The monkeys bounded over and began merrily eating the chana, stuffing their cheeks with it Then they discovered the chunk of raw sugar. One chunk and a hundred monkeys The brawl began. As clubs were conveniently provided, the monkeys armed themselves on the spot. Whoever made a grab for the sugar got a club upside his head.
The monkeys created havoc for weeks on end From ambush to strongarm robbery and finally—outright civil war. And after this they just vanished. The roofs again became vacant, the parapets deserted But they were still around when the electricity came to the town and could be seen on just about every parapet. The poles, set into the ground and then forgotten, had been so worn by the elements they looked like a part of the landscape. Suddenly they were again the center of attention Utility workers with long ladders slung across their shoulders materialized. They placed cross-pieces at the apex of each pole and affixed white porcelain insulators along each of the cross-pieces. Wires were stretched from one pole to the next and on to the next along every street.
A completely new event had suddenly burst upon the scene. The Rupnagar birds had happened upon a new perch; they were no longer limited to the parapets and branches. When the crows grew tired of perching and cawing away on the parapets, they would fly over to one of the wires and perch there swaying back and forth. Some blue jay, nightingale or wagtail would perch on a wire to catch its breath before flying on.
Noticing what the birds could do, a monkey got it into his head to leap from one of the parapets of the small bazaar to a nearby wire—then he dangled limply there for a moment before falling to the street below with a heavy thud. Bhagat Ji rushed over from one direction and Lala Mitthan Lal, abandoning his store, from the other They gawked at the dying monkey in shocked horror and then yelled, "Hey1 Somebody get some water'" Chundi shot off to the well, threw in a bucket and brought it back filled with water. He dumped the entire bucket over the monkey but its eyes continued to close as its body grew still.
Monkeys swarmed in from the nearby parapets and with eyes fixed on their fallen comrade in the middle of the street began to raise a ruckus. Then people from the adjoining lanes also came running to stare in shocked disbelief at the dead monkey.
"Which wire did he land on9"
"That one," said Chundi, pointing at the uppermost wire.
"Then the electricity has come?"
"Oh yes, it's here. A man touches a wire and, zap! He's dead on the spot."
The next day another monkey grabbed one of the power lines and plummeted straight to the ground. Again Bhagat Ji and Lala Mitthan Lal leapt to the scene and again Chundi ran up with a pail of water, but the monkey grew cold before their eyes. Panic again broke out in the monkey community. From even the farthest roofs the monkeys came leaping and bounding to look with horror at one of their own
Annual of Urdu Studies, #6 84