rajendran muthiah

(16.03.1950)

The Bellicose Monkeys


In our return trip from Megamalai
on the worst, single, bumpy track,
the driver stopped the bus for a break.
and led the passengers into a shop
for eating snacks and taking tea.

A crowd of Indian monkeys
dangling from the branches of trees
jumped on the roof of the bus.
They screeched and scared the boys
who were biting and eating
and willing not to throw pieces to them.

A man bit a piece of bread to eat
and in the next minute the remaining of it
was in the mouth of a monkey
which sprang upon him, snatched it up
and rushed back to the top of the bus.

A boy was swallowing a banana
and the half of it got into the palms of a monkey
which dashed towards him in no time
picked the fruit and climbed up.
The hungry animals took away half of every eatable.
A college student was puffing a cigar
and blowing out clouds of smoke towards them.
What a surprise! No one came down
to pull out the cigar from his fingers.
The animals know very well:
‘Smoking is harmful to health’.

When the driver came out of the shop
the animals jumped up, clung to the branches
and swung here and there in glee.
In case they smoke, there are no fake doctors
to treat them for the loss of vigour in the hills.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Submitted: Sunday, March 31, 2013
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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Megamalai(Cloudy Hills) with sprawling Tea Estates, is in the east of Chinnamanur, in Theni District of Tamil Nadu, India.

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