One morning when Ramesh went away for his usual morning trip to the pond, Radha had just woken up , as usual she first saw if her egg was safe , but today as the sun rays fell on the egg , Radha observed that it had cracked in places and the cracks were deepening .
Her joy knew no boundaries and she squealed out loudly for Ramesh. This was not the time the egg had to crack, why was the baby coming out early? she thought. Ramesh came running fearing an attack on his family, but what radha showed him shocked him, he was stunned. For the next 30 minutes or so both of them just sat their wings joined in prayer that the baby comes out safe, both of them were confused that the baby was coming before time. Whenever a crack would shift on the shell or something would move inside the egg , radha would shed a tear out of anxiety. After 30 minutes the egg did not crack totally , this scared them even more. They feared the worst. Radha started crying. It was Shivratri that day and the temple beside the pond was full of people offering flowers and leaves to shivji. Angi ( the temple parrot ) had told Ramesh once that The diety in the temple is called “the lord of the creation”. Not ready to accept what he was seeing he immediately flew to the inner sanctum sanctorum of the temple, many people watched in amazement as he picked up one flower from the diety and flew back to his nest. Radha was still weeping, now chimpu( the squirrel), rinki (the spider) , angi, champa ( the rat ), had gathered around the nest consoling radha .Ramesh placed the flower on the egg and stood beside his wife. Then the aarti in the temple started and as the bells started ringing the baby inside the egg started showing movement again. All their eyes widened in anticipation as to what would happen now. Radha could not take it any longer and closed her eyes, tears still trickling down her eyes. Champa and chimpu started talking.
Champa: “ And I thought only we mammals had to go through the pain of child birth, oh god, please let the baby come out fast”.
Chimpu : “ Yes , I thought egg birth would be an easy thing,just lay the egg and baby comes out , but this is too much to handle man, let the baby come out fast , I have to get ready for school .”
Angi: “ Shiva Shiva! a new life is trying to enter the world and all you are bothered about is school! Go away!”
Champa & chimpu : “ No we’ll wait , we want to see our new friend , we’ll wake mum and dad and come.”
Rinki who was watching the whole thing hanging from her cobweb above saw movement in the pond, she saw a huge something slithering towards the nest. Her eyes widened in horror, it was a huge king cobra gracefully gliding through the water surface.
RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! I SEE A HUGE SNAKE COMING THIS WAY!
Radha and Ramesh were puzzled, there is no snake here in our temple vicinity, they thought. But then as the snake reached the bank they could make out that their life was in danger. They all ran for their lives , all except Radha .
Ramesh stopped and came back for her (the snake did not want to make its presence felt so quickly and was probably planning an ambush ) . Radha come on! Why are you waiting?
Ramesh saw the pain in her eyes, the egg still lay half cracked. There is nothing we can do now radha, if we carry the egg with us it might break and the baby might DIE, its already half cracked and there is nothing we can do, please come with me, RUN!
When she heard the word DIE she closed her eyes for a fraction of a second and looked back at the egg. Still sobbing, she kept looking back at the egg, soon she was away from the nest and into safety zone of the temple where the snake would not harm them. Her crying and sobbing was drowned in the temple bells which kept ringing all the time during the aarti. The snake was waiting for it to become quite before proceeding, as the aarti ended , there was silence, he lifted his hood to look around the place, there he saw , egg shells lying in a nest , and beside the egg shells playfully playing with a flower sat the cutest thing on earth, the shell had cracked during the aarti , the baby was born! The snake gracefully approached the baby, the baby looked at it with god like innocence. Rinki who was in the web above was silently sobbing, the snake was now directly staring at the baby, the baby also looking at the snake, no fear in its eyes. Rinki ran as fast as she could to tell Radha and Ramesh what she saw, also because she did not want to see the baby die in front of her eyes.
WHO ARE YOU UNCLE? Asked the baby …
Will continue in the next post..
P.S – Please suggest a name for the baby. ( Its a swan baby and its a boy , so please suggest accordingly )