It is eight in the morning and I realize that I have slept-in. I get out of bed, wash up and walk lazily to the kitchen to wish my mom a good morning.
My mom greets me with a cheery good morning and makes frothy filter coffee for both of us. We head back to the living room to sit down, enjoy our coffee and have our first chat of the day; chats that can be silly or profound and chats that can easily slide into blissful and comfortable silences too!
But today is different. As we sit down, I exclaim loudly, “Amma, look the monkeys are back.”
We take our coffee cups and head to the balcony window and watch in silence. There are two monkeys, husband and wife perhaps, sharing the joys of a beautiful morning. They are seated on the balcony’s grill, facing away from us.
As we continue to watch, they gradually turn to face each other. As we watch they bend and touch their heads together. A beautiful moment, where no words are needed. Maybe they are sharing a beautiful secret, maybe they have just fallen in love, maybe they are reliving nostalgic memories……!
And in just a few minutes, one hugs the other rather protectively. The sun has slowly started its ascent across the sky, but our monkeys stay put for nearly an hour, enjoying the morning, enjoying each other’s company and revelling in their love for each other.
My mom and I look at each other and smile. What a lovely way to start the day!!
We are on a tree top trail. It is late in the afternoon as we ascend the few steps that take us to the start of the trail.
The late afternoon Sun is quite strong, as we walk with a sense of purpose. As the trail snakes its way upwards, the sounds from the highway below gradually fade away and the delicious smell of crisp, fresh air fills our nostrils. The only sounds one can hear are the rustling of leaves, the chirping of birds and the dull thud of one’s own footsteps.
There is a drop of bright blue on the branch of a tree. A kingfisher resting on a swaying branch. We stop to look at him. He is oblivious to all this attention.
We climb higher. We are level with the tops of trees – in every shade of green possible, some shining metallic in the afternoon light. We see squirrels and orioles, playing inside the foliage. A rustle here and a flutter there.
Otherwise peace is the norm. We stop to drink water. The trail goes on and on. Beautiful, lush trees on both sides. Flora and fauna humming to their own rhythm.
Up here, the real world seems far away. We drop our cares and worries, soak in the peace into every pore of our bodies, and inhale the oxygen-rich air.
We spot some shrikes and monkeys. As we reach the top of the trail, the wind whips past our faces, slapping our hair about, and carrying away the sweat from our faces.
We stretch and sit awhile, then head back. The downward walk is easy. When we near the end, the real world greets us – with bustling activity and vehicles. We flow into the main artery of everyday life, to be sucked into the mundane once more.
I just spoke to my mom. She sounded really stressed. The reason ? Read on…..
Last weekend, my mom received a call from her neighbour, who lives in the flat directly below hers. She told my mom that she could hear the utility area tap running. This area is an open to sky area, used for washing. My mom rushed to see, and saw the water gushing out. She quickly closed the tap, and worried if she’d somehow forgotten to close it earlier in the day. A couple of days later, the neighbour called again, with the same message.
My mom was totally spooked. What could it be? She kept up a constant vigil, but it did not happen again for a few days.
During her evening walk in the condominium, she came to know that many homes had had similar problems – of running taps. The building’s maintenance and security staff, alongwith the residents, was on a mission.
And, in a couple of days, they found that a monkey had entered the condo, and was cooling itself by opening taps, to beat the oppressive summer heat. A few residents also had the pleasure of the monkey’s company in their homes – they missed some fruit from their dining tables.
My mom is relieved that it was only a monkey, and nothing paranormal. The tap has now been secured with a rope.