A Snake Charmer's Story

Story of a Snake Charmer

Have you ever come across a Snake Charmer? These mesmerizing men are actually artists and musicians as well. We have a Snake Charmer with us here. And he is going to tell us his story. Hold on tight to your seats.

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Snake Charmer or Kalbeliyas

Today we have Aryanath with us. He is a snake charmer. Let us hear his story.

Aryanath: “Hi. I am Aryanath and I am a snake charmer. I entertain people with snakes. Also, I know how to play a been and make the snakes dance. I’ve learned this art from my father and grandfather. Our community is called “kalbeliyas“.

So what you guys think of Aryanath? Is he familiar to you? Or have you met someone like him for the first time? Well, he is a snake charmer. He is very famous for playing his ‘been’ and making the snake dance. Like he said that he learnt this art from his father and grandfather. This suggests that what he is doing is his family occupation.

A snake charmer's story

Source: enigmaticindia

Aryanath: “From the time of my grandfather and great-grandfather, we have always been saperas (snake charmers). Snakes have been an important part of our life. We used to move from village to village carrying our snakes in bamboo baskets. Whenever we stop in a village, the crowd gathers around us. Then we take out the snakes from our baskets. Even after the show, people would stay because they knew we had medicines for curing illnesses. We made these medicines from plants collected from forests. I have learned all this from my grandfather. People give us money or food grains. In this way, we manage our life.”

Like he said before that his family is engaged in the sapera (snake charmer) occupation. They are very hard working people. To entertain new people they have to move from different locations. As you have seen them, you can notice that they carry their snakes in a bamboo basket.

Their outfit and their baskets are very famous, as soon as people see them. They gather around them. Then they play their ‘been’ and make the snakes dance. After amusing the crowd, the crowd gives them money or food grains. Some stay as they know that saperas can cure illnesses of medicines of forests. He credits his grandfather for the knowledge he has got.

Story continued…

Aryanath: “Sometimes I am called to places where someone had been bitten by a snake and hospitals are far off. From the marks of the bite, I try to find out which snake has bitten that person. I would then give a medicine for that. But I’ve not always been on time. As you know, some snake bites can cause death on spot. But most of the snakes are not poisonous. I’ve also been catching snakes since my childhood! In my childhood days, nobody watched TV. We were the entertainers back then.”

Aryanath is called to help those people who have been bitten by a snake. People trust in his abilities. He is so experienced with this that he can understand which snake bit the person just by looking at the mark. Then he would give the proper medicine for that. He is sad about the part where he says that he has not been on time in some places as some snake bites can cause death on the spot.

But he does help farmers catch snakes in their farms as he is an expert at that. Clearly, he misses his old days when there were no TVs and people would love to see him entertain them. Now everyone is busy watching TV.

Aryanath:¬†“These days, people catch snakes for their venom and kill them to see their skin at high prices. To end these practices, our government has banned the catching of snakes and keeping them in houses for entertainment. Fearing the punishment, we have left our snake charmer occupation. Now we entertain people with our instruments. We play instruments like Tumba, been, dhol and kanjiri. Our party now is called as ‘been party’.”

And more…

Aryanath shares the tragedy that is happening with snakes. Some bad people are killing snakes for their venom and skin which are sold at very high prices. He is disappointed. He further adds that government has banned the catching and keeping of snakes in homes for entertainment.

Therefore to obey the law, they have left their snake charming occupation and now they still entertain people but with playing beens, dhols and other traditional instruments liks tumba and kanjiri. They even have gained a new name for them that is ‘been party’.

A snake charmer's story

Source: disaster.org

Aryanath: “We do not want to waste the knowledge about snakes we got from our fathers and grandfathers. We want to share it with children who live in town and cities. I want them to learn that there is nothing to be afraid of snakes and learn to differentiate between poisonous and non-poisonous snakes. But snakes are now endangered animals, and they are being killed every day by humans that their number is becoming less and less. It affects the balance of nature. Snakes are the friends of farmers.

After the government banning the keeping of snakes. Aryanath says that he wants to pass on the precious knowledge about snakes that he learned from his elders to you. He wants you to learn between poisonous and non-poisonous snakes. And help in stopping the killing of snakes as they maintain balance in nature by eating rats and mice in farms and save the crops.

Solved Question for You

Q: Snakes are not found in Antarctica, Iceland, Ireland, Greenland and New Zealand because

  1. They are cold-blooded
  2. Snakes are carnivores
  3. They have poisonous fangs
  4. All of the above

Ans: The correct option is “A”. Snakes are cold blooded animals and cannot survive in the said regions.

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