December 3, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Essay: The Love that Everyone Fears by Vartika Sharma Lekhak

1 min read
stray dogs on the street

Photo by Syed Qaarif Andrabi on

In this essay, Vartika Sharma Lekhak presents an alternate perspective in the debate of ‘dog bites’ vs ‘animal rights’.

I heard the frantic screams of Jaya – ‘ Snake!!! Snake!!! Look snakes are fighting.’ 

Jaya is our house-help who lives in adjoining quarters next to ours. Just in the middle of the pathway that connects our houses, a pair of snakes were lying. It took some time to gather that it was not one but two snakes because of the interweave their bodies had made. 

This union was anything but aggression. It was mesmerizing. If it wasn’t for the panic-stricken viewers around me, I would have watched this rare dance of passion for hours. The bodies of the serpents were glistening with the shine of recently shed skin. The pair rolled over the grass in a rhythm, going under one tuft and coming out of another. They rose up in the air, about three feet. Whether it was my writer’s imagination or I actually saw them looking into the eyes of each other and then gently lower down to the floor. They were Kate and Leonardo of My Heart Will Go On. 

‘They are fighting, see they are fighting,’ Jaya shouted like those Valentine’s Day haters in her vehement denial of love.  

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