I was wondering whether calling it a “Snaky Trip” would be correct. On second thoughts, it seems to be correct; as snakes were the main attraction!
The Subject of the Outing
My parents work in a research institution, which had organized a picnic. It would not be correct to say that it was organized by the “office”. It was a small group of people who initially came up with the plan of an outing, and then invited their colleagues to accompany them.
We chose a picnic house in a place known as Badu, in the North 24 Parganas district. It’s about 30 km outside the city of Kolkata.
To begin with, we had kind of an “introductory meeting” where all of us gathered at one place, and were introduced to each other. This went a long way in making new friends, and knowing each other properly.
I don’t know from whose head the idea of this “collective introduction” came from, but whoever coined the idea, it’s a big thank you to you!
Are you aware of the joking definition of a scientist? Well, here’s what it is. No, it’s not a definition I coined by myself.
Scientists are thoughtful, paranoid, beer and coffee drinking people, whose minds are preoccupied with love and sex, when they are not preoccupied with science.
To say the truth, I think each and every word of this is true!
And scientists were in no short supply there! Almost everyone there was a Central Government employeed researcher, most in physics.
You should have known by now, coffee and physics go hand in hand. So, coffee was the first thing, followed by breakfast.
After breakfast, the challenge was to mobilize the crowd, and travel together in a group, to a very interesting place, which I’m going to talk about, albeit a bit later.
Meanwhile, there is an interesting house bang opposite the picnic house we had chosen. The current owners claim that it was once a “summer house” of Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah, who was the last king to rule Bengal, before the British took over Bengal during the Colonial Era.
Calcutta Snake Park, a privately-owned government-recognized zoological park, tasked mainly with putting snakes on display.
Guess what a welcome we got! The first snake on the row was the King Cobra! Although not the most venomous snake known to man, it is arguably the most aggressive among venomous snakes.
Therefore, among the venomous snakes, the King Cobra is the one which is responsible for the most number of reported human deaths.
Next in line, was the Common Tree Viper. It’s distinctly olive green in colour, and is very well-camouflouaged among the green-coloured trees.
The tree viper is known for its enginnered attack styles. It quietly waits, well camoflouaged in the trees, for its prey to approach, and then quitely jumps on it, with superb precision. It is equipped with thermal-sensitive receptors at the front.
Although a snake park, there are certain other animals too. Although there is no marshland here, we spotted a marshland resident: the marsh croc.
We had to wait an entire five minutes, just to watch it move a couple of centimetres! I never knew crocs can be so lazy (in guarantee of their daily meal package)!
We came across an interesting snake after that. I don’t really know why, but it looked extremely bored and tired to me, and so does it colour.
But don’t be fooled by all that. It’s a dangerous, snake: the Russian Viper. I don’t think I really need to mention that its venomous.
Next up in line, a close encounter with a snake. Camera placement: barely 30-40 centimetres away from the head of the snake.
Yes, I know it’s non-venomous, but its bite can give you a bad day. It pains a lot. It was only later, when I looked back, that I realized what danger I had approached that day by putting in my camera inside the broken mesh, with the snake looking at me!
It could have jumped anytime! I don’t really know why I did it, but I can assure you I hadn’t consumed alcohol for the past 4 months!
Guess what? Although it might be an (obvious) exaggeration, this was my very own “Dangerous Encounter: Snakes” like they had on the National Geographic Channel!
After getting back “home” (to the picnic house), it was all snacks, and coffee, and classical music (but unfortunately in my mind, not alcohol); before we headed down for a tasty treat for lunch.
What’s the youngest child you’ve seen with a Rubik’s Cube? And he actually solved quite a bit in the right procedure, without actually knowing the “procedure”?
This was mine. Guess whose Cube it was! (Non-Cubers will be forgiven for skipping this section!)
And he was actually very reluctant to give it back! Don’t worry, I got it back; it’s one of the most prized possessions of mine!
Nothing goes better than a walk after lunch, to let all that hydrochloric acid act on the food in your stomach! So, we did go out for a walk. And the pathway, was wonderful.
Guess what accompanied us? Classical music, once again! Some guys (I won’t specifically point out) wanted to listen to some “modern music”.
“How about Lungi Dance?” said my dad.
Had they played it (they didn’t have it, to be true), I would have fled. I don’t want Honey Singh to be a memoir at my (untimely) funeral!
Leaving alone Honey Singh, I could have gone for some “modern music”, had it not been for our presence in a village.
Allow me to express why.
Rap God and village don’t go hand in hand. That would’ve been the worst combination ever!
Don’t believe me? But yourself in my place then, and just try doing it! Send me the results, I’ll be waiting (eagerly).