The monkey business!
Six days in God’s lap in Kerala, I am succumbing to the flavor of coconuts, from my soap, shampoo, scrub to all kinds of food. The initial reluctance bordering on revulsion has transformed into an addiction, making me look forward for the breakfast with coconut curry and Aappam, event as I am slurping an after dinner payasam, a dessert from coconut milk, fried coconut flesh cubes and jaggery served in a coconut shell. The battle was reminiscent of my valiant but unsuccessful battles against olive oil, whilst in Italy during my youth. Coconut oil largely used for cooking can pose a serious challenge to the uninitiated. The resort that I stayed gave me an option of refined oil form Pathanjali or the local flavor, and I chose the latter.
The resorts, usually away form the din are in forested areas populated with our simian ancestors. The warning messages were pasted all around, save the faces of the guests, not to open the windows, not to feed, the management is not responsible from thefts to bites, if any by monkeys, and so on. My wife found them quiet, sad and intelligent and tried to strike a bond of friendship with them. Her parting with a few bananas and a big packet of coconut biscuits must have endeared her to them.
It was chill and the chatter of the monkeys seemed louder, and I froze as I opened the curtains. Their my wife’s friends were in the balcony, sporting all my underwear that were washed and left for drying. The gang, some in twos clumsily getting into one piece, some wearing it like a helmet, one sneaking his head and one even swinging it over his head in a valiant manner, all seemed to mock at me. I thought it was better not to wake my wife up.
I suddenly had a flash, remembering a story that I had long read. I hurried to relieve myself of the last underwear and hoping that a popular story as such could never be untrue, looked for one last time, before throwing the underwear at the balcony. Even as I threw, I could hear guffaws from inside my brain over my naivety, but it was too late to retract as I saw the piece landing away from me. Should I go and retrieve it? The canines of the gang-leader was not looking friendly, despite the giveaways of Radha. They seemed to read my mind and all bolted, but only after decamping with my last piece of man’s most prized possession as well.
Radha, always ready for my idiosyncrasies, was merely dismissive of my insistence to venture out as a local, clad in a folded-up-to-the-knee ‘mund,’ the dhoti and a towel. I soon realized the reason for happiness of Malayalees, despite the heat and humidity. The happiness like the Scotsmen!
The intelligent monkeys and the coconuts kept crowding my mind. Only Baba can alone diversify into coconut oil besides refined and gingely oil, training the monkeys on yoga to get disciplined and to pluck the coconuts. Hel can even provide underwear of their size to the simians, again an addiction to the proposed new Jeans factory.
Laugh and live longer! Eat coconuts and wear ‘mund.’