It was a lazy summer afternoon. I was stretching and rolling in the bed thinking of some activity to kill time at Grandmother’s house. School was shut and summer vacations had begun, with this, my parents did not delay one bit to drop me off at Grandma’s for the entire month. Grandma’s house wasn’t in a village, but in fact, a budding small town. As a result, my summers had no wells, no backyard, no cows and not many kids to play with either. But there was Ankita upstairs who had then become a thick friend. In the coming years, she had become my best friend until her family decided to pack bags and move to Kuwait. Someone told me recently she works as a software engineer with a company in Bangalore.
And so, when I was still lazing around, I heard screams and curses from the kitchen. I knew I had got something to interest me after all and so I back flipped in joy and rushed to see what was causing the chaos. When I entered the kitchen, I was horrified to see a monkey sitting comfortably on the kitchen platform taking a bite of a bright juicy expensive Mango. Mami was screaming and shooing it with a big size spoon, but the monkey was just too much at ease in his spot. Amidst this chaos, grandmother came with a huge bamboo cane running and that scared the living hell out of the monkey and it jumped off our third floor kitchen window and made a champion landing sliding off the toilet pipes.
At that very moment, I had got my task for the summer! I opened the main door and ran upstairs to Ankita’s house. She was sitting in the hall watching Popeye as she aimed chanas one by one in her small round mouth. I told her all about the happenings and we both got excited about the whole thing. Just then another scream was heard from her kitchen and this time it was her mother and grandmother dancing around the monkey who was stealing a packet of milk from the refrigerator. Horrified and worried, all the people in the neighborhood held a meeting in the evening to plan on ways to get rid of the monkey. It had stolen food, entered bedrooms, slid on the curtains and had even slapped someone. No one knew where it came from and how to stop the agent of chaos. This was the time Ankita and I thought we could make our mothers proud by getting hold of the beast ourselves. Since then our mission for the summer was “Mission Bandar Pakdo”.
The following afternoons were spent planning, discussing and conspiring; and the cool late evenings were spent sitting on the terrace, just lying, and looking at the soothing sky and twinkling stars while the moon stood there in the corner watching us. When it dawned, we would again try our luck at following the trails of the animal again but all in vain. Majorly because the monkey was too intelligent and quick with its reflexes and also, we had no guts to even go two feet close to him; we were only eight.
Days went by and on a particular bright May afternoon, Ankita came running. She was gasping for air and few seconds later, she exclaimed, “They caught him!”. We both ran as fast as we could outside to reach the spot just in time. There were several vans standing and many people gathered around to see the scene. We saw few men take away the monkey in a cage. I am not very sure if they were from the zoo or municipality, but they took him away. The entire neighborhood rejoiced that day! Now they could make delicious food and keep their windows open too, the balance of the universe was finally restored. Soon, I returned home and my remaining summer was spent reciting my courageous tales of catching the monkey to my colony kids.
Image source: dayssketchbook.blogspot.com