It was a peaceful day in the woods. Now and then, a gentle wind blew through
the fresh, green leaves of the majestic trees as if, playing merrily with
them. Cuckoo birds chirped cheerfully on the branches of the huge peepal
trees. Butterflies chased each other merrily and little crickets were
jumping here and there. Mother Nature seemed to be laughing and enjoying the
frolics of her children.
"Sssssss...." here we come!!!" suddenly hissed an evil voice, destroying the
mirth and merriment all around.
Many-hooded Kalia and his brood slowly emerged from their hiding place. They
were venomous beings who poisoned the very ground they slithered on. As they
moved now, the grass under them turned black and the trees they passed lost
Kalia surveyed the landscape before him. "What better place to stay with my
family?" he thought and grinned.
"Halt!" he ordered his family. "This is our new home!"
"No!" cried the wind, "Don't do this". "I can't breathe!" lamented a shocked
peepal tree. Even the cuckoo birds on the tree branches just reeled over and
died, as the air around the area turned toxic.
And so the eastern part of the Yamuna River, next to the village of
Brindavan, began to slowly die.
The morning sun shone over Brindavan. It was like any other day. Everyone
went about their usual business. The village primarily consisted of the
cow-herd tribes. They were going out to graze their cows in the nearby
fields and vales. Suddenly somebody screamed in village chief Nanda's home.
Everyone present nearby rushed to the place. But no one could enter inside.
There were anxious whispering among the crowd that gathered outside Nanda's
home. Who was it?
It was Yashoda, Nanda's wife. She sat on the bed, her body shaking in fear.
"What happened, Yashoda?" Nanda asked in worry.
"Oh dear, I had an awful dream, "shuddered Yashoda at the thought of it. "A
giant snake had coiled his enormous body around our little
Krishna....and...oh my God!"
"It's just a dream, Yashoda". Nanda tried to calm his wife. But Yashoda was
not pacified. "I need to see if my son is all right... Krishna! My
son...where are you?" she called out.
Soon, she heard the pitter-patter of a child's footsteps outside her room.
Little Krishna peeked inside.
"What is it, mother?" he asked.
"Krishna, you should not go out anywhere today, do you understand?" Yashoda
said gently, without wishing to alarm her son.
Krishna lingered there for sometime. Then he smiled mysteriously. It seemed
to Yashoda as if he had some designs in his mind that is beyond any mortal
understanding. Then, ignoring his mother's words, he ran out of his home.
"Krishna! Kishan... my son! Come back...please."
Krishna ran fast in the streets of Brindavan and arrived at the lakeside
hideout where his friends welcomed him. Then they started playing with a
After some time, they became tired and climbed on a tree to rest. There was
a tree house on the top of it. Krishna and his friends had specially made it
for their adventures. But the tiny tree was not strong enough to support so
many children and it groaned under their weight. Krishna felt bad. "I wish
we had a bigger tree to build a tree house. We seem to be crushing this
" I know where the biggest tree in Brindavan is," said Kusela, one of his
closest friends. " I would have built a tree-house on top of it. But my
father said we should never go there."
"We must!" said Krishna merrily and ran towards the eastern direction. "I
want to build a better treetop hideout. And I need your help. Will you
please come with me?"
Krishna was loved by all his friends, so what choice did they have than to
Soon Krishna and his friends arrived at the eastern part of the Brindavan
forests. But they were shocked at what they saw there. The place looked...
On the exterior, the place looked bright enough. The lake had plenty of
water and there was even a waterfall nearby. But only when the children went
near they saw the changes.
The water had a bluish colour. But the grass around the lake was not green
anymore. It had turned black. There was a huge tree overlooking the lake,
but it was on the verge of dying. It had no leaves and its branches were all
blackened. It seemed as if the whole place was damned; cursed by some
monstrous evil.There was an eerie silence all about the place.
"I do not like this place," whined one of his friends." I do not like the
place" he repeated, "we should not be here at all! My father will be angry
if he comes to know about it."
Krishna looked thoughtfully at the lake for some moments. Then he turned to
his friends. "Well then, now that we're here, let's at least play ball!" he
said and grabbed the ball. He threw it at Kusela, who was unable to catch it
properly and let it slip into the lake. The ball disappeared into the waters
with a soft plop.
"Let me get it," said Krishna and before his friends could stop him he
jumped inside the strange waters!
Krishna went under the bluish waters of Yamuna. On the shore, his friends
terror but the boy raised his head and shouted back:
"Don't worry, I'll soon be back with the ball!"
The water felt too cold and Krishna's skin tingled uncomfortably. But he
ignored the feeling.
Krishna swam lower and found the plants all burnt and bent as if they were
drenched in acid. It saddened him to see the underwater plants dead and
black. He looked around to find out the one responsible for it.
As his feet touched the bottom, he could see skeletons of small sea animals
and fishes lying on the riverbed. An uncanny silence reigned over the whole
place. It seemed to be the kingdom of Death.
Suddenly a strange sound caught Krishna's ears.It seemed like a hissing
"Whoever did this is still here," thought Krishna.
As if agreeing with him, a huge snake sliding out of his sea hole. It was
Kalia. It was truly terrible to see his large body slithering in the water.
Baring his many hoods, he hissed again and faced the little boy.
The snake-King was surprised but also pleased to see Krishna. "Hmmm, what do
we have here?" he asked mockingly.
"Food!" shouted his family in chorus, who were standing behind him.
"Yessssss..." Kalia hissed in wicked tones. "We do not get to taste humans
often! And you look like a pretty morsel..."
Without finishing his words, Kalia lunged at Krishna. The boy, who had been
expecting such a move, deftly jumped back and hid behind a rock. But Kalia
moved at a lightning speed and caught him. He coiled round Krishna and
started to crush his body. Krishna, who was rather enjoying the fight,
twisted his body and slipped out.
Kalia was stunned. It was impossible. How could this mere boy slip out of
his grasp so easily?. Nobody, no matter how big or small, had ever escaped
from his deadly hold. For the first time in his life did Kalia ever
experience such a phenomenon.
Krishna, meanwhile, jumped over the rock and crouched low. He was in a
playful mood and he decided to tease the evil snake.
Had he known who his opponent is, Kalia would never have dared to try to
devour Krishna. Krishna was, in reality, a divine child. He was an
incarnation of the Absolute, the almighty God. He had come to the earth to
reward the good and punish the wicked.
But Kalia did not know this and he was hell- bent on having Krishna as his
As the snake came around the rock to catch him, Krishna ran over to the
other side. The next few minutes were spent in hide and seek until, tired,
Kalia lost his patience.
"You boy! Why don't you face me like a man instead of dancing like a girl?"
he snarled at Krishna.
"Oh, I haven't even started dancing yet!" laughed Krishna. "But since you
are asking, let me show you how I really dance..."
Saying so, Krishna quickly climbed over the rock and jumped on the snake's
enormous hood. He firmly placed his foot on the snake's sensitive head and
started to dance.
And what a dance it was!
The whole lake started to tremble as Krishna danced. The lake anemones and
the burnt sea plants started to shake. It seemed as if they nodded their.
heads together in ecstasy over Kalia's plight. Even the fishes left alive
stood still and watched him dancing over Kalia's head.
"Hey you! Stop dancing on my head, will you?" Kalia screamed out in pain.
Krishna stopped dancing and slid lower near Kalia's face. He rained blows on
his head and climbed on his head to dance again.
Kalia grew truly afraid. Now he felt surely that the little boy was no
ordinary child. The thud of Krishna's feet felt like the bong! Bong! Of a
great hammer on his head. As Krishna danced with more and more vigour, the
snake felt his life slowly being pushed out of his body.
Kalia's wives were quick to predict Kalia's fate. "Oh, divine child, please
don't kill our husband!" they begged him.
"I will let him live if all of you promise to leave this place forever,"
"But we are so safe in here!" wailed Kalia. "If we go out now, Garuda the
giant eagle would surely have us as his breakfast!"
"Go to Ramnaka, the snake-kingdom," promised Krishna. "You and your family
will not be attacked by any bird or beast till you reach there. That's my
promise to you.. Now off you go!!"
Meanwhille, Krishna's friends ran back to Nanda's home and informed him
about Krishna's underwater search for the ball.
"He has gone under water for nearly an hour..." cried Kusela, "... and
hasn't returned since."
Yashoda broke into tears." I had told him..." cried he," I had warned him
not to go anywhere... why didn't he listen? Oh my Krishna, my Kanhaiya...
what will I do you?"
Nanda too was very much scared. He called aloud for the other Gopalas. All
the village-folk rushed and followed their chief. Soon Nanda, Yasodha and
everybody from the village found themselves on the blackened woods of
There was no sign of the little boy, anywhere. Only a deathly silence
"Krishna... my son. Where are you?" cried Nanda, "come out! Please!"
Suddenly the waters of the lake bubbled and rose above the tallest tree in
the woods. The Gopalas moved back and all of them looked in awe and fear as
Krishna came out, dancing on top of a huge snake!
The snake bent his head in respect as Krishna landed on the shore. Yasodha
and Nanda rushed to embrace him.
Content with Krishna's promise, Kalia gathered his brood and left Yamuna
that very day. True to what Krishna said, neither birds nor beasts attacked
the snake family on their way to Ramnaka. Their journey was safe and sound.
The river regained its old richness and Krishna built his tree house on the
now-green tree overlooking the lake. His status was higher
than ever in the eyes of all his friends. All the boys understood that
Krishna was no ordinary child. Tale of his antics spread far and wide.
But none of them seemed to have any effect on the little god, who seemed
content at stealing butter from his mother's kitchen and enjoying it. His
eyes twinkled mischievously and his thoughts dwelled on things beyond the
realms of human understanding.