The first thing that I did, upon reading in the newspapers that a 9-foot long python had surreptitiously slithered out of the Vandalur zoo, was exactly what any intelligent, phobia-free, well-informed guy would in the circumstance: Lift the legs up and sit cross-legged, even though it was mighty inconvenient on the chair.
It’s ancient wisdom: Never dangle the legs down when watching a movie on snakes or reading about them. It’s also a truism in the scientific community that the main medical cause of varicose veins among a large section of the Indian public is Nagin.
Coming back to the stealthy escape of the python from the zoo, as a concerned citizen I cannot but help raise the most important question: How could they have let a large snake escape when the most sensible option, in the first place, would have been to just kill it?
Yes, I think the time has to come to raise the very basic query: Why are we still allowing the snakes to be alive?
I mean when mankind and other forces can ensure that the dodo —- which is a flightless bird, a sort of Manmohan Singh of the avian kingdom, but not exactly so useless —- is extinct, why can’t they ensure the total annihilation of snakes from the face of this earth? Why, what’s the problem? Like in the 2G scam, I blame the lack of political will. Let me also point out that there are no snake zoos in Italy. (But they have Silvio Berlusconi, if you get my drift).
Anyway, there seems to be no point in depending on Civil Society on this matter. They seem to overlook the menace of snakes, and think that corruption is the biggest problem facing the nation. How wrong!
But you don’t have to take my word for it. You can conduct this simple, practical, every-day experiment to figure it out yourselves. Take a room. Fill it with corruption (Try and get Kalmadi or A Raja. If you can’t find them, then your local MLA or MP should do). Take another room of similar dimension. Fill it with a king cobra (It can be usually found escaping from well-guarded zoos).
Now ask Anna Hazare to make his pick between the two rooms to spend the night in. You already know the answer. Yes, he would have already started a fast for the abolition of snakes.
The point is the need of the hour is a powerful Jan Lok Bill Against Snakes, by which what we mean is the Bill itself should include Kiran Bedi. Either the snakes go or Kiran Bedi goes. Either way, the country is the gainer.
Of course, there will be vested interests shouting from the rooftops (because that is where the snakes can’t reach) that mankind has no right to exterminate another species and snakes have as much right to live in this world as we (human beings) have. Just ignore them. If this doesn’t work, try guns. They usually are effective.
Anyway, again coming back to the missing python, my surprise is how the zookeepers couldn’t see such a slow-moving creature escaping. A python, zoologically speaking, belongs to the S D SharmaVajpayeitus genus, the special types whose still photos and video images are hard to tell apart.
There could be two possibilities as to why the zookeepers couldn’t see the slow-moving python escape
1) They were blind
2) And they were drunk, too.
There’s no way any seeing person could not have spotted that 9-foot long python slipping out.
One of the zoo officials has been quoted as saying that there is no need to worry, as pythons are not poisonous. I suppose it is a reassuring information that the python, which can actually crush you to death and gobble you in toto is not really poisonous.
Also, I want to know, on behalf of the nation, why do we have to enumerate the length of a treacherous python? Also, how can we be sure that the absconding python is just 9-foot? What if the officials had bungled, just as they have in computing the BPL cap at Rs.32 per family for a day, and the python is actually 18-foot long? And what if it were not one, but several pythons that had gaily sauntered out of the zoo? And what if one of them had slipped into your neighbourhood? And what if one of them was the photoshopped cousin of the snake that appeared in Anaconda?
Well, I am not panicking. I live in a high-rise apartment. But I am not taking any chances. I am buying myself a taller chair.