Some years ago, when my family were living in Madras, we had an old family servant who always made some excuse of getting away early on a Friday, as if she had some important rendezvous. I happened once to be at home on a Friday, after I had been away for a long time, and when I saw her going off as usual, I suddenly decided to follow her and see where she went. The old woman, who used to look rather like witch on any other day, black as a night, and with her hair hanging loose about her face, had got herself up quite smartly in a new sari, and looked much better than usual. She put a cup inside her sari, and tied an egg up in a fold of it. Then she sat off for the jungle. I took my shoes off so as not to make a noise, and followed her. It was full moon, and light as day. We came at last to a little clearing in the jungle, where there was a small ruined temple on the edge of a pool. Here she sat down and took the cup out of her sari and broke the egg into it. Then she let down her hair and began to chant a monotonous melody and to sway to and fro. Slowly, out of the pool arose a serpent’’s head. Gradually, a great cobra emerged from the pool and advanced towards her with a curious circular motion. It drank the egg which she had broken into the cup; then, while she sang, it wound itself around her body, till its crest stood erect above her head. Her face was transformed with ecstasy. She swayed to and fro and caressed the snake while it danced, with her head and upper body; or so it seemed to me. At last she stopped and dismissed the cobra, who went back again into the pool. Then she returned home, and I followed behind.
Beryl de Zoete, The Other Mind, A Study of Dance in South India