The Snake God

Ashok Singh, Srishti Pub, 2001, pbk, 308 p, ISBN : 8187075716, $13.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

The Snake God/Ashok Singh

Contents: 1. Freedom. 2. Vikram Singh. 3. A dead Miss Rat. 4. Girl child. 5. Aha my Fangs. 6. The daughter's marriage. 7. The female cobra. 8. The Englishman's advice. 9. Young love. 10. Arrest me. 11. Down with the zamindar. 12. The non believer dies. 13. Captured.

"The Snake God has four distinct flavours.

"A cobra who escapes a snake charmers basket, and is picked up by eagles and plops into a zemindar's compound, where it enjoys thirteen years of freedom. It is prayed to as the Snake God before it is recaptured by a snake charmer again.

"A scheming priest who wags his tail before the zemindar and fervently prays to the snake for money which will make him as rich as the latter. He is delighted when the snake kills the zemindar, who dies, and the estate falls into his sole charge.   

"James Powell, an officer of the British government of India, a die hard imperialist whose stiff upper lip, and poise, take a beating when his host, the terrified zemindar, starts hopping on his table or on the bonnet of his jeep whenever a snake shows up. Powell stoically braves the cat calls and jeers of a people whose country is soon to get independence. And the zemindar himself who feels itchy under his heels whenever he beholds a snake, causing him to perch on something high. Whether the 'something high', is a table, or his servant's back, or the bonnet of the English officer's jeep, does not matter as long as it is high enough. He prays to the snake for his countries independence to be freed of the irritating and degrading task of wagging his tail before the British. His prayer is fulfilled and India gets her freedom. His zemindari is abolished and poverty gallops into his life."  (jacket)   

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