Monday 11 December 2023

Snake and the Mirror

The snake and the Mirror

                                By Vaikom Muhammad Basheer


·       The story ‘The Snake and the Mirror’ is written by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer in Malyalam. It is translated in English by V. Abdulla.  

·       ‘The Snake and the Mirror’ is an interesting and humorous story about a homeopathic doctor who had an interesting but terrifying encounter with a cobra.

·       The doctor was very fond of his own good looks and hopeful of his future prospects. This influenced his way of telling the episode and making fun of his own situation. He narrated entire episode in such graphic and lively manner that his listeners listened to him in complete attention and bewilderment.

·       The story involves lot of humour, interest, twist, wit and suspense which are integral elements of a good story.


Summary  /  Synopsis

·       "The Snake and the Mirror" by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer is a humorous and interesting short story that narrates an unusual and terrifying encounter between a homeopathic doctor and a snake in his small rented room. The story unfolds as the doctor, who is a bachelor and has recently set up his medical practice. His earning is not good enough for a comfortable life.

·       He was getting ready for bed but it was a hot day and the house was not electrified. He decided to read and took out a book ‘Materia Medica’.

·       The doctor heard familiar sound of rats three times. Meanwhile the mirror on his table attracted his attention and he made two decisions, one of them was to have a clean shave and grow a thin moustache to look more handsome after all he was a bachelor, and a doctor. He took another earth shaking decision to keep an attractive smile on his face to look more handsome. He also disclosed his desire to marry a successful doctor who was fat so that she wouldn’t catch him if he committed a mistake.

·       After some time he stopped hearing that noise of rats, and then, the doctor noticed a snake coiled on his shoulder. The doctor remained remarkably composed, realising the intensity of the danger he was facing. He suddenly thought of medicine which he should apply if he got bitten by snake. He wasn’t having any medicine and so he smiled at himself and his foolishness.

·       The snake, however, got distracted by its own reflection in the mirror, leading to a comical moment where the doctor contemplated whether the snake was admiring its own beauty or making decisions about its appearance.

·       Despite the danger, the doctor managed to quietly leave the room and run to safety. The story concludes with a humorous twist, revealing that the doctor's possessions were stolen by a thief, leaving behind only the doctor's dirty vest as a final insult.

·       At the end, he revealed that his wife was slim and good at running, which was a humorous irony.

·       The narrative is laced with irony, as the doctor, who initially contemplated marriage to a wealthy and fat woman, finds himself in a life-threatening situation with a snake. The story explores themes of fear, quick thinking, and the unpredictability of life, all presented in a humorous and engaging manner.


·       The chapter clearly highlights that the stories told in a dramatic and lively manner cast immense impact on the listeners leaving them in rapt attention and amazement.

·       The story teaches us not to be hopeless or panic in problematic situations. We should not be depressed or scared in adverse situations as fear forces us to act suddenly and foolishly, and take wrong decisions, which may make the things worse. The doctor, though he was scared, kept patience and waited for the right moment which arrived at last. One should be patient and steady enough to think and take logical decisions and wise steps in all circumstances.

No comments:

Post a Comment