I had almost 10 days off for Christmas and New Year and by the second day I was already dreading the long, stretchy holidays. That was when I started reading the newspaper, again, (previously, I read news online owing to lack of time). I came across an interesting weekly column titled “My husband and other animals” by Janaki Lenin and got engrossed in it. You could blame it on the amount of free time I had or the uniqueness of the column, but I actually pulled out previous weeks’ papers and read a few more of her articles before I went online to read it all the way back to the month of May.
I was intrigued after reading “Ajoba’s story” that narrated the story of a leopard who was collared with a GPS transmitter after it was set free, following the event of the animal falling into a well in a village. Oddly, instead of making a beeline for the fertile farms, Ajoba began climbing up hills, crossing railway stations and industrial areas. On many occasions he was very close to people, yet no one noticed him nor did he harm anybody.
I wasn’t completely satisfied with the article and I couldn’t get myself to believe that a leopard could actually go unnoticed in so many places. It was during one of the days of the Cyclone Thaane when I had a somewhat similar experience with a wet monkey on my terrace. My terrace has a thatched roof so clothes can be hung to dry in any kind of weather and I guess it was the perfect place for the monkey to seek refuge from the downpour. Of course, I screamed and made a run for it when I saw a monkey inside my house and so did that poor monkey, when he saw me ruin his hideout for the day. If I hadn’t gone to the terrace that day, the monkey would probably have stayed there and left once the rain subsided. It would have gone unnoticed. Imagine a monkey like that roaming free in our busy streets amongst so many people.
Suddenly, I could only think of Ajoba and his remarkable feat. There was every chance that someone would spot the intruder and raise an alarm, just like how I did with the monkey! Later on I could only feel sad for that poor drenched monkey while I was sitting in the comfort of my room, thinking about the way we humans were slowly taking land away from the animals for our own benefit. Let us at least make it a point to do our bit by not shooing away animals in such circumstances and not denying them shelter when they need it the most.
K. ISHITHA, II Year, Visual Communication, Women’s Christian College
Popularity: 1% [?]