Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Face to face with spectacled Indian cobra

It is a day in my life that I will remember forever. There are many a times I have seen snakes, either in the wild or somewhere while traveling. I have heard many stories as well from people like wildlife scientists, forest officers and commoners, and I have always wanted to know more about snakes. I knew snakes are shy and yes there are only 5% of poisonous snakes in the world. I read it in Romulus Whitaker's book common snakes.
The last time I saw a snake was a year back when I was in Top slip, Indira gandhi wildlife sanctuary. An adult green vine snake beautifully camouflaged and sitting on a bush. It was there peering into my eyes and I stood there admiring its beauty. In the next five minutes, when my forest guard tried to catch it, it slipped away and all through my journey I just was thinking about the beautiful creature.
Today as I was stepping down from home..just the last step and I came face to face with a spectacled indian cobra. I had no time to even react or think. It was hardly two feet away from me. I froze, not knowing what to do. I thought maybe it is just a juvenile. Without wasting any more time, I quietly paced back home. What happened, my mom asked, curiously..I said..ssnnnaakke..there was a snake..I just left it undisturbed, may have strayed somewhere and came here. I tell you the snake did not harm me, not even for a second, it put its hood up and said, look im gonna bite you. It was surprising I was unruffled too. It felt magical to see the snake and my love for it has grown more. I did not bother him, he did not bother me. We went our own ways. I did not call anyone, for I feared they might kill my little cobra. In the evening when I went out, it wasn't there. He must have found his way and gone long back.

I called my friend who is a scientist and asked him what I need to do. He gave me the number of a guy who was a snake rescuer. If the snake is around, call him, he said. Put salt to prohibit it from coming near, he said. I had to do nothing. He went away.
I felt divine seeing it. truly divine and even now I can't believe it actually happened.
I hate to see people killing innocent snakes. I want to learn to rescue the snakes and tell people here not to kill them when they see one, but to call rescuers and help these creatures survive. The earth belongs to them as much as it belongs to us. Amen

Friday, March 16, 2012

My last few weeks

When I started this blog post, I was pissed, damn angry, upset, and what not..A myriad of emotions was overflowing. I was sitting in a cubicle with blasting AC a cup of hot south indian filter coffee which turned into a cold coffee and plenty of bisleri bottles. Yeah, I was on my corporate assignment and was working out of an office. One of the top companies in the globe. I signed an NDA, so shhhhh on the name of the company. :)

It was a great place to work, for sure! But I was kind of caught up with being in the "office". As a journalist, I always used to be out on assignments and never liked being confined in a cubicle, but work demanding I did it. It was painful lot of times, I did not see the sun, I didn't know what time of the day it was, I was cut off from the outside world.

My task was to finish a book of 30,000 words and I had seven days to finish it. Impossible indeed, that is precisely what I thought but when opportunity knocks your door, do you say no? Especially when you are on your own, there are very few times (either in case of pittance money or shoddy work) that you say a clear no! I was kind of thinking and asked my friend and confider Priya, if I would be able to do it. She instantly said take it. Sometimes, all it takes it a yes from someone who knows you well to do something confidently. It works very well with me. With no doubts, I committed and here I was..I used to travel 30kms everyday to go to work. There was an AC bus that picked people up. I was the only one without the dog tag..Eeks, I mean the company tag..I HATE it..Do you hear that..I HATE it..access cards, id cards..WTF! :P But I thought maybe some people really enjoy doing work like this..Passions are different for different people right?

Harita was a real savior in the company. She was an intern and from day 1 she was more interesting in knowing my travel stories. We used to sit in the break out room and have south indian coffee from the coffee dispenser..I was mentally calculating, how many chapters a day and how many hours of work. People in the office wondered why I never got up and went for a stroll, I was just so focused on finishing the task and there was no other go.
Typing for more than 8 hours a day, my wrist started paining by the weekend. By then, it was too much but I was done with version 1. The best thing was the HR director of the company told me she did not have to look at my work because she already knew I was a good writer. These things really move you and also ensure you give your best for the kind of confidence they have in you. Though I had a few issues with a few people, things ironed out. I know when to put my foot down and say full stop and enough is enough. I realised over time unless you do it, people will trample you, yes they do.

End of the day, 2 weeks, project over! Yipee and I will have a fatter bank balance. Cool? I want to party now. No sooner, I reached back home, I was happy to see my newly painted house. My home looked amazing. Soon, another urgent deadline project landed up and I had to do it. So, was there a break? No! I finished it, sorted out editing issues in the book and when it was getting too much, I had to say I cant do more. I was mentally saturated, upset, stressed and what not. But I was looking forward to a day- the day when I was meeting my college friend after 8 years. The last I met her was when she got married and now she has two kids. I was so much looking forward to one day of no laptop no phone. Meeting her was fun and we laughed and relived our college life. Viju's daughter (5 yrs old) grew so fond of me..Dad, I want to be with mommy's friend. Mommy's friend, I wanted to hold your hand and you left me :( Aww...She was amazing, I just hugged her and I felt so close to her, much more than my niece. She had this cute american accent and she spent hours talking to me..How I love kids!! Viju's brother just got married and how much I loved ragging bhaiyya. He was so protective about us during college days. I spent a beautiful day with Viju and her family esp her daughter Rhea and her 7 month old son Vedant.

Another college friend of mine has come to Trivandrum. I plan to meet her too, after 12 years. It was quite a surprise to get a call from her. she took my number from Viju-seemed like a mini college reunion.
"hello sweetheart" she said and I was surprised..Sush you? OMG!! Sushmita has a way of talking, sweet. Her hello sweetheart is enough to know its her! :)

It has been three working weekends, but no complaints. I am having fun.

Last weekend, Me, Shoms, Nikhil and mom went to see Kahani and it was a stupendous movie. We went out shopping, had some bit of outside food and fun. Now, I am relaxed, having my dose of Calvin and Hobbes, City of Djinns by Darymple, Tinkle and a few other books and not to forget my evenings of tennis. Where is stress..It all passes with time..Time to have fun!!