Sunday, July 12, 2009


So i didn't have to go very far to find monkeys.

Literally 1 hour after the last post, i was woken up from a 5pm nap, by Anna and Deepmala screaming, "MONKEYS! MONKEYS!" "IN THE KITCHEN!!"


I have never seen monkeys in this neighborhood. Actually the ONLY real-up-close-and-personal monkey i have seen in india so far was the man dressed as one, who tried to attack me in Varanasi. As i described before, people here fear them. They can attack you, bite you, steal you. That's right, i said steal. I found out a plethora of monkey stories through my co-workers. I was going to wait to disclose them until after tuesday when i go to the monkey bridge to see the monkey banana man in all his glory. but since i have managed to have good luck AGAIN in lucknow, we can settle for now.

Amit's Story:

Amit was stolen by a monkey when he was one year old. I will write it again, in case you feel you misread. HE WAS STOLEN BY A MONKEY AS A BABY AT THE AGE OF ONE. As all fairy tales go....his mother had just finished giving him a proper oil massage and laid him down beneath the shade of a mango tree. Suddenly, a mother monkey swooped down and picked him up- taking him high up into the tree - keeping him there for sometime. Obviously his mother was beside herself as she screamed and pleaded with the monkey to please come down and release her child. After some yelling from the father, the uncle, the mother, the everyone - the monkey finally came down after an hour (ONE HOUR i said) and returned the baby unharmed. Amit hates monkeys. They give him the heeby geebys.

Stories of monkeys taking babies is quite frequent. This goes for not only monkeys, but dogs and other animals as well. Take Mowgli for example.

Richa's story:

Richa was in her home one morning when she turned around to find a monkey had sauntered into her kitchen. Not wanting a commotion, she backed away to let it do its thing, hoping it would quickly leave. The monkey approached the refrigerator, opened the door, and stood there side-saddle as it took inventory. It helped itself to two eggs, cracking each one into its mouth separately. Richa claimed the animal cracked an egg as if it were a chef on the Food Network. Monkeys and meringue, yuummmmy. Still unsatisfied, it remained there with the door open, looking for what else was appetizing. Seeing that biryani wasn't available, it settled for the bread- which it pulled out with one hand. It then copped a monkey squat on the banister, where it stayed until it had consumed the whole loaf.

Another time, Richa stood by and watched three monkeys sit properly at her kitchen table with a bucket of butter and bushel of bananas. They ate the butter by the hand fulls, chatted about their weekend holiday, licked their fingers after every drop was finished, and then moved onto the bananas. Ate every single one. Richa is the one person here i have met that has a deep LOVE and affection for all animals. However, monkeys make her very nervous.

Deepmala's story:

Told to me in hindi of course, but this is what i got out of it. Deepmala was outside folding clothes on a table. She heard something beneath her, and looked under the table to find two monkeys and a mirror. Both were using the mirror to get a better look at each other's butts. They stood there, showing off their backsides, entertaining themselves, laughing and monkeying around (sorry). Suddenly, they noticed her and got annoyed that she had disturbed them. To retaliate, they attacked her, bit her on the arm, stole the iron, and pushed off. Deepmala is terrified of monkeys and has the scar to prove it.

I have been told these tales are a dime a dozen. Everyone i talk to says any person on the street can give you a monkey story, each one being more outstanding than the next. No biggie.

I don't know why these stories are so entrancing, aaaaannnnnd I don't really care to know why. For me, they are just magical - so out of my element - so incredible to hear and see. I know monkeys can be dangerous, i know they carry diseases, i know i am from a small town in tennessee, i know i know i know i know - but WOW. monkeys, bananas, butter, and a baby?? YES PLEASE! I am overly elated at the fact that this is a place where stories of monkeys are just part of the flavor. Kind of like how we at home have transfats. They may seem like a lot of fun (and they ARE), but realistically, are dangerous company to keep.

So, to answer the previous question, NO. I was not dreaming about the monkey madness:)

A momma and a baby monkey were roof hopping, and decided to stop by and see what we had for them to nosh on. We were an easy target. third floor, door unlocked, napping americans. They walked right in via the front screen door. Deepmala found them in the kitchen - screamed bloody murder - and startled them so badly they managed to escape with just a peach. Anna and I spent the next hour, bating them with day old roti - trying to coax them back onto our terrace - to get a good shot of the culprits. It worked rather nicely in fact. Besides Anna being chased back into the house a couple times - we got our proof.

what they got.

what they left.

us being brave.

us being really brave.

us being a little too brave.

deepmala being brave, showing us her monkey bite.

the peach.


  1. Those monkey pictures give me the Heeby Jeevys. ;)

  2. perhaps a blast of water in the face from a SuperSoaker water gun might help strike a little fear of humans into the hearts of those primate assailants. (known to work on dogs)


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