Sedley Proctor


Any expressed wish that some form of adversity or misfortune will befall or attach to one or more persons, place, or object is called a curse! Also called an imprecation, malediction, execration, malison, anathema, or commination, in particular “curse” may refer to such a wish or pronouncement called into being by a supernatural or spiritual power, such as a god or gods, a spirit or a natural force, or else as a kind of spell by magic or witchcraft; in the latter sense, a curse can also be called a hex or a jinx. “Read this book at your peril. The numinous, the humorous and the unexpected converge in these tales of nightmare and revenge.” — M T Sands.


Pungi's Curse

Mota was a fat, old snake sold to Kohli the snake charmer for a few miserable rupee. When Kohli got him to dance to the pungi, Mota could barely lift his hood. To the crowd the pungi was magic, but to the snake it was a curse. As he raised his hood, Mota wanted to spit venom. But the poison had long been drained from his fangs, and he was consigned to crawling on his belly back into his basket in defeat. The pungi player danced around the snake mocking him with the silent words of the charm. “Listen, you fat old snake! You have nothing left to give. Get back in your basket! It will prove to be your casket!” Yet the music of the pungi was so maddening Mota was stirred out of his lethargy into a leap. For if Mota was not a boa, he had the soul of a constrictor. He clung to Kohli's neck and pulled him down to the ground and dragged the charmer towards the basket. Now the crowd understood what was meant by the pungi's curse.

141 printed pages
Original publication



    How did you like the book?

    Sign in or Register
Drag & drop your files (not more than 5 at once)