My first ever morning waking up in India started of being very relaxing. My husband had gone to the office and my mother-in-law and I were sat in the living room, we were getting to know each other. My mother-in-law can understand English, but finds it hard to find the words to speak it, whilst I struggle to even count to ten in Hindi or Marathi. Communication is difficult but fortunately we both laugh in the same language, and we laugh together a lot, mostly at the fact we are constantly misunderstanding each other.
I told my mother-in-law that my little sister was learning Arabic and she suddenly started to march on the spot. I was completely confused to why she started exercising randomly whilst I was mid-sentence. Was this a kind of Arabic dance she had learnt somewhere? What actually happened was that she thought I said my sister was learning aerobics!
A couple of minutes of laughter and tea passed and then suddenly her eyes widened, ‘Lauren, get out of the house’ she shouted! My first thought was that there was a huge spider or maybe a mouse, but no… MONKEYS. There sat two monkeys happily eating our food, one on the dining table and one of the top of the fridge. There were monkeys in the kitchen!
We both ran out of the house and my mother-in-law told our gate-keeper about the monkeys. Our gate-keeper is a funny and fearless woman, she grabbed a stick, puffed out her chest, rearranged her saree and bravely ventured into our house. She then chased them both out of the window.
The excitement reminded me of the thrill of when a bird would accidentally find its way into our house when I was a child. The cheeky monkeys had managed to get in by jumping from our neighbours tree to our balcony and then causally walk through the door. My husband told me it has happened a couple more times since this occasion but when I was in England.
Meanwhile, I continue to daydream that one day a monkey will come into our house, abandon its baby and then I have to raise it has my child. I would probably call it something obvious like ‘bananas’.