There lived many monkeys in that village. It was the winter season. One day at noon, a group of monkeys was resting on the roof of Pappu’s house under the pleasantly warm sunshine. All residents of the house had gone somewhere. There was no disturbance so the monkeys were enjoying their leisure there. The little ones of monkeys were jumping here and there. One among them was the monkey Bandar. Pappu always addressed this particular young one as monkey Bandar. Pappu was the youngest son of the master of that house. He was a student of class 3 of a nearby primary school. From the day, his English teacher taught him the English word monkey for a Bandar (Hindi word for a monkey), whenever he saw a monkey, he would shout, “Monkey Bandar!” using both the English and the Hindi words for the animal. This particular little monkey was his pet as whenever he offered him a piece of bread he would come near him and even take the piece of bread from his hand. They became good friends. This little monkey kid started recognizing himself by the name” monkey Bandar”.
Elderly members of Pappu’s family did not like monkeys. Whenever they found them near their house, they would chase them away. However, monkeys were equally responsible for their ire. Monkeys were a big nuisance for the public. Whenever they found any household articles, like utensils, clothes, they would pick them and run away. People would have to run after them to get back their articles.
Actually, this was a trick of monkeys to get food and entertainment. After picking up an item they would not go far, instead they would climb some nearby roof or tree and dangle the items to tease the owner. People would go after them and offer them some food items like bread or some grains by throwing away at a little distance from them. Then monkeys would rush towards the food dropping the looted articles. People would retrieve their belongings. Monkeys would enjoy the food items.
This used to happen very often. If the people did not give them any food or there was a delay, sometimes they would damage the articles like clothes tearing them to pieces with their teeth. Then the bitterness between the man and the monkey would increase considerably. However, it happened seldom so. Usually, people would quickly move to avert any harm to their belongings.
Food was available in plenty for them in the orchards and farms of the village too, but playing pranks on the human beings was more fun. They enjoyed playing with the children and sometimes frightened them too. Children were equally interested in them. They also played with them, teased them, frighten them and some children, even pelted them with stones.
However, as a whole, life was fun.
Television did not reach the village by then. There was a rumor that TV was about to come to that village shortly.
One day, it actually arrived there. The first TV came to the village leader’s house. A TV antenna appeared on his roof.
When the roof was empty, except the monkey Bandar and his group, they all started watching the antenna from all directions. This was a fresh object of curiosity for them. They were also a bit apprehensive also about this fresh object. Kid monkeys had been warned by the elders to keep a distance. An uncle of Monkey Bandar was reckoned the brightest of the group. He moved ahead and went near the antenna. First, he cautiously touched the rod with hands, and when he tasted it with his mouth and tried to bite it with his teeth. When nothing adverse happened, he got more courage, climbed the antenna, and started swinging from it, causing the antenna to tilt one side
When he was engrossed in his examination of the antenna, and other monkeys were busy watching him, suddenly a son of the village head came running to the roof with a bamboo stick in his hands. He shouted angrily at them and chased them away, threatening them with the bamboos.
They ran hither, thither, and climbed other nearby roofs and trees. The village head’s son corrected the antenna and went away. Within a few weeks' time the majority of the residents had televisions in their houses and antennas on their rooftops. The Monkey Bandar had a feeling that something queer was happening in the village.
There was a palpable change in the atmosphere of the village. As evening fell, the village had a deserted feel. People locked themselves within their homes. Children were not playing and making a cheerful noise in the streets as they used to. Puppu stopped coming to his roof with a piece of bread to feed the Monkey Bandar. Monkeys felt sad.
One evening, when the villagers were inside their houses watching TV and the streets were deserted, the Monkey Bandar peeped through a window inside a house. He discovered that all were watching a game of cricket on TV. All were too absorbed in watching the game on the TV set to note the monkey on their window. He went to several houses and peeped through the keyholes, windows, and ventilators, and everywhere he found the same condition.
Feeling tired and bored, he went to an empty terrace of a house and sat there in a pensive mood. Suddenly, he remembered the scene created when his uncle disturbed the antenna. How did it happen that the boy came that moment there is an angry mood with bamboo to chase them away? He got an idea and decided something. The idea was risky, but he could not resist that.
The next day, he invited all his friends to the terrace of an isolated building and had a meeting with them. There he told them his idea and made them agree to act as he had planned.
As planned, in the evening when the majority of the people closed themselves inside their homes, watching TV, monkey Bandar and his friends climbed roofs and terraces of the houses.
Monkey Bandar was on the roof of Pappu’s house. At an appointed time, he shrieked in a peculiar way, climbed over the TV antenna, and started shaking it vigorously. This was a signal for all his monkey friends. They all climbed and shook their targeted antennas. They did this mass exercise for about half a minute and ran away. They hid in the nearby trees. From there they saw that some persons came out of their houses, some went to adjust the TV antennas; a few women came out and started chatting; Children started playing out of their houses. For some time at least the atmosphere of the village became lively. The monkey Bandar and his friends liked this very much. After this incident, whenever they get bored, they would simply shake a TV antenna and ran away. They had discovered a new way of teasing or rather interacting with humans.
They enjoyed shaking a TV antenna mostly when there was any popular program running on TV and people did not want to be disturbed in the least. How did monkeys keep track of the most popular programs? People always wondered.
Merci pour la lecture!
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