I have absolutely no idea what made me do it but I always had this fascination towards keeping pets which ordinarily people would believe dangerous. Some of my pets were predatory reptiles, scorpions and poisonous spiders and now when I think of it, even I think it was a stupid idea keeping all those poisonous animals right in the room where I lived. That fascination, or maybe an obsession, is now long over but there was one pet that I still think was my best one ever. It was a Black Cobra.
I bought this snake when it was just a baby, just a couple ft. long. The charmer that I bought it from assured me that it was not poisonous anymore and he had removed its fangs but believe me, I never fully trusted him and luckily since the snake never bit me, I never had the misfortune of finding it out by experience.
I kept this snake for over a year, feeding it mostly on eggs and milk and it grew to over a meter in length. I didn’t see a single mice in my house in that year so I guess it ate them all too, which was of course an upside. It was a crazy year. My family had absolutely no idea about it and friends who knew wouldn’t even dare to step in my room. There was one incident when I kept it in my cargo knee pocket and traveled in a bus from Meerut to Delhi. The passenger sitting next to me saw something move in my pocket and pointed it out.
“What do you have in your pocket?” He asked.
“It’s a black cobra” I replied.
“Yeah right” He laughed, thinking I was joking.
After a while the snake again moved in my pocket and he asked me again.
“Seriously now, what do you have in there?”
“I told you, it’s a cobra” I replied.
“Yeah sure, a cobra in your knee pocket, who wouldn’t believe that.” He laughed again.
Throughout the four hour journey, he asked me several times and my answer was always the same which he waived off laughing, thinking that I was just joking. I thought of showing him the snake but then decided against it because that would have probably ended in me getting thrown off the bus. After we finally reached ISBT Delhi, I unzipped my cargo pocket and showed him that it was indeed a snake. That look on his face is something that I cherish till date.
After about a year and when my obsession started to die, I let it go in a jungle. It was more like, “Well I brought you as a kid, now you are all grown up and capable enough to take care of yourself. So go and live your life”. LOL. When I put him down in the grass in the Jungle that day, It just stood there near my feet and didn’t crawl away. In fact It was me who got in the car finally and drove away It was the last of my dangerous pets and trust me, I missed him for days after.
In that entire year, it never tried to bit me even once, [fortunately I guess] or rather, never even hissed at me. Word of caution, “Please do not try this at home” and if you do, “Do it at your own risk”.