Design: Abhiram Pavithran
Editors: Mahima Raut and Anna Dominic
Where do the monkeys go after sunset?
Google says they sleep sitting upright on tree branches, but I knew that something was definitely up. There’s no way a species spends 60 years at an institute of technology and picks absolutely nothing up. That’s about four generations (in monkey time).
The question was, while the sapiens slept, what were these cunning beasts up to?
Haunted by this question, I spent a considerable amount of time and energy stealth-ing around campus in my stealth clothes muttering ‘stealth mode’ under my breath. Which, in retrospect, was possibly why I did not encounter any mysterious monkey business for a while. After that I revamped my strategy and decided to cut down on the stealth, considering I’ve used it four times now in a single paragraph.
After weeks of endless midnight wandering, one night I finally stumbled upon a sight that would change everything. I was going back to my room when I saw two of them sitting in the dim corridors of an abandoned wing in Sarayu. I crept closer and watched with bated breath. For a moment, there was nothing, and then there was light.
Because one of them had switched on the lights.
“You’re kidding me? You forgot your book again?”
And that’s when I knew I had been staying up for too many nights because, goddamn did the monkey just speak? Just as I was about to pass out, the second one replied with “Lite. We don’t need it today”
Holy cow! (or should I say monkey?)
As it turns out, not only could monkeys speak, but they spoke eloquent insti lingo. Upon following the pair that night, I discovered a whole new world. But one that was strikingly similar to my own. Within the Indian Institute of Technology, there existed a full-fledged Monkey Institute of Technology. From vacation workshops to CFI labs, they had it all. I might even have to concede that some of the things they came up with were better than ours. For starters, everything ran on clean nuclear energy. In some ways, MIT-M was everything IIT-M ever hoped to be.
There even existed a subgroup of commie HS monkeys who were planning on overthrowing the ‘exploitative humans’ and establishing the truly egalitarian monkey raj where no monkey would be left behind.
After all, despite the fact that most humans were unaware, the monkey Director was the true brain behind most workings of the human Institute. And he got no credit, only the permission to run his own institute. Enough is enough, it was time to take things into their own hands.
I’ve compiled detailed reports on what I saw and heard the following nights, but there was one last thing I needed. More witnesses. Because too many late nights running on coffee does something to one’s brain cells and I needed to know this was all for real.
So I took a break from my nocturnal research and spent the next few days listening very closely to: the humans. And there lay all the proof I sought. A senior had lost her makeup kit a few days back and was extremely surprised that the monkey raiders had left behind her snacks. She laughed it off claiming that monkeys are dumb enough to not figure out what’s edible, but oh how wrong she was. Another friend was complaining about the loss of his entire shaving kit, again thoroughly annoyed and surprised that the ‘dumb’ beasts had taken things that would be of no use to them. A few such incidents added up to what I’d seen around MIT.
More important was the loss of lab equipment.
And the monkeys were very cunning about it too. The losses were few and far in between to genuinely raise worries. And most of the items they didn’t need to steal, they either used our equipment or got them through the deal they had with our Director. Because of course, he knew. This closely guarded secret has been passed down from Director to Director ever since the MIT Accords of 1980, when the underground labs of the monkeys were first discovered and then hushed over.
For those who still remain skeptical, have you ever wondered about the free reign these species get? They are always causing all sorts of mess everywhere, and yet when the Prime Minister comes to campus, we barricade the deers away and nothing is ever done about the monkeys.
But more importantly, and the real question here is, why did Ramu leave? I strongly suspect he had gotten a little too close to finding the truth. And for that, he’d been exiled.
And lastly, K Gate’s closure. There are many who came up with various reasons for why that happened but nothing quite adds up, does it? Especially the question of why it had to be now? The real reason is that MIT was embarking on a new project and they needed some peace and distance from all the humans who seem to be constantly around. And now they’ve got the Nilgiri rooftop too. Like they did all the others. Each year, there’s yet another rooftop being made inaccessible to the humans, as MIT’s research wing expands.
So many little clues, and yet no one has realized the truth.
But the secrecy ends now. I have compiled my research and will be officially publishing it within a week of this article. This shall be my legacy. The monkeys already suspect a leak, and once this is out I’ll have to go into hiding for a very long time. At least until they no longer have a price on my head.
There will be many who claim that this article is nothing but the delusions of a bored, quarantined girl. But I urge you to not fall for the lies any longer, lest the monkeys finally take over. They continue to plot even now, to violate the accords, considering the free access they have to our institute these days. And of course, we all know how bloody the competition for funding opportunities are.
Once the monkeys take over, we will no longer stand a chance. So I leave you with this last warning, beware.
DISCLAIMER: This article is a work of satire and fully fabricated. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental.