It pained me! Yes, it pained me a lot. Pained me because, I can no longer hear the chirping sounds of birds and ever quarrelling monkey in our old, very old family orchard of Mango, Jackfruit, Tamarind, Banana, Bamboo, Teak, Gamai (Gmelia)and other forest species.
It was only our family orchard that used to make unique look to our small and scattered village under newly formed gomati district because, orchard to the size of ours and also forest become rare due to the popularization of rubber plantation that has taken a root in the mind of the villagers so is their economic prosperity now.
It was really very disturbing, creating nuisance and destructing what is available in the orchard and kitchen garden of the family. And, it is none other than the monkey who was creating these problems.
All monkeys were around the village, houses, kitchen garden and eating up of all vegetable, fruits whatever has been raised in the kitchen garden and elsewhere.
Women become restless due to the omnipresence of monkey and monkey menace. Pet dog although in the initial days shown their mettle and shown furious made but now becoming accustomed to see the new enemy as their neighboring one become careless to the monkeys in the backyard.
Dogs now a day never minds to drive the monkeys even after seeing them are walking in the field because thereby monkeys have almost made permanent home to the orchard for last 2-3 years. They of course occasionally visit rubber plantations in search of rubber seeds and come back again to the orchard the only their abode for now.
I personally could not relish the seasonal fruit like Mango, Jackfruit, Tamarind and Jamun because these fruits could not have time to attain the ripened stage as it is being consumed at immature stage itself by the monkeys.
Banana, it is wholly destroyed and eaten up; starting from fruit to tender leaves all are eaten up by the moneys.
Pineapple, it is also same, fruits to leaves; everything is eaten up by these monkeys.
It is not that our orchard could not sustain the lives of the few monkeys but when teams of monkeys of around 100 to 200 nos. comes then that become impossible for the orchard to sustain them therefore, what happen is monkeys are around the household destroying all in the kitchen garden and become the fierce enemy of the villagers.
But, sometime, I do feel pity for them, I feel sorry for them because in my childhood days monkeys used to be rare in my locality as they lived in deep jungle but now they are living side by side to the human being.
This is because, in my area forested areas have decreased to a significant extent that some wild animals like monkeys and other small mammals have been driven out as a consequence some might even become extinct too and other taken refuge in the human locality like these monkeys and squirrel.
Squirrel has permanently taken refuge in the coconut palm destroying all nuts (matured to immature) of coconut palm. Now, in the village you could see coconut (destroyed one) near the palm of coconut by the menace of squirrel.
Jungle fowl has also been driven out of the forest consequently taken refuge in the orchard.
Spotting of jungle fowl was actually fortunate to see due to it’s magnificently look and beauty.
But, from last year, I was feeling sorry at the family decision of felling of all big fruit and non-fruit trees of the orchard; I was thinking that fruit trees that were planted by my grandfather long ago would be felled down at once then what will remain in our memory that has long been cherished by us.
Another, thinking was: where will all these monkeys will go in absence of their abode which is forest which for sometime has been acted by our family orchard. Will they die starving because rubber offers no to minimum forage to the monkeys? Will they be able to reach in other parts where there is jungle and forage is available in plenty?
Those were my thinking! But, it has happened; happened one day, all the big fruit and non-fruit trees had been felled down by the merchant as it was sold to him. It is just to get rid of continuous menace of all these monkeys.
After cleaning of all big trees when I went to my village, I did not find that nuisance creating monkey. Everything seems to be silent, seeing of magnificent jungle fowls become rare and no monkeys could be spotted in and around the village.
When I enquired the villagers about the monkey, they replied that after the last abode of monkeys had been felled down they left the area.
The point that comes to my mind is rubber tree driving the monkeys out of the jungle?
Your comments please.