Summer riding piggy back on +40 centigrade during daytime and I’m frazzled by multiplying dust particles, the seeping lethargy and the unhealthy attachment to my air-con. The blanket of snow, recent visit to Calgary, seems an illusion, another planet. I rather have a glass of cool, refreshing Lassi (yoghurt drink) but then any hot beverage is an ideal companion to loosen thoughts.
The early morning walks are the best time of the day, before the sun lays claim to the land below., recently renamed Guru-gram, replacing Gurgaon. The sun too must be mystified as the name change has had no effect on animate and inanimate objects, except for change of status to ‘ first cousins of Insta-gram’ or ‘entire city is equal to a gram’. A full article can be devoted to this horrendous name change. The new name of Guru-gram is to honor Guru Dronacharya of Mahabharata fame.
But what truly is an epical spoof, of Mahabharata and Ramayana, are the gangs of monkeys staking claim to their habitat desecrated by concretisation. Instead of trees the simians terrace vault in search of food left for them by gullible humans who consider them as avatars of Hanuman (Monkey God).
On one of my earlier returns home I had a mother and son visitation. I was out for my evening walk and on nearing my building I could see the duo saunter into my apartment through the unlocked balcony door. I never felt so appreciative of my cell phone and called the colony Maintenance number. For a change there was prompt response and the minute the monkey duo heard the thuk-thuk of bamboo sticks they slunked out from where they had entered. Fearing the worst, I walked into the living room and kitchen strewn with contents of a ransacked refrigerator…. bread, vegetables, eggs, butter, milk all over the kitchen counter, the floor and living room couch. Food must have been on their bucket list as my laptop was still where I had left it…..on the couch.
Few days later, on a particularly scorcher of a day, a monkey gang yanked the neighbour’s terrace water tank cover and took dips in the cool water. It was their swimming pool for an hour as they took turns to dive in and out. Once done the leader, I suppose, slid the cover back and the ‘cool’ gang left. We had to tell the neighbor not to use the water and to have the tank cleaned.
There are monkeys in Hong Kong but not as brazen as the ones found in indian cities. In Mathura, North India, I remember a monkey swooping away my niece’s shades. Someone suggested that we should offer a box of sweets and it worked. The minute the monkey saw the sweet box he came down, took the box and left the shades. It makes one wonder whether they are trained to harass tourists/visitors.
This week the gang appears to be in hiding, except for the lone monkey, jay walking on a parapet. I can see him/her from my study window, and wait for its next move. A few minutes later there it was, swinging Tarzan, hiding in the branches of the of the Mango tree, enjoying raw mangoes. Few minutes later our Tarzan disappears and I am left staring at my laptop screen.
In two months time I am off on my travels, Canada, USA, and wish my simian friends the best of Gurugram ambiance.