A Serpentine Tale

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On a recent weekday, an unusual customer appeared outside a tax office in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex in the form of a seven-foot long python. It was somehow secured in a sack meant to package rice grains, and taken to the local police station, which turned it away as ‘not police business’.

The person who had trapped the snake—along with two relatives, a journalist, and a police constable who agreed to help them—then took the reptile to a veterinary hospital in Parel, only to learn that the only snake handler there had died of a snake bite a few years ago. Fortunately, a volunteer claiming to have some experience dealing with snakes appeared. But the python couldn’t be handed over without an authorisation letter. The group, now with the new volunteer, returned to the police station. By the time, the letter was prepared, it was 2 am. Next morning, the volunteer let the snake loose in the wild.