Con­fes­sions of a viper

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Live - - CITY -

If you have read books on snakes, it will be stated that the Rus­sell’s viper rarely climbs tall trees or floors in a build­ing. Such ‘moun­taineer­ing” feats are as­cribed to my more ag­ile and dis­tant cousins, the Rat snake, the Com­mon wolf snake and the Royal snake. But we vipers have a trick or two up our sleeves that books are bliss­fully ig­no­rant of. Let me in­tro­duce my­self: I am a youth­ful viper, born this sum­mer in the dirty nal­lah in Swastik Vi­har, MDC, Sec­tor 5, Panchkula. On Septem­ber 24 at 8.30 pm, I was hunt­ing rats/frogs when I strayed into the shop­ping com­plex. There were lights and cars and I got fright­ened. I searched for a dark cor­ner and found the stairs of SCO No. 43. Fear gave me wings and I started to as­cend the dimly-lit, steep stairs. It was a tough climb for a ‘slug­gish’ fel­low like me but Mother Na­ture has en­dowed me with for­mi­da­ble mus­cles! A young fel­low, who goes by the name of Nipun Gupta and is a char­tered ac­coun­tant, was trudg­ing up to his sec­ond floor of­fice. I coiled up in a cor­ner of the stairs and hissed loudly to warn him. He heard me but couldn’t fig­ure out what it was. When the stairs ended, I slid un­der a door and saw Gupta sit­ting in his of­fice. I coiled up in a cor­ner. Gupta passed by me many times with­out notic­ing me. Fi­nally, at about 1.30 am, I couldn’t con­trol my panic and hissed loudly like a pres­sure cooker. Gupta saw me, shrieked and sprinted out of of­fice. He locked it and even left his car keys be­hind. Haha! That was a funny sight! I moved un­der the com­puter ta­ble. It was warm and dark there. For­tu­nately for me, Salim Khan, who res­cues us fugi­tives, came next morn­ing and took me away to a nal­lah in the Naya­gaon jun­gles. I am happy I didn’t have to bite a hu­man be­cause that would have wasted my pre­cious venom. I, too, could have got killed.

VIKRAM JIT SINGH

Khan with the viper.

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