It was a really hot afternoon.The Sun was shining with all its might.Wasn’t it raining heavily only yesterday?, I thought as I waited outside the ATM opposite the Old Trauma Center.It seemed like it would take forever for my turn to come. I was about to give up and leave when I heard an unusual rustling of leaves.The sound came from a nearby tree.It was unusual because there was no breeze.It was unusual because it was a little too loud for just rustling!
I inched closer to satiate my curiosity, I saw a tail hanging from the tree.It was a monkey, ‘monkeying’ around, jumping from one branch to the other.Sightings of monkeys in Manipal is common.You can easily catch a glimpse of troops frolicking gaily near the College of Pharmacy etc.However,a single monkey in this part of Manipal(and perhaps at this hour) was a bit odd.
Hoping to catch a few ‘candid’ shots I moved closer to the tree with my cell phone.It was a baby monkey.The jumping around was more of a struggle to stay on the tree.The monkey fell with a thud.Two women were making a monkey out of this one as the poor guy threw its limbs in a futile attempt to climb the tree.The next moment, the monkey darted past me.I stepped back in reflex,startled.Just then it was my turn finally,I thanked the monkey in my mind,for making my wait seem shorter.I heard squeals as I entered the ATM.I smiled.
Headed back to the college,I saw the same monkey munching away on a piece of wood just outside The Artificial Limb Center.I moved closer, careful not to disturb the primate’s privacy.I must have clicked a picture or two when the monkey saw me.And this time, it was my squeal for it charged right towards me..I clutched my belongings and ran.Clearly, the monkey didn’t like being ‘chased’!
Narrow escape, I thought.I couldn’t help but laugh at myself for reacting the way I did.Just then somebody called out to me.There was a monkey wreaking havoc in the OPD.I knew which monkey was being talked about here.Apparently, it had messed up the files etc. before being driven out.
A small crowd had gathered. There was the monkey, atop a man’s head..Still trying to climb the tree and not fall…All in vain.To add to the hullabaloo, two men in khaki uniform came out with nets.The monkey, sensing the evil intentions tried to escape.However, it could go only as far as the next car for it was surrounded by people all around.
What followed was hilarious.The policemen spread the net around the car while the monkey stayed beneath it.It looked like they were waiting for the monkey to come to them.I felt sorry for the monkey.Would we treat a lost human baby the same way?,I thought.
This went on for quite sometime.People started losing interest and walked back one by one.Finding the first opportune moment, the monkey scurried away, running for its life.This time it climbed the tree.It wedged itself between two branches.
Hours passed while the monkey still stayed there, motionless.Where was the mother? Did she not know that her child was not around?There were too many thoughts in my head. Just then I saw a bigger monkey…needless to say it was the mother…It was time to go home..
That was the end of this baby’s day out!