Thursday, October 07, 2004

Snakes

Civilisation vs wilderness, there is always one loser. In this case, it is the native plants and animals and sometimes native culture that have thrived for centuries before someone's idea of civilisation caught up with them. What is this civilisation anyway? The culture of the alpha-pack, or the culture that is militarily strong is the standard for civilisation. The Aryans, Israelites, Romans, Persians, Europeans have dictated before and now the Americans dictate what is civilisation and what is not. The Chinese would have come in the place of Europeans only if the Europeans hadn't discovered clockwork.

In our insti, there used to be a lot of snakes, scorpions and many other animals before someone decided to build a hospital there. Where man goes, he takes his Gods there. In this case, it is a Shiva temple, so that the patients and their relatives could pray for them to get cured. Now, instead of a hospital and sick residents, it is a management institute and management students.

There have been quite a few encounters with snakes and scorpions here. Ever since we came here, only one guy has been stung by a scorpion while a couple of guys have seen snakes crawl by. What else can one expect in a place that is surrounded by fields and granaries? Land attracts man, he grows grains, grains attract rats, rats attract snakes, snakes end up dead even when they are just helping man. Still, they are the bad guys.

We consider them a nuisance and are told to be careful of them. Or is it the otherway? In reality, we are the intruders and they must be careful of us. Animal scientists say that the fear is mutual. While they attack only when they are cornered or put in immediate danger, we carry out 'pre-emptive strikes'. Just out of fear and our own stupidity, we strive to make these lands 'fit' for human living. Guess you cannot blame Bush for pre-emptive strikes against the Iraqis and the Presidents before him for hitting out at anyone who has leftists leanings. They are, after all, men!

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