One year, while living in Bhimavaram, a big mango tree between the house and the
canal was filled with delicious fruit, bringing a troop of noisy monkeys to the
And one afternoon, during siesta time, some of them decided to scamper on the
tiled veranda roof, and the upstairs patio, chattering away and throwing tiles down on
Between my mother and these aggressive monkeys was only a thin metal mosquito
screening, and she became afraid of what would happen if they broke into the house.
So she shouldered my dad’s trusty .22 calibre rifle, and shot two of the monkeys,
frightening off the troop from the house and the mango tree.
Calling for the servants, she asked that the dead monkeys be disposed of by
dropping them in the canal.
Time passed, and word filtered back to the compound that some Hindu villages had
found the monkeys in the canal, fished them out, and built a temple in their memory,
dedicated to the “monkeys that the doorasanee shot.”