Tuesday, July 17, 2007

We cannot shoot them or beath them

Monkey steals tourist's glasses in India One of those only in India stories.
LUCKNOW, India --
A South Korean tourist has filed a formal complaint against a monkey he says stole his reading glasses during his visit to the Hindu holy city of Varanasi in northern India.

Kim Dang Hoon says he opened his hotel room window for fresh air when the monkey made his move.

"He headed straight to the table where my glasses were kept and took it away," Kim said in the statement.

Part of the frame later was recovered by hotel staff and Kim said he filed the report so he can make a damages claim on his travel insurance.

Thousands of wild monkeys roam Varanasi, dotting the trees on the banks of the Ganges River and scampering through the city's many temples, where they are venerated as manifestations of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman.

On Tuesday, police combed Varanasi's alleys searching for the monkey.

"It is difficult to trace the monkey but I am trying my best to locate the rogue," investigating officer Inspector Govind Singh said from Varanasi, some 185 miles southeast of Lucknow.

Problems with monkeys harassing tourists in the city are common, Singh said.

"But we can't do anything. We cannot shoot them or beat them as Hindus worship monkeys," he said.
What really surprises me is that the police were actually trying to track this monkey down. Why, because it's a foreigner whose property got filched? Because some AP reporter thought this would make good press? And like this happens just in Benares. They're everywhere. As my dad used to say, when the jumped around the roof eating the mangoes off the trees. "Tara purvaj aayva che." ("Your ancestors have come") To which I would always retort -- well, if they're my ancestors, they're yours too! [Hat tip to Bill]

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