Theory:

8. I felt then the great presence of the creator of this world and this universe. God was there. Suppose I said something and he did not like it . . . I tried in my imagination to write in bright letters outside my little heart the words, ‘O God’.
 
     There was some pain in my left arm. It was as if a thick leaden rod — no, a rod made of molten fire — was slowly but powerfully crushing my arm. The arm was beginning to be drained of all strength. What could I do?
 
9. At my slightest movement the snake would strike me! Death lurked four inches away. Suppose it struck, what was the medicine I had to take? There were no medicines in the room. I was but a poor, foolish and stupid doctor. I forgot my danger and smiled feebly at myself.
Explanation:
 
The doctor felt as though he was nearing the end of his life. Even if he used his sense and remained still in order to avoid being noticed by the snake, there was no assurance that this effort would save his life. After all, 'death' was only a matter of \(4\) inches away from him, and he knew it.
 
Despite the doctor's inability to do anything, he claimed that his mind was active. It was pointless to make any effort because even a minor move could result in his death. Suddenly, the doctor began to sense God's presence. He felt confident that God would save him. As he had no choice to save himself from the danger, he prayed to God, seeking to protect him against a snake bite.
 
Even so, he couldn't open his mouth and say a prayer as he was scared that the snake might notice him. As a result, the doctor prayed to God in his heart, pleading with Him to save him. The doctor could also feel the pain in his left arm, which the snake had wrapped around.
 
He felt as though a heavy rod made of lead was crushing his arm, and his arm's strength began to decrease. Even so, he felt helpless and powerless to rescue himself since he knew the snake would attack him if he moved even a millimetre. Death (snake) was only four inches away, so it was quite close. The doctor suddenly considered what he would do if that snake bit him and which medicine he would take, only to remember that he had no medicine in his room.
 
He felt like a poor, dumb, and stupid doctor since he didn't have any medicine for an emergency, despite the fact that he was a doctor. A cobra's bite may kill humans in \(15\) minutes in actuality. Furthermore, a dread of death might result in death. As the doctor grew weaker and realised there was no way to save him, he smiled at himself.
 
Meaning of difficult words:
 
S.No
Words
Meaning
1.
Crush
To press somebody or something hard
2.
To drain To make someone weaker
3.
Lurk To wait somewhere quietly and secretly especially because you are going to do a wrong thing
4.
Feebly In a way that shows somebody is weak
Reference:
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. The Snake and the Mirror - Vaikom Muhammad Basheer (pp.56-60). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.