The snake and the Mirror
The story ‘The Snake and the Mirror’ is
written by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer in Malyalam. It is translated in English by
‘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
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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
the end, he revealed that his wife was slim and good at running, which was a humorous irony.
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.
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
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