This story is strange, odd but true. A woman practically died of snake bite 40 years ago, was ‘laid to rest’ after performing the ‘last rites’ by her family but returned home to the shock of the entire family members on Friday, December 30, 2016.
The entire family in India got the shock of their lives after their 82-year-old mother showed up at their doorstep 40 years after they had laid her body to rest on the Ganges River following a bite from a cobra.
According to odditycentral.com and Times of India, the whole drama started in 1976 when then 42-year-old pensioner, identified only as Vilasa, from Bidhoo village in India’s Kanpur district, went out into the fields to collect fodder for her animals, as she had done countless time before.
However, she unknowingly got close to a black cobra and got bitten by it. Upon returning home, her family immediately took her to a traditional healer, but his methods failed to alleviate the effects of the venom. Vilasa soon lost consciousness and was taken for dead by the family members.
Thinking she had died, her family wrapped the woman’s body, placed it on a wooden float and threw it into the sacred Ganges River.
Although open-air cremation is practiced by millions of Indian Hindus, with the ashes of the dead scattered in some sacred rivers, but in the case of snake bites, according to reports, some believe that the sacred river can wash away the poison from the body and bring the person back to life. It wasn’t something Vilasa’s family actually expected, though.
But as it turned out, after the body was thrown into the river in 1976, her body was sighted floating on the Ganges River by a couple of fishermen from a village close to Kanpur district border. They noticed she wasn’t actually dead and took her to their temple to be treated.
Although Vilasa eventually made a full recovery, she had lost her memory and couldn’t tell those who rescued her who she was, where she came from, or how she ended up there.
With no memory of her past life, Vilasa remained at the temple for 40 years.
But last year, the woman suddenly began to remember bits of her life and started talking to a girl she befriended at the temple about it. The girl later told her uncle, who happened to know someone in Vilasa’s village. The person that the uncle knew, an 82-year-old man called Chetram, told the uncle that he knew the woman and had actually attended her ‘water burial’ 40 years ago.
“My mother said that she had lost her consciousness and her memory. A few days ago, she recalled the incident and narrated it to a girl who discussed the matter with her uncle. The girl’s uncle contacted one Chetram who too recalled that he attended Vilasa’s funeral. Later, Chetram contacted us and apprised us of the development,” the woman’s elder daughter, Ram Kumari, told The Times of India.
It all started to make sense, so Vilasa was taken back to her home, where her daughters were shocked to see her standing outside their house. “We immediately recognised her from a birthmark,” the woman’s younger daughter, Muni, said.