George Harrison and More Monkey Business

March 29, 2014 at 10:19 am

As we were passing through a national forest preserve, there were numerous monkeys along the side of the road.      At one point, I looked to the right about 200 feet off  the road, there was a little altar of sorts.  Probably about 3 feet high containing, I am sure, one of the 3 million Hindu gods.  Facing it with their backs to the road, were 5 monkeys of various sizes.  Could have been a family.  They looked like they were sitting there staring at it.  ( I have been told that Hindus consider the monkey as the last animal reincarnation before returning as a human.  These monkeys have futures as altar boys or girls).   They were as cute as can be.

When I arrived at the hotel where Kathleen has been this week while I was working in Delhi, she told me a story of a monkey swinging onto the balcony of a room, entering an open door, and proceeding to go directly to the mini bar where the little rascal was found drinking the artificial dairy products!  Kathleen warned me to keep the door to the balcony locked as the monkeys have been known to simply open them to enter a room.  She said that she has found monkey scat on our balcony.

I am sitting now on the balcony looking out over Rishikesh which is a city on the Ganges.   There is a mountain range in the distance beyond the city.  Rishikesh is where the Beatles came in the mid 60s and met George’s maharishi.  As we drove through the forest,  George’s “My Sweet Lord” ( All Things Must Pass) was running through my mind.   When we reached the city, it felt like we could be anywhere in India despite its Beatle magic. Suddenly, my driver slammed on his brakes as a large hog darted across the road in front of him.  I thought we were going to hit it for sure.  Then we turned a corner and saw a large oxen use it horns to lift up a young oxen about 20 percent of his size and throw the youngster on its side.  My driver exclaimed.

Below me now as I look out over the city of Rishikesh is the sound of running water tumbling down a mountainside.   Shalom.

20 minutes after writing this message I heard some loud noises outside.  It was a monkey screaming at another monkey.  I looked over to my right and on a balcony next to us was a little monkey with an apple in his mouth and two more in his arms.  The hotel rooms all have apples and oranges set out for the guests.  He tried to shimmy quickly down two stories on a supporting structure of the hotel, but found it difficult to do so with his arms full of apples.  But the other monkey was threatening him so he dropped the apples from his arms and scooted down.  As soon as those apples fell, the other monkey jumped face first  flying through the air after them.  He picked them up and ran off.  Our other friend ran off with an apple still held in his mouth.

I have yet another postscript to add now 24 hours later.  Kathleen was sitting on the balcony this morning reading when a monkey walked across the front of the balcony on the other side of the railing.  After it went next door, it turned around and stared at Kathleen.  He must have sensed her fear.  He walked over to the door that was cracked open to our room and opened it.  He entered and took an apple and an orange that housekeeping had left for us.  He walked out and went to our neighbor’s balcony to enjoy his snack.  See Kathleen’s picture at www.