Man Becomes a Snake: A Modern Fairy Tale

Today I was reading a story of Nahusha and noticed parallels between him and the current king of Maha Desh.  Many Hindu puranas, as well as the Mahabharata, narrate the story of Nahusha. I felt inspired to re-write it and have taken literary license to embellish the story with mild distortions.

Nahusha was the grandson of the famous king Pururavas, who had a fling with Urvashi, the most beautiful Apsara (celestial damsel) in the employment of Indra.  Nahusha was so great that he married God Shiva and Parvati’s daughter, Ashokasundari, and his son became another famous king, Yayati.

In short, Nahusha had an illustrious career.  The great Manu Rishi says that Nahusha acquired the sovereignty of Triloka – or, in our story, most of the real estate property of Manhattan – through methods including self-study, ritual sacrifices, self-restraint, charity, and tapasya (austerity).  Of course, when it comes to the king of Maha-Desh, methods more likely include self-deception, deceit, swindling, tax evasion, and outright fraud.

Another version of the story suggests that Nahusha became Indra while Indra was undergoing atonement for a crime he had committed earlier.  As the new king of the heavens, Nahusha (as Indra) desired to have Indra’s beautiful consort Indrani (Stormy Daniels), as his wife.  He became egoistic and haughty with the power and wealth that accompanied Indra’s position.  There’s a clear corollary between the mythical story and our own society, where political power and wealth change a man.

Intoxicated with power, Nahusha became oblivious to reality.  He called the seven great sages called Sapta Rishis – all of whom who had gained entry to heaven with their dedicated study of the Vedas, religious sacrifices, and many years of austerities while living in the forest – and demanded that they transport him to Mar-a-Lago in a palanquin made of gold. Although he was Indra, king of the heavens, he had no Airforce One.

The Rishis are old, wise, and venerable beings that no one dares insult or commit transgression, and their power enables them to bless or curse anyone at will.  But since even gods must be fearful of the fool (murkha dekhi daiva pani daraaunu parcha), they relented to his atrocious demand and carried him in the golden palanquin.

As the old Rishis slowly walked, Nahusha became angry. He wanted to reach Mar-a-Lago faster! At the height of his stupidity, Nahusha kicked the oldest and most venerable of the seven, Agastya Rishi.  That was the tipping point, and Agastya blurted out a curse: “Sarpo bhava,” or “let you be a serpent.”  Nahusha immediately fell from his golden palanquin in the shape of a gigantic snake, landing back on the earth with a big thud.

The king of Maha-Desh has stepped on many peoples’ toes and kicked many peoples’ butts.  I’m waiting for him to finally kick the mythical Agastya, so that he can curse the king to land in the place where he rightfully belongs.  Can that Agastya be Mr……?