Monkey goes missing with infant in Odisha:: The Hindu report
Life's stranger than fiction. Now read this real-life experience narrated by Vathsala Jayaraman in a group email:

M G Warrier Thiruvananthapuram

Today's (April 1, 2018) The Hindu carries a News item about an infant being carried away by a monkey in Cuttack district of Odissa.

This rewinds my memories of a real incident that
happened in 1969, which I have shared
earlier with the group.

It was 9th June 1969.I was in my native village. My
first daughter was 22 days old.
 She was sleeping in a bamboo cradle in the hall.My
parents had gone to the temple.
As I was busy in the kitchen I felt the haphazard
swinging from the cradle.When I rushed
to the hall, I saw  a big monkey sitting on the rim
of the cradle and jumping & jumping
over and over again giving a vertical bumping motion
to the cradle.When I went near the
cradle and tried to drive away the monkey with
vociferous signals, the monkey didn't move.
Instead it took away the baby biting the araignan rope
( a black rope tied around the waist of the baby) with its
teeth, with the baby's head and feet hanging on both
the sides.Immediately it jumped out of the cradle and
started running towards the backyard.

My imagination ran riot.The most favorite place for
the monkey used to be the concrete
slab on the well, the top of coconut trees or the tall
madhil suvar( compound wall )
of the temples. since there was nobody at home,
I was nervous.The monkey was nearing the
well which was just 20 feet away.

 Suddenly I got a flash. I remembered the words my mother had spoken on an earlier occasion.
" Monkeys think that they are the most beautiful
creatures in the world. They would like to see
and admire their own form in the mirror'.Without
wasting a second, I took the mirror from the shelf
and ran towards the monkey, & by some sounds
attracted its attention. It was just 2 steps to reach
the well.

With a prayer in my mind, & posing to be brave,
I just went in front of the monkey and showed the
mirror just against its face.
Immediately the monkey became too happy or
inquisitive and dropped the baby on the mud floor
just adjacent to the parapet wall.I just threw the
mirror near the monkey in which it seemed to
enjoy its beauty.Everything happened within
one minute.

I took the baby inside, bolted the doors.It took
nearly an hour for me to regain my normal breath.
Luckily the child had no problem except a mark
of the monkey's teeth.As she was just an infant
she didn't feel panicky.It was a rebirth to her.

But an information which had been received by me casually helped me in a crisis.Our education, degrees, intelligence or
our official position may not be of help on such
occasions. Only our commonsense,
samayochitabuddhi and swiftness matter a lot.
By divine grace, we should get
the strength of my mind to get the right idea and
implement it in right time, right speed and
the appropriate manner.
Actually, the information was given to me when
I was just 8 years old when my mother used to
tell about the Ramar Pattabhishekam when the
monkeys were adorning  Sita for the festival.
They decorated themselves also and stood before
Sita & told her with pride that they looked
more beautiful than Sita herself and  that
if Rama had seen them earlier he would not have thought of Sita.
Now my daughter is 48, married and has got two
children.My grandchildren, on hearing the story
commented how among so many kids in the village,
the monkey had a special liking for her

A small tip given by my mother while narrating
Ramayana was not of much importance to me at the
age of 8.But things that look little and insignificant,
assume the greatest importance in our life on a different occasion.

Vathsala  Jayaraman



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