Dee-do- de- de..dee-do- de- de…. so sang Freddie Murcury. And so sings me, too. Been humming this song since the morning, after narrowly escaping an attack by a hungry monkey! It’s been drizzling here and I decided to enjoy my breakfast, sitting in the verandah. Took a bite from the toast, a swig from the cup of tea and started to think of the things to be done in the front yard. Along with the image of pretty flowers came the vision of a huge monkey, advancing towards me fearlessly. His eyes focused on my plate, and then on me. I sprang up from the chair and started chanting “shoo”.. “shoo”. But it kept advancing further and I had to retreat inside the house. Just in time, as three other smaller ones started walking towards me from another direction. Phew! Still wanting to enjoy my breakfast, I sat on a chair nearest to the tall glass doors that lead out to the verandah, and took a bite of the omelette. One of the monkeys plonked himself on a chair in the verandah and started a game of “staring in the eye” with me. Not wanting to be outstared by a monkey, I glared at him and tried to make a monkey face myself, but he won hands-down. So much for a leisurely and peaceful breakfast, and that too, after so many busy days! Chatter-chatter, Gibber-gibber.( just me, cribbing).
These monkeys hang from the branches of the trees around our house, sit on the culvert at the end of the lane, on the houses’ roofs; and seem to really like the place- considering the fact that people run after them with air-guns and wooden clubs daily, and still can’t scare them off. My maid has to be escorted out of the lane almost daily and the kids can’t be left outside alone, at all. One brave monkey-soul entered our home through the front door that had been left ajar by the carpenter. He rushed inside, grabbed a packet kept on the dining table, gave a triumphant look to the maid who was screaming, and ran away. A couple of days back, they attacked two men who had climbed the roof to check the wi-fi connection. Burly men, reduced to shouting for help and falling on top of one another in a bid to escape unhurt.
My age old practice of going for evening walks has been brought to an end after I and my husband encountered about fifteen monkeys ( big & small ) approaching us on a comparatively deserted stretch of road. Mercifully, there was a block of houses nearby and we went there, taking a U-Turn. Two weeks back, I had to rush and visit a family whose five year old son had been bitten severely on the head by a monkey. These deceptively funny-looking creatures are as irreverent as they make them. You try to scare them away with a stick or an air gun and all they do is bare their teeth, chatter and run around, as if saying “I’ll be back” (Arnold style). Sometimes, they can be seen sitting on the walls around the swimming pool, ogling at us poor swimmers. They seem to be saying, “Hey you, I don’t like your skimpy swimsuit. Get a new one.”Or, “Hey you, after two months of swimming daily, you are still pot bellied. Stop drinking beer.”
Nowadays, I am not singing one particular rhyme to my daughters at bedtime; a rhyme that they ( and me too !) have always loved. Which one?
“One little monkey, eating ice-cream” !!!
© Jul 2016 Sapna Dhyani Devrani