Thursday, April 22, 2021

S for Snake

 Voldemort or You-know-Who as he is referred to in the Harry Potter books is a ruthless villain with absolutely no conscience. He has his soul split and stored in various things called Horcruxes all of which need to be destroyed to overcome him.

One of his prized possessions is a snake that he calls Nagini. The guy can speak to snakes and this ability is called Parseltongue something that is shared by Harry Potter as well.

Nagini seems to have been influenced by the Indian word for snake i,e "Naag". A cobra is called Naagin in Hindi and "Naaga pambu" in Tamil.

Snakes play a very important role in many of the stories in Hinduism and Indian mythology. We have Aadisesha the multi headed serpent on whose coils Lord Vishnu rests in the milky ocean. The snake Vasuki was used as a rope when the milky ocean was churned by the gods and demons. Lord Shiva has a snake coiled around his neck like a garland!

There are so many temples for snakes where the snake goddess is worshipped.  There are others where there would be snake statues or even mud mounds representing a snake's burrow. There are auspicious days when these snake statues would be worshipped with milk . Many still believe that snakes consume milk though science refutes it saying its biologically impossible for these limbless creatures to do so. My mom and mother in law also follow this practise.

When I was in a town called Erode , there were many vacant plots of land around and snakes were a very common sight. Not the harmless ones but pretty poisonous ones like the cobra. One even visited our kitchen ( I am not joking!)

In one TV documentary I came to know of a farmer who had gone to the forest area to collect some wood. He got bitten by a cobra on his nose.To save himself he took a sickel and chopped off his nose to prevent the poison from spreading. 

In Tamil there is an idiom called "Pambum Keeriyum" . Pambu means snake and keeri means mongoose. These two animals are supposed to be bitter rivals. Hence if two people are always at loggerheads with each other , or are strong enemies this phrase is used to describe them .

Todays question...Name one word or movie that immediately comes to mind when I say "Snake"


  1. Snakes on a Plane 😆 but I haven't even seen it! From films Ive actually watched, there's an early 90s Aamir Khan/Juhi Chawla film, Tum Meri Ho. One of them came from a family of snake charmers in it.

  2. Movie with a snake? That's easy... Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom! There is a dinner scene involving baby snakes and chilled monkey brains served in their own skulls. Yum. NOT!!!

  3. Ekta Kapoor's Naagin series on Telly! Each one seems to be stupider than the previous ones. I cringed each time I saw a promo or an ad of that show. Ugh!

  4. Snakes are pretty scarse here, and only the adder is poisonous. This probably why they haven't had a great influence on our folklore or literature.

    I can't think of a movie, but I have just watched an amazing TV series called The Serpent. Highly recommended if it ever comes your way!

  5. There is a terrible movie from 1973 staring Dirk Benedict of Battlestar Galactica and A-Team fame. Called "Sssssss" it is about a mad scientist who tries to change people into snakes.

    Tim Brannan, The Other Side: 2021: The A to Z of Monsters

  6. Snake? One movie? Ok, it would be the Jungle Book ;))

  7. Answer to question: Kaa
    I don't know why but that was the first thing that popped into my head. "I think we can all agree, Mowgli, that you are something the jungle has never seen before." Kaa certainly was a snake indeed.
    Have a great day!

  8. Um. I would be very upset if there was a cobra in my kitchen. Not that that is very likely, where I am, but... yeah. I remember the time my boyfriend found a viper-type snake in our basement. That was a pretty big deal.
    The movie I think of immediately is Indiana Jones. Raiders of the Lost Ark, I think. The one with the snake pit, and the "snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?" bit.

  9. How interesting! We have some very poisonous snakes here too, but they don’t usually turn up in your kitchen, unless, perhaps, you live out in the bush.

    Snakes were a part of Ancient Greek religion too, especially during matriarchal times.

    Yes, J.K Rowling did say she was thinking of the Naga. And in the second Fantastic Beasts movie we find out that Nagini started as a shape changing human doomed to turn permanently into a snake. Rather tragic, really.

    How about Sir Hiss from the Robin Hood animation where all the characters were shown as animals? He was played by the comedian Terry Thomas.

  10. I would be freaked out having a poisonous snake in my kitchen. Fortunately, Maine has no poisonous snakes, or spiders. That's the plus side of our cold winters. Weekends In Maine