COB #25: Believe It or Not

Yoohoo – it’s me again 😀 Sorry to disturb you again, but Cee’s Odd-Ball Photo Challenge (again thanks to Irene) got me thinking.

But first a little backdrop for the photo 😀

Some years ago, my parents had gone for a picnic not knowing that the place was owned by monkeys. As they sat down to eat, a monkey dropped in from nowhere and snatched the sabzi (cooked vegetables) bowl and climbed a tree. He sat there eating and occasionally making faces at those staring up at him. He licked the bowl clean and was considerate enough to throw it back.

Later, when my mother narrated the incident to my then 4-year-old niece, she listened in silence. “Granny, are you telling me a story or are you lying to me?”

She put is quite succinctly didn’t she? A few years later, we stopped here for tea. Like long lost friends, they turned up to share our cuppa tea. Nothing to go with it thank you – an empty packet of chips fluttered down from a tree 😀

The simian has been languishing unseen in my gallery for long. I thought he was deserving of a larger audience – dont you?

Notice the drip marks? Poor fellow couldn’t quite drink from the cup. He tried his level best before pouring it over the bench and licking it up.

We have been honored at other instances too – take a look 😀

Overnight squatters without so much as if you please…

We dared not open the window until the babies were all hatched and gone. I did have a snap of the babies as well but mama squirrel seems to have snitched it on her way out…

This was perhaps the fourth time we were playing nursemaids. On a couple of occasions we had to be cruel to be kind – building nests in the most precarious places, one gust and the whole thing was bound to come tumbling down. A council of war was held – we bit the bullet and got rid of the nest – better the nest than with the babies.

Another squirrel with more exotic tastes, was particularly impressed with the exhaust fan in the washroom. She set about nibbling at the blade without any further ado at odd hours of the day and night – giving me nightmares. What if somebody switched on the fan?

During my hostel days, I had in a moment of kindness, allowed a pigeon to make it’s nest over the cupboard. The chicks hatched and chirped – they were so cute! It was time for them to learn how to fly. Mama pigeon would by catch them by their beaks and pull them up, forcing them to flap their wings – everyday – at 4 am.

Yet the worst was when I entered late one night. I switched on the light and fan – there was a flutter and the pigeon lay beheaded on the floor. I don’t remember anything more. Another true story.

We got rid of the aspiring exhaust fan resident ASAP.

Another day it was raining heavily, when these two looked in – I am afraid we weren’t renting 😉

Room for rent?

Did you read about when we had a cat-burglar? Seem like too much of a circus or a zoo?

Less than what we had in our childhood – frogs, snakes, leeches, jackals, elephants. Again all true.

We lived on the banks of the Ganga – elephants often dropped in for a bath, jackals howled as they are known to, frogs crept inside during the rains and the snakes followed suit.

Those were pretty exciting days. One morning Mother called Father to take care of a snake – almost ready for school, we watched with avid interest. Half asleep, he asked for a stick. Mother handed him one but it turned out to be a dried sugarcane with no backbone. There was uproar – the snake left us to our petty squabbles.

Another time, the dining table was out in the backyard as the house was being whitewashed. Father had just left the table while Mother was on her last bite – she looked up to see a snake sitting on the chair across her with its hood raised. She froze and sat until the snake got bored and slithered away.

Among the locals it is considered bad luck to kill snakes – apparently snakes have a camera in their eyes. They can capture the image of the last person they see. Their mates use this image to identify the murderer and take revenge. So the protocol was either to burn the snake immediately or (preferably) offer it some milk and wait for it to go away on its own.

While playing on the fields, we often saw small, yellow and black colored snakes and leeches too. In retrospect, we were pretty mean as children – we got morbid pleasure out of putting salt on leeches and seeing them melt. I also remember watching unflinching and with a clinical eye, the slaughter of a hen.

The youngest and the late entrant of our group had a particular liking for bees – oh yes beehives and wasp nests lurked in every nook and cranny, sometimes even inside the house. Coming back to the brave young one – he insisted on a deep study of the bees that infested one corner of his house. And what better way to investigate but to taste it?

Poor chap couldn’t even drink milk from his bottle for a few days.  The unfazed little pugilist continued to flash his adorable, albeit lopsided smiles. Undaunted, he turned up the next day with a swollen forearm.

Oh goodness me! This was supposed to be just a-one-photo post! Hope this doesn’t violate the photo challenge rules. Memories are amazing – you think you don’t have any but once you start…see I forgot about the dog we had (not me, my little sis) and the wingless parrot pet.

That reminds me – the parrots were the worst. They ate up all the mangoes leaving only the seed hanging from the trees…

Enough about my memories and time for you to share yours! Surely you too have some wonderful memories? Do share them 🙂

Have a good day all of you and catch you all tomorrow, again 😀

Thanks for reading!



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35 thoughts on “COB #25: Believe It or Not”

  1. You are a nice writer – loved the flow and you are actually witty too – that is nice and like how you note the decapitated bird and move on – bah! And sad –
    But funny
    Anyhow – you are kind do have let them nest!
    Oh and milk to a snake? Who knew?
    And also nice to let them live —
    Have a great week and nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fun actually – so long as the windows are barred 😀 There is a picture of my mother with a monkey holding on to the free edge of her sari while my brother looked on – my father preferred to click the snap first 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Memoirs are really an integral part of you, not all are pleasant especially when you come from a large joint family. But the good ones are usually retained, even though always lived in cities have lots of encounters with monkeys as stayed in older part of Delhi. they are amazing as they can open a fridge take food from it in our house, another favourite is specks from your nose and you will also not come to know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Food from the fridge I had heard about but specs from your nose? Really!? Hilarious 😀 A friend had a monkey and a dog as pets – poor dog. He was mercilessly teased by the monkey – it would pull his ears and then jump on the cupboard 😀


  3. Really engrossing! The snake stories reminded me of my days in Kerala where it was commonplace to spot one every other day! After a while you somehow get used to having them around… you just carry on with life with a slightly heightened sense of perception of the creatures that cohabit the earth with us… after all, they were here first, right?!! So why not be nice to each other?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ramya. Kerala ahh lush green countryside – God’s own country indeed. Snakes are part and parcel of the scenery. True, but so very often we lash out due to fear. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your memories 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What an interesting experience! I’d love to have the monkeys looking in and visiting. Squirrels I have plenty of! Pesky little creatures as cute as they are. They eat the bird seed so I got a squirrel-proof feeder. They take dust baths in my plant containers, tossing my plants aside. Still trying to figure that one. Great stories, Dahlia!


    1. Hi Mary Lou! Dust baths in your plant containers! This I would love to see 😀 As a child for some strange reason I was terrified of squirrels – I used to run at the sight of one. Ended up running most of the time 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The couple peering into the room…they truly look like genuine customers… 🙂
    Enjoyed those candid shots…lovely!
    While in elementary school, me and my younger cousin brother had this belief that we are supposed to do the shradh-karma for the living beings around us..and the first good soul we found was a frog, then a worm and like-wise… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Close encounters of the animal kind:). I enjoyed reading these reminiscences. The snake is especially scary! And add to that the misconceptions and mysteries and superstitions surrounding them…Nice photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello Dahlia. I loved your tales of the animals in your life. In Dar es Salaam I grew up with the usual dogs, cats, pigeons, ducks, guinea fowls and turkeys thanks to our Sicilian neighbour. Though the wild animals were roaming just a few miles out of the boundary of the town, we did not bump into any animal except an odd monkey. My college campus in India was full of snakes especially cobras but I did not encounter one.
    I have an interesting story to tell about the snakes. One morning on the way to work in Dar (the road was lined with Gulmohar trees) a brown stick fell in front of me. To my amazement, the stick reared up and started to it move. It was a brown snake, a large one which fell from the branches above my head. I am glad to say that I did not panic. I just stood there and it just slithered away crossing the road and disappeared. In Africa our house full of lizards, ants, millipedes and centipedes. I did not mind most insects but did not like centipedes and hairy caterpillars especially caterpillars which would crawl over my body.EEK!!

    Now in London, my garden is visited by foxes as well as birds, insects and those pesky( but adorable when not digging up my flowers)Squirrels. It was my dream to have a garden where a lot of birds and butterflies in it. I am lucky my dream has come true. The garden is visited by robins, blackbirds, starlings, tits and magpies. Some of them even made their claim on a corner of the garden and guarded their territory, not allowing anyone to come near.
    Well, Dahlia. How are you these days? Have missed your posts. This winter I have not made my usual trip to India. I am taking a little break from travelling. Just one trip planned in May. My friend’s nephew is getting married to an Italian girl and the wedding is in Venice. Perfect opportunity to visit Venice before it disappears into the water.
    Have a great weekend, Dahlia.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Moving houses are a lot of work but at least you can get rid of a lot of unnecessary stuff.I need to move my room to throw junk that I seem to collect. At the moment I have to go through an obstacle course to reach my bed at night. Ha!Ha!Ha!
        Looking forward to you resuming your writing.

        Liked by 1 person

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