We discussed in the last post about one of the best novel : – https://wordpress.com/post/writingheartout.wordpress.com/829 now I would also share an amazing story based on superstitions & two classes of people existing in society.
The Reptiles have always been a subject that attracted me (though I never have dared of going closer to them ;)) But still I was inquisitive about reptiles class of animals. In reptiles,snakes are ones I am always interested in. I mean how can one simply slither & can express its all emotions. That too for the life time?? No, at least I wont be able to do that….even to crawl till you die??that’s so much like a looser for life, isn’t it?
So, yes as the picture suggests, this post is going to be more of reptiles & a holy belief from the land of snake charmers. (though the story is from that era, and only charm is left but the charmers have disappeared already.) The title of this post is actually the name of a tribe, not just a tribe but one of the venomous tribe of snakes which is found in rural parts of India. ‘Manyar‘ (also known as common Krait/Indian Krait) India has emerged as an independent country but its roots are basically into its ancient civilisation. (Indus valley) This has taken Indian culture through a roller-coaster ride of transitions & it’s still evolving.
In all of these traditions, the most popular one is considering the dangerous ones as God & praising them with a belief. it’s not always the dangerous one though but it also has a moral thought of conserving lives, be it of any specie. Indians have certain beliefs such as praising Cows, Oxes,trees and even snakes. So to mention all of this & landing this whole conversation on ‘snakes’ is my major intention here. The reason of this you would find from here onward.
Today the story we are going to discuss about is ‘The Mark of Vishnu‘. Written by again the same famous & decorated author, named ‘Mr. Khushwant Singh.‘ This story takes place in some village of West Bengal (an eastern coastal state of India.) There is an old tradition of feeding snake with milk on a day. Few of them even try & feed it everyday. There has been criticism about whether those snakes really enjoy having that milk or they just do it for the sake of, but it’s been into tradition & has been going on for long.
In every society there are two classes are who exist, one a follower & the other one is an explorer. Followers follow the set principles or the what others/mass believe. The explorer always believes in seeking answers, whether anything that is being accepted by the crowd is really worth accepting or there is still something left to explore is what interests them. So this story is about those two classes of the society.
Gunga Ram is the character who is actually from Follower’s class. Very superstitious, God-fearing kinda person. And then there is a gang of youngsters, who used to take disadvantage of Gunga Ram’s this nature. His beliefs were source of pass-time for those young chaps. But at the same time, those guys were even ready to prove that such traditions & taboos which Gunga Ram was following are really not worth or meaningful. But Gunga Ram even ‘dies’ to prove that his said traditions are definitely worth & they would work one day to prove its worth.
There is very thin line between beliefs & superstitions. It’s definitely not the case that you should go against all traditions or the thoughts which elders has shared with you to prove yourselves right. But it’s better to be wise or society has their way to foll you otherwise. So it’s better to follow what your heart say & gauge it on the basis of logic. If there is any doubt you have, still there are elders who think wisely. So seek such people, stay surrounded with such people & make yourself sure enough to live life in your own way. This is the actual matter of the story.
Now you might think that what so special is about this story. But, the story is written in such a simple way that it can enlighten the ‘foolest’ of the society and even it would show the right direction to one who has soft corner towards taboos or such baseless rituals.
With all due respect to copyrights I am not disclosing the complete story here & keeping your curiosity intact, but I am even sorry about my this act. But please read through the whole book, in fact I would be more than happy to provoke you to read the whole bunch of books written by Mr. Khushwant Singh as I personally have got a fascination by reading the language & his way of putting things in a story & also giving a clear message at the end of it.
to check the whole set of his works: – http://www.amazon.in/Khushwant-Singh/e/B000APL46O
There are even few better reviews about this book which you can read on : – http://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-khuswant-singh-trying-convey-mark-vishnu-492225
To read this whole story, you can buy the book, ‘The Mark of Vishnu.’https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11741193-the-mark-of-vishnu