lying inert in the middle of the street, and of course make as much noise as they possibly could
By now they had quieted down, as if overcome by exhaustion Many had even begun to wander away. At that very moment one big sassy monkey bounded in on Pandit Hardiyal's long, high walltop. Face red with anger and hair bristling like arrows, he leapt on a pole and shook it so violently that it rocked like a hollow, rotted tree stump. Then he climbed upwards and attacked the wires with all his might. But, as soon as he leapt on them, he was stuck there, dangling limply He hung there for a bit before crashing to the ground halfdead. Bhagat Ji, Lala Mitthan Lal and Chundi again performed their respective routines. The monkey opened his eyes when the water hit him, looked up in abject helplessness at his sympathizers and then closed his eyes forever
The monkeys came scampering from off this and that roof It seemed as though every single one of them would come down into the street, but they merely stayed on the walltops—pacing, screeching, screaming. Then all at once they fell silent as though seized by some nameless fear. The walltops began to empty.
It was getting on toward evening. The big monkey's body was still sprawled in the street. Not a monkey could be seen on the nearby walltops. Rupnagar had entered the Age of Electricity—entered, that is, after offering up three monkeys. The other monkeys vanished so completely that for weeks on end not one of them could be seen on any walltop, roof, or in any tree. Not even in the Black Temple's peepal tree where swarms of them could be seen cavorting amongst its limbs year- round. An emptiness, a deathly hush had descended upon its foliage.
Translated by Wayne R Husted and Muhammad Umar Memon
Annual of Urdu Studies, ^6 85