Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Monkey Business

Today at the office, I was on the phone, watching the monkeys playing in the tree just outside the windows. It had rained today, cooling the air and I guess that put all the little monkeys into a playful mood. They leapt here and there and only the lack of a loincloth kept me from playing Tarzan in the tree. I work on the top floor and just don’t expect to see another living creature suddenly appear before my window. But then again, I am in India and there is never a dull moment. Suddenly a monkey the size of a small elephant came leaping off the roof, his red bottom streaking the air until he grabbed the branch right in front of the window, sat down and turned and looked at me as if to say “your turn!” I was on a call and jumped back, dropped my phone and muttered something I will not repeat here.

I carry my 35mm with me almost everywhere these days and today was no exception I had it in my backpack. There was a monkey not 3 meters from me and I was going to pull a Herb Ritz and make him a star. I got my camera, opened the window, said a prayer to Ganesh that the monkey would not leap through the window, pointed my camera and brought him into focus. It was a beautiful shot with him looking right into the lens. A perfect portrait. Or it would have been. That monkey was studying me and as soon as he saw my hand start pressing the button, he leaped from branch to branch and then settled on one on the other side of the tree, hidden almost entirely by the branches. And then what does he do? He keeps poking his head around and looking at me, pulling it back as soon as I was ready to take a picture. Cheeky monkey.

When it rains in India, it doesn’t mess around. No wimpy little showers here. I have just come in from standing in the garden under the overhang, watching the sky and rain. I noticed that the thunder seemed to keep going without stopping and so I decided to start timing it… 5 minutes later it was still rolling without a pause and I got bored. The lightening also was so frequent that the sky was more light than dark, lamost like a reverse form of lightening. I have been in hurricanes, tornados, flash floods, monsoons and other storms and I have never seen anything like it in my life. I don’t know if this is normal, but it was definitely impressive. The storm came and went and now the last drops are coming down and everything smells fresh and the air is light. I am going to head out for a bit of a post rain walk and clear my head before heading off to bed.

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