Bhubaneswar, June 2. A woman, who claimed to have fallen in love with a snake got “married” to the reptile as per Hindu rituals at Atala village of Orissa’s Khurda district, 14 km from here. The unusual marriage took place on Wednesday with over 2,000 people taking out a procession to celebrate the event. . . . When Bimbala [Das] disclosed her idea of marrying a snake, villagers reportedly appreciated it saying the marriage will bring good fortune to the area.
...By the end, a portrait of the bride developed. Before her marriage, the girl had been quiet, perhaps even unhappy. Did she have close friends? No. Where did she live before the marriage? There, in her mother’s hut. And her father? Died ten years ago. They told me it was Basu Deb, her father, who had first begun to feed and care for the cobra that Bimbala, ten years later, would marry. Another brother, married with children, died just a couple of years ago. Bimbala’s surviving brother had mortgaged his fields to pay for the wedding expenses. He wouldn’t tell us how much he had spent, but it was clearly a substantial sum, although less than he would have had to pay had Bimbala married a human being, for no dowry was expected. To marry the snake, Bimbala had been required to change her caste. She had been adopted by an upper-caste family and was no longer considered an untouchable.