The Flying Cobra

In one of the afternoons of my month long time in Pushkar of Rajasthan, we three people, 2 visitors and the owner (named Pradhan alias Ramu) of the Ramues cafe and Shankar Palace where I was staying in, were having the discussion on some random subjects. In that bright and hot sunny day of the summers, we all were restfully seated on the chairs placed under the shadow of the trees which were planted in the roofless central ground of the Shankar Palace.

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The serpent trees

During our train of thoughts, Ramu reached to a point where he asserted that his place was that divinely blessed site where even the trees dropped the neckbands of Shiva, the Cobra snakes, on the ground. At first, I assumed that Ramu had just used an idiom to express that his place was among the special places of the holy valley of Pushkar. Before I could take my assumptions to any next level, he pointed towards the very small sized countless fresh green and dry brown leaflets which were uniformly scattered all over the ground. Those miniatures were the shed products of the trees we were seated below. Ramu picked up one of the leaflets, had a meticulous look over that and then showed and handed over to us. That structure, which was not longer than 2-3 centimetre, was in the shape of a hooded snake, with a prominent hood and neck and a small body and tail. There was a Shiva temple in the premises of the Shankar Palace and I used to see him worshipping in that sacred place in the morning time. Inside the temple, there was a Shiva-lingam which was shaded above by the hood of a metallic cobra. In an interesting manner, Ramu beautifully connected the green cobras, which were flying from the trees above, with the one that encircles the Shiva. We randomly picked many of those small leaflets from the ground and each one of them was exactly in the shape of a hooded serpent.

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The leaflets over the ground


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The first view of the hood


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The hood


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The flying Cobra


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Shiva and the Serpent

When I looked up at the crown, I realised that the cobra tree was not unfamiliar to me. I had seen many of them in the city where I had spent most of the part of my life. In fact, that tree, which sometimes commonly called Ashoka tree, is very common in many of the parks and Gardens in India. After having a close look at one of the trees from the roof of the Shankar Palace, I discovered that the Cobra shaped structures were actually the shed petals of the flowers. Later with the help of a friend, the tree was identified, most probably, as Polyalthia longifolia. Although I was familiar with the tree, I had never had any look on the flower and hooded shed petals before.

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Leaves and the flowers (Polyalthia longifolia)


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Flower: The source of flying cobra

We are blessed to expand our imaginations in any direction and sometimes the travelling shows the perspectives which we tend to ignore otherwise.


34 thoughts on “The Flying Cobra

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  1. Very interesting …ya i too know this plant commonly grown in our garden and lot flowers do fall but never such mysterious shape …cobra wow …very interesting observation !!


    1. It was strange for me. I was surprised to see that even that common tree showed a new and strange thing.. And most beautiful part was the divine explanations of Ramu.


    1. Yes.. I do also feel so. And newness is every where.. In a large world as well in a small or even smaller micro world. Even the subjects which we sometimes consider to be very much familiar of, show some very new dimensions. And in a true sense, even in a same object newness can be found again and again. And then we wonder how much diversity is there in this endless cosmos.


    1. Thanks Dr. Zeynep Ince. I am sure you enjoyed this post. There is so much around us which helps to rediscover the self again and again.


  2. What a beautiful story about simple thing from the closest surrounding… Thank you for adding another leaf to our perennially growing forest of knowledge 🙂


    1. Stories are always around.. Perhaps we lack the eye to observe them. I hope to come up with more interesting observation… Thanks 🙂


  3. Careful observations can reveal extraordinary aspects of ordinary.. Thanks for this interesting post. Stay blessed


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