Preparing to head north, the crew joins a snake rescue team, learns to play cricket, and explores Mumbai on motorcycle.
Many Indians believe in fate. That is to say, the path you are on is the path you must follow. Well, we must be on a strange path.
Our day started simply enough; a shave and a haircut at the local barber, an attempt to buy train tickets to Delhi so we can be at The Ganga’s source for Diwali—the festival of lights—followed by some chai. Then suddenly, Josh is playing cricket in an alley with school kids and before we know it, we’re off chasing after 7ft. rat snakes on motorcycles.
Vishal and his friends, Zeeshan Mirza, a Researcher in Mumbai, and Rajesh Sanap, an economy student turned researcher, voluntarily capture unwanted snakes and other critters and release them back into the jungle. “We do it because we love animals,” Vishal says. “All kinds.” They have a lot of love. “It is very hard not to get bit when rescuing sea snakes,” Zeeshan told me. “And they are almost all poisonous…the cobras aren’t that bad.”
They got a call reporting two “big snakes” that needed to be removed from a local business park, and invited us to come along. There was six of us altogether, including Zeeshan and Rajesh, and we had two motorcycles. JJ, Josh, and Vishal rode together on one; Rajesh, Zeeshan, and myself on the other. We captured both snakes. They were big; six-foot and seven-foot long rat snakes, respectively. JJ and Josh got to try their hands at snake handling, while I chose to concentrate, on handling the camera.
It’s hard to say what exactly the next step on our journey will be, but we’re going north, to the source of The Ganga River for Diwali. That’s the plan, anyway. It is fated.