… i wasn’t in ur place…. i would have kicked their butt 😛

    you did right… money in name of religion?? thts absurd. 😀

  6. Childwoman June 25, 2009 at 4:56 pm #

    mujhe tum pe naaz hai, bahadur jawaan!

  7. Rohit June 25, 2009 at 4:56 pm #

    hehee..nicely written..but u did right.

    reminds me of an episode in X-files, where a guy on his way back home is stopped by a couple of ppl dressed in whites.They claim themselves to be the decendents of God(something like that) and ask for money from this guy .The guy refuses, and these ppl start throwing cockroaches, and other slimy creatures at this guy…scary

  8. unsungpsalm June 25, 2009 at 7:12 pm #

    *Rani
    You bet! It WAS scary!

    *V
    I know! You’d know that better than me!

    *D
    They didn’t charm me, but many others fall victim…

    *OMR
    Oh, but I did! I was terrified! I’m sure they could see that too… Like real (living, I assume) snakes… Eeyuck!

    *DK
    Really? You’d have to find the snakes’ butts first..

    *Childwoman
    Shukriya, memsahab…

    *Rohit
    Ohh geez! That explains why I never watched more than one episode of X-Files in my Life!

  9. BlueMist June 25, 2009 at 7:26 pm #

    While I agree you did the right thing by not getting charmed; I second D. It is the myth. I have seen beggars all over from Portugal to London and even in US of A ; all of them doing the same; some take the name of religion some play other prank.
    And your this post reminds of all the so-called india shows on these videshi channels. This would have made another episode for them. Nobody wants to talk about the Good things we have ; all they want to show about snake-charmers; cow dung and babas. Pathetic !!

  10. unsungpsalm June 25, 2009 at 7:45 pm #

    I never said that Portugal, London and USA aren’t ridden by poverty, religious fanatics or snake charmers. All I’m saying is that India IS!

    If one thing/person/place is as religious/conservative as another, that doesn’t make the former any less religious. Both are religious.

    Besides, I DID speak about the good things we have… did someone notice the mention of a glitzy IT office and a 8-lane flyover?
    Nobody wants to talk about the good things about India I’ve mentioned in the post, only the bad things. Pathetic !!

    A society is a reflection of the people that it is composed of. 🙂

  11. Just call me A June 25, 2009 at 11:07 pm #

    ohhh you brave brave fella :)…braving through 4 snakes and still able to resist the charm :D.
    me shivering …..brrrrrrr…. 🙂

  12. Swats June 26, 2009 at 4:51 pm #

    WOW! i am so so impressed!
    It takes a lot to do something like tht..really!
    Kudos! Kudos! Kudos!

    Honestly, I’d have been scared out of my wits..I wud have given tht 1 buck and saved my ass..

  13. unsungpsalm June 26, 2009 at 8:02 pm #

    *A
    Haha! Aren’t you?

    *Swats
    Lol… Yes, well… I knew I’d survive without the rupee sacrifice. Else, I would’ve pretended to curse the men, or provoke the snakes against them by speaking Indianized Parsletongue!

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