Oh no, it is not what you think. No Mr.Symonds, I am not getting cute here. This is a true story:
This happened when I was in seventh class. We had just moved back to Chittoor from Chennai. It was a pleasant evening and our neighbor was calling his pigs home. That haunting ‘aaaa aaaa och!’ We had rented a portion of a house. The landlady lived in the other portion. The house had a small iron gate which led you to the front garden and this huge, ancient Tamarind tree. We kids uses to make up stories that the tree was home to some ghosts and spirits. Along the compound wall, the landlady had planted Crotons of all colors. It was a pretty house all right.
That evening I lugged the chair that dad brought from Delhi, and settled down under the Tamarind tree with a book. My mom was in the kitchen. Half hour passed and my mom called out, “Suman get inside the monkeys are coming.” Chittoor had a lot of monkeys then. A few years later, as they were creating havoc in the electrical sub-station, they caught all the monkeys and left them in the forests of Tirumala. Now, I turned to look at the monkeys. It was a big family. The juveniles were in the front. There was a mother and her baby, which clung to her belly. A few boys. And the alpha male. The alpha male was this huge guy with menacing looks. His strong shoulders moved smooth as he walked on the wall behind pack. He had steely eyes that captured the goings on around him. None of the monkeys bothered about me. I told mom “See, if you don’t disturb animals, they won’t too! Relax, I will be fine.” The landlady who just appeared from inside her house said, “don’t try to be brave son.” I just clucked my tongue and pretended to be lost in my book. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed that the alpha male was just about to descend the wall and he caught my eye. He paused and got back on the wall and leveled his eyes with mine. Now, I had no idea why he did that but I was stupid enough to eye ball him right back. His eyes were devoid of any emotion. After a few seconds he jumped to the ground and started walking towards me in that assured, confident gait. I realised he was a huge monkey as he drew closer. He crossed my chair, reached behind me, jumped on the chair and sat. My mouth went dry and I started shivering. My mom and the landlady started screaming but our alpha paid little attention. He just knew it then I guess that we couldn’t do shit about it even if he ate me for an evening snack.
The landlady said ‘sit still don’t make any abrupt moves.’ I followed her advice. After a few seconds alpha slapped the back of my head, caught my hair, and started shaking my head viciously. I was rocking like a humping spider monkey and I was absolutely convinced that this guy was going to kill me. But, he stopped all of a sudden, climbed down my chair and walked away. As I stared at my wet pants I realised that alpha was merely making a point. He probably couldn’t take it that I had no fear or probably thought I was a threat to his position… I mean I look more like a monkey than him. Whatever it was, I swore to myself that I will not get cute with monkeys ever again. But monkeys never stand by their words. Do they now? That story, in which a monkey bit my ass, has to wait. 🙂
[I hereby declare that the story, its characters, and narration were not aimed at hurting any Australian sentiments.]