It is normally a difficult task to satisfy Neeranjan Bhaskar when he is hungry. The reason might sound a bit startling but the 35-year-old man, who is a painter by profession, prefers his plate of snakes.
Well, not exactly a plate of snake, but the man claims he has been eating snakes from childhood. He eats a snake everyday, claiming credit for having gobbled up more than 4,000 snakes, including different types of cobras and kraits, till date.
Every morning, Bhaskar hunts for snakes on the banks of the Ghagra river. The first time he ate a raw snake was when he was seven. ?It was the rainy season of 1977. I was a student of Bal Brahmachari High School in Ranchi,? recounted Bhaskar, ?A dhor snake attacked me. I tried hard to get rid of it, but the snake did not leave me. When I did not find a way to get rid of it, I bit the snake, in a fit of anger and pain. I continued biting it and finally ate it.?
The first experience was very interesting, said the painter and added that the snake?s blood tasted like raw milk. ?Since that day, I started eating a snake everyday,? said the reptile eater.
Bhaskar?s parents remained ignorant about their son?s appetite for snakes for least seven years. ?My father noticed (the snake eating) when I was 14 year old. He tried to stop me. But I had already developed an addiction for the snakes,? he said.
He gave a live demonstration before a team of journalists by catching a dhamin snake from the banks of the Ghaghara river.
He gobbled the reptile in 15 minutes. Amused people looked up at him as the painter looked around for snakes in the holes, under the rocks and in cracks on the riverbank.
Finally, he caught a pair of dhamin but let one go. Then he realised that one of the snakes had bitten him on his right hand. But an unfazed Bhaskar said it was nothing serious, as the venom would cause him no harm.
Bhaskar, originally from Arah district, Bihar, wants to get himself into the Guinness Book of World Records. ?The present world record of living with deadly snakes is for 32 days. But I am sure I can stay with the reptiles for 40 days at a stretch if given a chance,? he added.
He had to face problems because of his eating habits. Doctors at Sadar Hospital did not entertain me when they came to know that I ate live snakes,? said Bhaskar, who had gone there to get treatment for typhoid. Bhaskar is married and has four daughters, whom he has trained to deal with snakes without fear. ?They do not eat snakes but playwith them,? he said claiming to be a vegetarian otherwise.