Monday, March 16, 2009

Man Reads Monkeys' Mind

My usual morning news rant. I know its unpleasant, how I go around throwing barbs from the comfort of my not so comfy chair. Still, this is what I do.

Rare langur rescued, left in centre for care
She clung tight to his neck. With her big round eyes, she gave us a cursory glance and then nibbled at the grape she was holding so delicately with her long, beautiful fingers. Then she saw the apple in my hand and immediately abandoned her grape to reach out.

She felt the apple around and explained her joy in a sharp trilling voice. She did not like the cameras much and hid her face in the chest of Dr Anwar Hossain, the zoologist, and trilled. She was wondering why we were there, and why so many people. She found safety in the warmth of the human body. Probably she felt it much like her lost mother from whom she was separated some 10 days ago.

And where is her mother? Nobody knows. Probably she was killed and eaten up by the Tipra people. Probably the mother just left her behind, which is unusual for a primate, when people chased them. Nobody can tell that exactly.

Clearly, the reporter has a means to accessing the inner workings of this monkey's brain. He can talk to monkeys.

Which is why he singled out the Tripura (aka Tipra) as the probably cause of the mother's disappearance. You know, because there ain't no other damn animals in the forest that eat monkeys.

But it was awfully nice of him -- after deliberately singling out the likely culprit -- to say "nobody can tell that exactly".

Now, if he had backed up his assertion with a statement like "The Tipras have been responsible for the dip in monkey population due to over-hunting" or "The Tipras only eat monkey meat and hunt them vigorously" -- it could be a bit easier to swallow.

In a country where I get yelled "Chakma!!" on the streets as if it were a venereal disease, its quite sad to see such cultural arrogance and carelessness in the leading English broadsheet.

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