Urban Assault

September 22, 2008

I was watching T.V with my mum one day, and i noticed that for about some minutes now she hadn’t spoken. I had ignored some really irritating noise(of “hussssh”) and turned my head to the direction of the source to investigate and stop the irritation. I saw mum behind the wall with a roll of newspaper (intended for violent use) in her hand and her little head popping out and her face turned aggressive. I looked where the trembling newspaper roll was pointing. I wasn’t surprised at finding what was being pointed and shooed away but was surprised at the mere act which seemed to me like the reaction of two dogs in a territorial conflict.
Well it was a medium sized langur(monkey) who was not that interested in TV but was looking quite baffled with this weird reaction of the human being and was looking forward to accept the offer(of the paper roll), but didn’t quite know if it could eat it. What it did next was quite anticipated if you were in its place, it grabbed the news paper, ran out of the door , tried to chew it and realized it somehow didn’t have the taste for it. The scene ended up with shreds of paper, screams and paw prints.

My mum who was quick to close the window said पता नही कौन गला शिकार होगा, जय हनुमान.”(i.e.”god knows who will be the next victim, jai hamuman”). the first part of the sentence(about the victim) was devoted to the popular detective show on a third grade hindi news channel , where as the later part was to worship the monkey(or the monkey god) who was being shooed away a while ago.
This was the biggest reverse culture shock I had received after coming back from europe.I was in India and a monkey could just enter and leave my house at its own will, it was treated with disgust first and was praised(ironically) when it wasn’t there to listen and was busy attacking other households. It was and still is some amusement to see day today things and wonder if the thought of amusement really deserves a thought? or is it worse than before? or is it better than before? or is the great Indian tolerance superficial? or is the opposite where the disgust is superficial and tolerance deep?

There was recently a story in The Times of India about Drunk Monkeys attacking Humans in Orissa. (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1080182.cms).

Because the Hindus believe that Pawan Dev (God of Air, wind ) incarnated in the form of a monkey and helped the human race and Ram(Vishnu’s incarnation) to fight evil and played a major role . This means that all monkeys must be divine and thus treated with tolerance, if not equal they have a greater right to live.
Yeah right! Such belief in a society which takes over the natural habitat of monkeys and kills many of them out of fear,anger or contempt seems quite hypocritical. Where is the logic?

By this logic if monkeys were to rule the world and take our homes one day, they should rightfully worship the entire human race because Jesus Christ was born to humans.

(The rights to the images are owned by Abhinav Mishra contact: abhinav.m.n@gmail.com)