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2023 - The Year That Was

Places impact you for a variety of reasons. And the same place impacts different people in different ways. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual experiences, where every single person’s experience is unique. And personally, every spiritual experience is unique, the same person can have different deeply spiritual experiences at different places, at different times. This thought has emerged because of my own experiences over the years, but especially so this year, with different and unique experiences at various places I have visited recently. I began this year with a visit to Baroda (Vadodara) with friends. It was meant to be a relaxed trip, a touristy trip, with our sons. We enjoyed ourselves to the hilt, but the highlight of that trip was a visit to the Lakulisha temple at Pavagadh. It was the iconography of the temple that I connected with, and I spent a few hours simply lost in the details of the figures carved around the temple. There was an indefinable connect with

Snake Charmer

Ever since I started sending postcards, I have been inundated with requests for postcards showing snake charmers. When I did find some, I realised something else. I might not be a great fan of snake charmers, but Samhith hadn't even seen a single one!!! He hoarded all the cards I found, and refused to allow me to send any but duplicates! Moreover, he was now curious. He wanted to see a snake charmer!!! I told him about what they did, how it was cruel to snakes, and that it was illegal, but he was still curious. Now, apart from the fact that I do not like the idea of trapping snakes and using them to amuse people, I couldnt even find a snake charmer to show him... yes, for those of you who are wondering, our area remains immune to snake charmers even on Naga panchami day, and I couldnt remember when I had last seen one!! His wish was eventually fulfilled, of all places, at Amer Fort!!!





This chap lounged by the exit of the fort, snakes securely packed in their boxes, a turban ready to be worn, and the tools of his trade near at hand. Needless to say, Samhith was enthralled! He sat down, spoke to him, asked him if he could really make snakes dance... and eventually asked him if he could wear the turban.....



I was initially hesitant, since I had no intention of seeing a snake charmer at work. However, the man smiled and gave Samhith not just his turban, but also his flute... Now came the difficult part. He wanted to see the snake. Of course, the man obliged. But, no sooner had the snake peeped out of the basket,that Samhith had run off!!! I was relived, not as much as having missed a performance, but that at last I wouldnt be pestered for photos of snake charmers anymore!

Comments

  1. hahaha....lovely. Had seen so many snake charmers during my growing up days in Hyderabad. Today with all the animal rights activists,these people are a rare species.

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    1. Thanks Liju! Welcome to my space! they are indeed rare these days

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  2. He looks so cute and good that it has worked out for you too!

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  3. hmhm... yes - The snake charmers (yes, they were cruel to the snakes) did have their charm. And he looks awesome in that turban.. :)

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    Replies
    1. He will be so happy to hear that, Muthu!! and yes, I so agree... they did have their charm, before our awareness set in!

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  4. Snake charmers are one very popular and a great attraction of the Amer Fort . These snake charmers profession is declining in India after the Animal rights group has made an impact, very rare they are seen around. It is fascinating enough to see a snake dancing on the tune of the flute, they say, this sound hypnotizes the snake hence they tend to sway.

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