Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Imrana Mukhtar's Deadly Charm

This story was a sad one after a year of this being published, this same girl was bitten by a deadly cobra and she could not survive the poison gushing through her veins. Imrana was a very brave girl who could handle all kind of poisonous snakes with ease. But thanks to the frenzy media she had to loose her life a year after she held her first solo show in Bhopal on September 29th 2003. This story was published after she gave a special shoot for the Hindustan Times – Bhopal edition and the next year (in 2004) when she was going to hold her second solo show the fotog’s wanted her to hold three king cobra’s together and pose for her, when tragedy struck her. I was not part of the second show, and was very upset when i got the news of her sudden demise, and the undue hunger of the fotog’s which claimed an innocent, youngster’s life. This in a way was her last interview and hence I dedicate this space in memory to "IMRANA MUKTHAR" - the women snake charmer.

It’s difficult to say what is deadlier, her looks or her cobras. The 18-year-old Imrana Mukthar – one of the few women snake charmers in the country – carries both with equal ease. To top it all, she handles her venomous snakes as easily as her duties as an intern nurse at Anushri Nursing Home in Arera Colony here in Bhopal.
The deadliest of snakes dangle around her neck. She holds them as if it were a child’s play. Being related to snake charmers obviously did the trick for her. She took to the snake business some sic years ago and has come a long way, says her Ustad Hakim Babu Bhai. “She knows how to treat herself in case she gets bitten by any kind of snake,” he says with pride.
His understudy wasn’t so deft with deadly cobras to begin with. She used to be very scared of snakes, as any women would be. But after she saw her nine-year-old nephew play with snakes at her sister’s house, she mustered courage to handle non-poisonous snakes to begin with.

Imrana has put up a solo show at Aish Bagh Stadium encouraging the locals around the area to come and see her handle snakes with ease. She has put up this show with the help of her family members and says, “All the women should take a cue from me and not get afraid of reptiles.”
She plans to hold this show till October 2 and is very happy with the response she received on the first day itself. Imrana says that any snakebite can be cured. “Even a person bitten by a cobra or a padam nag can be saved if he/ she treats self within half hour of the bite,” she says.
She says that snakes have different levels of poison. For instance, a person can survive a ‘Karat’ bite for up to 24 hours and a viper bite up to six days. “So, there is no need to fear these docile reptiles,” she adds.
Snakes o no snakes, one thing is sure. She has gone a step ahead of most men who run away on seeing a snake. She hopes that more women from the City and the Country will follow her by taking care of the reptiles and not killing them.

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