Oh Dear! This is India (2)

Hi all, last week I started a photo series – Oh Dear! This is India. In continuation of the same I’m happy to share the second picture reflecting ubiquitous or unusual pulse of India.

Quite a Charmer!

The Snake Guy.jpg

Chetan (above) is so happy to pose with his friend (as he points to the Snake and calls him Ramu). We met him on the outskirts of Indore near a village. He told us that the iconic folk art of ‘Snake Charming’ runs through generations in his family. But the business is not as rosy as it used to be.

The business of Charming!

Snake Charmers are known for their art of controlling deadliest of the reptiles (read Cobras) with the use of gourd flute (a musical instrument). For centuries this tribe has performed street shows, rescued snakes and saved the day as the boundaries of the human occupied land has grown.I remember once in my hostel a Snake appeared from nowhere and we had to call authorities who in turn contacted a confident ‘Snake Charmer’ to handle the situation!

However this age old tradition is now dying in India as the authorities seek to impose ban under the Wildlife Protection Laws.

Most of the Snake Charmers are no longer pursuing the Art full time, the kids are not trained as they used to be but their comfort level with Snakes is amazing (as we observed with Chetan). Snakes in India are revered as ‘Lord Shiva’ (one of the principal deities of Hinduism) embraces snake around his neck. So, the kids like Chetan carry the basket in anticipation of garnering some money from the people as he shows off Snake 🙂

Until the next post! Happy Exploring 🙂

35 thoughts on “Oh Dear! This is India (2)

  1. It’s something that has fascinated me since childhood … this charming snakes 🐍 Yours is a wonderfully charming picture – again you capture a snapshot of this vibrant, rich and extraordinary culture which makes me want to jump on the next flight to anywhere in India and start a journey of mind-boggling intensity 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmmm… this tradition actually caught snakes, pulled their fangs out and used the wounded snakes for public display to make a little mony. The snakes soon die from their infections. Snakes are also hard of hearing so they don’t actually respond to the ‘been’ (the gourd flute) but are just alert towards it as they feel it can be used to attack them, the way they were imprisoned and forcefully de-fanged. Feel sad for them. Snakes will be snakes, but humans can be carpenters, drivers, farmers, labourers, security guards, wildlife support staff and so on. And not just snake ‘charmers’ (oh, the irony of that word).

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  3. Pingback: The Music that weaves Magic! | Untraveled Routes

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