I had posted earlier about how my mum is good at making friends wherever she is. And she had given me a tip - to offer food, which also means offering time, space, security, and companionship.
And so every morning, I keep food out for the birdies that visit our terrace. Watching them is pleasurable and their antics a great source of merriment. Mian and I had begun to identify some regulars- the babbler that sat in the bowl and refused to share, the aggressive bulbul that even the mynahs were scared of. The time a squirrel came to the birdfeed was the highlight of the week for us.
And then one day, he came to me bursting with suppressed excitement. 'You've got to see this'. I went obediently, expecting to see another squirrel.
I don't really have the heart to shoo monkeys away. Poor things, they get chased away from everywhere, denied access to everything, and then labeled as criminals. But at the same time, I am a wee bit scared of them. So I stopped putting cooked food out.
And now they've started bringing their own packed lunches.