The Monkeys of Vrindavan

Hosting a conference turned out to be quite a massive affair. A week later, visit this site treatment I am still lost buried beneath the aftermath exhaustion as well clearing up the bills. In between, pulmonologist I took off to Delhi and took a well deserved holiday. That accounts for the long absence on the blog.

Mercifully, more everything in the conference went off with clock-work precision that would make the Swiss proud. True, there were minor goof-ups. In fact, on the day the guests were to arrive, there were several of them (largely thanks to the hotel, who otherwise were extremely good but somehow things went patchy on that morning) but we managed to douse all fires and before the biggest bulk of delegates arrived in the noon we had done the clean-up. When they entered the hotel’s porch, everything was settled the shehnai-and-dhol-and-nagada-wallahs whipped up a resounding welcome note, the girls from the hotel in bright red sarees showered fresh petals, and the cool welcome drinks were served meticulously.

When the hotel fell in step with our energy and demanding levels, the weather played truant. We had prearranged a night cricket match to build up excitement. Before the last over could be bowled the skies suddenly ripped apart and the rains washed away any hopes for the beautifully arranged pool-side dinner. Considering that it was May (and burning hot and not expecting rains) we had been a bit lax in not keeping a back-up venue, though the hotel’s machinery worked pretty fast to provide us dinner at their regular boufet in the restaurant. But mercifully we didn’t need it as the showers stopped as suddenly as they had begun, and we enjoyed a peaceful dinner by the wet pool-side.

The next day I pestered the hotel to keep a back-up arrangement, since the venue for the gala dinner was again an outside lawn.

Early morning was earmarked for Taj Mahal visit and from the bus parking to the monument, we had booked eleven tongas to ferry the delegates, with banners of our company pre-fixed on them. They made a quaint sight as the caravan moved the short distance of about a kilometer or so.

The day passed in lectures and meets, though frankly I didn’t sit through much of it since I was moving around trying to see that no loose thread stuck out sorely. It didn’t. Except that as the evening approached a sandstorm threatened to ruin our grand gala ghazal nite dinner. We had a back-up, but that would have been an awfully low-key compromise. My selection for the dinner was a beautifully kept lawn, surrounded by well trimmed hedges; on one side, there were couple of steps on which water flowed (with colored lights in it), and beyond this was a sort of stage where the ghazal singer would sit. Even though I hadn’t seen the effect I could imagine that it would be absolutely beautiful.

We requested our chief to delay the dinner a bit so that the storm could subside, else we would have to do with our back-up. Mercifully, the wind relented and everything settled down. The dinner passed off without a hitch. Perhaps the biggest success of any party is the way people enjoy it and when guests get up to dance even on some ghazal, you know you have a success in your hand! The ghazal singer, Rajinder Parekh, employed by the hotel, has a mellow voice, with just the right tinge of Jagjit Singh’s tenor and the sound system was of superior quality. A magician, that I had liked when I had visited the hotel scouting for entertaintment options, regaled with his few tricks at each table.

By the time the guests left the next day (after a lunch arranged en route at Vrindavan that s why I was there the other day when the monkey episode happened), we were all terribly fatigued and couldn t stand a minute longer on our feet.

In the end, it was worth all that effort the conference was a success, and I am sure people in our company will remember Agra for a long time to come!

It happened faster than a snap of the finger. My colleague (A.) and I were walking back from Bankey Bihari Mandir with two peda boxes in hand, website A being a few steps behind me. Suddenly a commotion paused my stride. I turned to have a look, angina and found A. harrassed. My first thought was obvious the monkeys had snatched the peda boxes. But closer inspection brought forth an amusing laughter. A monkey had coolly walked off with A’s spectacles and stood near a stone sign board, diabetes and pregnancy chewing the spectacles stem and eyeing us naughtily. A. told that the monkey’s finesse in pulling off the spectacles from his eyes displayed an extraordinary sense of practice and polish.

A helpful hand nearby tried to lure the ape to return the specs in exchange for two mangoes. But the animal was smart. He ran off with the mangoes and the specs towards a nearby building’s terrace. Unfortunately we humans aren’t that adept in climbing pipes, so the helpful person had to climb the stairs but eventually managed to retrieve the glasses.

Next time you are in Vrindavan be cautious and don t take the signs of “Take care of your specs, bags and other belongings”, put up by the town administration, lightly or casually. They truly mean it!

Simian Trouble

Simian menace is increasing in both Delhi and Agra. Here, the hazard is in higher proportion. It’s not exactly rocket science to fathom why so! The entire stretch of Western Uttar Pradesh right up to Delhi is devoid of any proper forest or jungle (unless you count the concrete blocks erupting faster than teenager’s acne as so!)

At our office compound we are surrounded by monkeys, in various size and shapes that create utter nuisance. My car’s rear window wiper is a favorite swing for the kiddo-apes, so much so that I have now stopped getting it fixed. The scooter/motorcycle seats and rear-window stems are their chewing gums . Though they don’t often enter the premises, but once in a while when they do, trust them to walk off with a few important papers. They are ready to snatch and rob anything they can lay their hands off. One huge greedy lot, they are, for sure! Must say though, I quite enjoy watching their antics – from a respectable distance, that is!

At my house the problem is lesser. But it is best to keep the balcony doors closed lest some enterprising monkey decides to pay a visit. I have heard the lower floors get their patronage more; staying on the fifth floor has some little advantages, I guess- though, the pigeons make up for any wild loss I might feel, and that’s a different story altogether!

Strangely, my association with the monkeys goes far beyond the common evolutionary ancestral link that we share. In Nepal too, I was surrounded by monkeys and they often entered my house’s compound (and boy, were they huge!) and here once again I get greeted by them regularly. Perhaps, there is some cosmic design in this too. And this looks like no monkey business!

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16 Responses to “The Monkeys of Vrindavan”

  1. vidya says:

    LOL! Dj. In Nagpur we used to get frequent visits from monkeys. A shout would go out and we used to close the windows and doors. Near Nagpur, in a place called Ramtek, with a temple for Lord Rama. There monkeys roam around freely, but are more choosy than the ones u encountered. They stopped my Dad, put a hand in his shirt pocket, took out the keys, saw it, decided against it, put it back in his pocket and made away with some bananas in his hand. All in a jiffy. In another incident, a monkey grabbed the paper plates and made off, while we were in a picnic. My friends were guarding the food!. But without the plates, it was just the same thing :))
    It is said, they abound near Ram temples. And I find it quite true. Sorry for the long comment….but brought back memories of these ‘vanar-sena’. Can’t help liking their antics…especially the tiny ones.

  2. Mehak says:

    I’ve had a similar experience once in Haridwar when a monkey snatched a bag of grapes from my hand & ran away…another one at Nandi Hills here in Bangalore…a monkey coolly walked away with my Feast & sat in front of me licking it…
    Ohh I have to keep my balcony door closed most of the times here in b’lore..we don’t have a jaali ka darwaaza…their is this huge family..once one member of the gang entered our house but thankfully could grab only a muskmelon kept on the dining table…they are soooo smart..we have velcro nets on our windows here & these chaps have expertise in pushing & gaining entry thru the windows….I am v v v v scared of monkeys esp their shrill screams…

  3. priyangini says:

    ha ha, that must have been funny. Monkeys used to come in Ahmedabad too and most of the time they made a racket, broke a few pipes and then ran away for new pastures. Once when I had gone to R’s house during our initial knowing-the-family visits a group of monkeys landed up in their garden just when I was about to leave. One of them was jumping up and down on my kinetic. I am not scared of animals except the carnivorous type wild cats that is so I walked towards them and while R stood there almost trembling with fright, waited for teh monkey to finish whatever he wanted to do on my bike. Once they were done I started the kinetic and left the monkeys respectfully giving me the required space.

    I have never had bad experiences with monkeys, actually most of them are quite interesting and amusing. They kinda recognise their own kind na. btw the new post is up now.

  4. Manish says:

    What a funny post. Made away with specs, and even chewed the stem. I remember moneky from Kanpur. They were plenty. Once a moneky slapped my friend. They would enter the room and created horrific mess over there. They would even eats tootha paste and shaving creams. Nuisance really.

    But like you siad. Not their fault. Hardly any jungles around.

  5. Vidya – Those were some intelligent monkeys – to put hand in pocket and then retrieve ‘kaam ka maal’ πŸ™‚ True, it’s enjoyable to see their antics

    Mehak – Thankfully here I hv jaali ka darwaza, so that way it’s ok. Oh yes they are smart – see them eating a banana…they will peel it just like humans…

    Priyangini – LOL – ‘They kinda recognize their own kind’ ha ha. And yea they seem to have a fetish for scooters….I’ve read your new post, but couldnt comment…

    Manish – Your friend slapped by a monkey? Kahiin bandariya toh nahin thi πŸ˜‰

  6. Praney says:

    I can very well imagine the scene Deepak, being a resident of Shimla for ten years they were unavoidable part of daily life. Though I myself have never gone through such embarrassing situation but we used to witness such incidents daily and mostly with tourists who donÒ€ℒt had idea of how to avoid them.

    Apart from the joke, itÒ€ℒs not entirely their mistake. As you wrote in the post, we humans are eating out their domains in jungles and they are forced to come out in seek of food. By the grace of our democracy our forest/ wild life departments have every job to perform than protecting jungle or wild life. The biggest zoos in our country are headed by some IAS officers who have no passion for animals and donÒ€ℒt even visit cages for years. And same is the situation of all the departments.

    Once I saw in discovery channel that in a European country wild life people made rope ways on a road passing from a jungle at every 2 -3 kilometers to protect monkeys and pandas to secure them from passing vehicles. Not only that, they also took botheration to teach those animals to use those ropeways. Can we imagine such sincerity in our country?

  7. Praney says:

    BTW, I wonder how you manage to roam around so often. Wish I could too. Last touring was hmmmmmmmmm in Jan. πŸ™

  8. Praney – Everytime you mention Shimla, i envy you ;-)) It’s a dream to settle down at a hill station πŸ˜€ That sort of commitment from our govt officials? Agle saat janam baad, shayad!

    Well, Agra and its adjoining areas (including Mathura, Vrindavan, Etah, Aligarh etc) are part of my ‘territory’ πŸ˜‰

  9. kaush says:

    Hahaha..brought back memories of good ol Ahmedabad! Every few days there would be a bunch of monkeys that would pay their visits! Manishji cant believe your friend was slapped by a monkey!!

  10. Juneli says:

    Your post reminded my experienced with a Monkey in Pashupati. I had made a post “A Meet with out Ancestor ” :D. I hope you had read that. :).

    And what the matter…… wherever you live there you find Bandar, Chipkali :P.

    We don’t have here non of them πŸ™‚

  11. Praney says:

    Yeah right Deepak, Shimla or any hill station seems like calling ppl (like us) to them, A small banglow at the hill top amid deodars away from world’s chick jhik is my dream too. Let’s hope for God’s blessings.

  12. Kaushi – πŸ˜€

    Juneli – Yep, i remember that post… dont know if i m a wild life lover or not, but the wild life sure seems to be DJ lover πŸ˜‰

    Ktm has enough monkeys, but u r lucky not to hv them near your place!

    Praney – Yep, I hope so.

    ALL – WILL be OFF for the next THREE DAYS – got a confy that we are hosting here. Will be tied up there. See ya all on Friday or Saturday! πŸ˜€

  13. priyangini says:

    hi not back yet?

  14. Pri – Here only…but the blog rhythm gotten broken…trying to fix it up…a quickie post up now!

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