Vasuki Kandakar

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"People call me 'the newborn that never grew up' because my bones are soft like a newborn child's," tells Vasuki Kandakar, a fakir boy from India.

Vasuki's rare condition made his bone structure forever cartilage-like, as in a newborn child. Usually the skeleton develops pretty quickly, but Vasuki's condition never allowed his bones and joints to solidify.

During his early childhood Vasuki was worshiped as a god by his Hindu neighbors. Laying in a literally coiled, snake-like pose, he was seen as the incarnation of the serpent god Vasuki, the favorite animal of the supreme god Shiva which lays coiled around his neck. From the morning to the evening people queued at his house to be able to touch the real god, while his parents tried to arrange the boy's body in beautiful ways and decorate him with garlands and some cheap jewelry donated by his followers.

"I could never stand up as a child but one day a fakir paid us a visit and told my parents that he can teach me to stand, walk and function like all other people. Despite being called a god and worshiped for my flexibility, I always wanted to be able to do what everybody else does so easily! To me, they all were god-like, it was me who was seeking for their blessings."

His parents immediately agreed, but only on the condition that the boy will not loose his gift. The fakir assured them that Vasuki will not only keep his god-like flexibility but will learn to control it. So the boy went traveling with the fakir for his next ten years. Not only he learned to walk and get into any yoga position all by himself, but he made "friends" with all the local snakes.

"I love snakes, their skin feels so good against mine and we often wrestle just for fun, but in my life not a single snake ever bit me! Even the poisonous ones that normally always attack people."

Much like his many pet snakes, Vasuki usually sleeps inside a basket, where his body is compactly coiled in the pose that no human could repeat but for young Vasuki it's the most comfortable sleeping position that puts his muscles to rest almost instantly.
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