A Non-Ap(e)ology by Mr. M. Shanmugam

Disclaimer from the editors: While Mr. Shanmugam may make an appealing case, we request you not to voluntarily feed the IIT-M(onkeys). Not only will it invite peril for some poor student in the future who happens to be carrying a packet of chips, but it is also – fortunately – illegal.

Dear Reader,

I am honoured by this opportunity to write for your esteemed newspaper to make a case for my species. I am M. Shanmugam, head of outreach and publicity for the IIT-M(onkey) Federation. I have been made aware by my PR officer that the reputation of the bonnet macaque species has plummeted drastically, with Google searches for “How to stop monkeys from coming to your rooms,” “How to stop monkeys from bothering me,” and “Why are monkeys so [REDACTED] evil” skyrocketing. 

My Survey Monkeys have informed me that this negative press largely stems from our looming presence at Usha and surrounding areas. We have been continually and wrongly accused of “stealing” from the junta, and “breaking in” to their rooms. One of the more exasperating girls we met* broke down in tears at the sight of my colleagues and, on further questioning, began to present “photo evidence” of our “antics.” I am appending some of these photos and videos to prove our intentions are pure and not what the misguided naysayers will have you believe.

Exhibit 1:

The great Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once said, “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.”  

This is the only response I would like to give you, dear Reader: Is it not wrong to deny one the chance to scale a particularly appealing wall? And if they happen to spot a brightly coloured Maggi bowl, wouldn’t anyone be tempted to have a taste?

If you wanted to make cramped quarters breathable and “monkey-proof” by putting those ridiculous bars on the windows, then you cannot fault my fellow monkeys for using those bars as footrests for their climbing adventures and it would be quite inhumane to deny them the occasional snack on their journeys. 

After all, considering the loss of habitat we are facing because you need mediocre samosas, having a monkey paw through your veg puff shouldn’t be too irritating for you.

Exhibit 2:

I must admit that this one infuriated me. This girl kept showing the same pictures despite me clearly explaining them. She kept throwing around the word ‘thieving’ way too much, so I must confess I lost my cool and took the green lays from her bag to teach her a lesson. 

So here’s the deal. This was a miscommunication. My monkey had ordered a similar drink from Usha, but they politely asked him to wait outside. Having seen his drink, he tried to take it because, unlike you opposably thumbed lot, we think your concepts of money are ridiculous social constructs.

Once again, please refrain from showing me pictures of your misunderstandings and expecting me to take you seriously.

Exhibit 3:

This is a screen grab from a video she showed me, claiming this was proof beyond denial. Having seen the video, I must admit it looks damning. While I concede that this was, in fact, an error for this poor monkey to look in the vehicle’s pouch without permission, my trustworthy colleague clarified to me later that the man who owned the bike owed him a debt of gratitude. 

In fact, my monkey was hired by the man’s family to stop him from drinking too many fizzy drinks. An honourable cause, deplored by this insolent girl. It is high time that she apologizes to all of us for her rude and, frankly, discriminatory remarks against my species.

Dear Reader, you must have understood by now that we macaques are not simply thieving from you without cause. We are actually looking out for your health at our cost. So, please buy us something next time you see one of us waiting outside a shop. We may not say it out, but next time you need someone to blame for eating your homework, we’ll be happy to help, especially if the assignment in question involves actual food.

Yours truly,

M. Shanmugam. 

*The “exasperating” girl in question may or may not be the author of this article.

Design By: Aruthra

Edited By: Pooja Shankar

Sree Divya

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