Sunday, 5 February 2012

Day 5 – Himachals in Winter - Shimla – A Relaxing Day and the Naughty Monkeys

Previous Day 4 - Narkanda to Shimla

This was the inauspicious day of the tour, since I woke up with a mild fever and severe headache. There was, therefore, nothing much to do other than consulting the doc first. The doc advised to take a day’s rest completely and have really light food.
So most of my day was spent in the Hotel room, lying and watching TV or listening to music. In the afternoon, I got completely fed up with this enforced relaxation and got out from the hotel towards the mall, with baby steps.
The mall this time offered fewer crowds than the previous day which was a nice thing to see.  The same church looked brighter and the mall more beautiful and peaceful.



Only one incident to write about was the encounter with the monkeys. The monkeys of Shimla are as (in)famous as the hill town itself because of their boldness. They snatch any food item and don’t bother to say ‘thank you’ even if you are willing enough to feed them.
On returning our way back to the hotel, my wife held a small bag containing some memento items – and not a single food item, suddenly a couple of giant monkeys jumped in front of us and tried to snatch that bag away from her. She was really bold enough to hold on to the bag and never gave in and the monkeys were also proving to be very determined. They two were making many faces to scare her away perhaps and were communicating between themselves about the strategy, while I was, really selfishly, standing and watching the fun, and that too with a smile!! The bag was a paper bag and it was not really made up to withstand such a tug-of-war so it gave in and was torn apart. My wife, now, instead of cursing the monkeys, started cursing me. So I had to do something, at least out of chivalry. I picked up a small pebble and made a gesture to throw it to the two bravest of monkeys.  They retreated for a couple of steps but didn’t leave the bag. Mighty courageous, I must say!! Fortunately two local guys came to our rescue. They were much better acquainted with the monkeys, than us obviously. They found out a stick and tried to whoosh them away.  This time the two villains gave up  - may be they have already found out what the bag contained – and they climbed on the tree from where they started their adventure.
Phew!! We almost ran to our hotel. I got to receive a few words from her – which were justified – since she was the one battling it out whereas I was a mere spectator watching the fun, which should have been the other way round, if it were a romantic movie.
But anyway, this incident was certainly not less interesting than any travel.
The day after, we would be driving to Manali.

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