I have been staying in Mayur Vihar Phase-1 in a gated society for the last few months. I live on the fourth floor, where we have an open balcony. Before we shifted to the flat, I did not think pigeons could be a big problem. Initially when I noticed pigeon droppings in the balcony, I thought it was because the earlier tenants did not maintain it properly.
Soon, we started putting our clothes to dry outside on a stand, and then we realised what a big problem it is. Every time we put out our clothes, pigeons defecated on them. As a result, we had to wash our clothes all over again. Every few minutes I have to go and check, when I put out clothes for drying. Then their feathers are also scattered around in the balcony, and keep flying into the room. Sometimes, they are there in the bedsheets as well. What’s worse, feathers are found in our food also at times.
I have noticed that the population of pigeons is way more than any other bird in Delhi. Every morning, they wake me up with their cooing, which is very annoying. When these pigeons come and sit on the window sill, they flutter their wings so much that the glass cracks. And we have to put up with the racket they make.
Even when I try to shoo them away, they don’t leave. They stare right back as if it’s their own territory. The place smells a lot. My maid is not willing to clean the pigeon droppings and so I have to do it myself. I cannot even use the balcony for sunbathing or reading a book.
There is another problem: They often damage ACs. Though I myself haven’t faced it yet but many of my neighbours have. In Delhi, especially during summers, ACs are a must. And when pigeons cause damage to it, one has to go through so much trouble – both physically and financially.
Harleen Bhatia is a commercial pilot
— As told to Shruti Das
Monkeys on a feast
The area where I live, near Delhi Gate, is full of greenery. That is both a curse and a blessing, as the surrounding trees attract monkeys. In my PG, we have a common pantry and sitting area. I regularly keep my grocery – from eggs to vegetables – in the pantry’s fridge
Recently, finding the pantry door open, a group of monkey barged in. They opened the fridge and were looking for something to eat. The day before I kept a big box of eggs – containing 16 eggs! They came across it and took it outside the pantry room thinking it is something they can relish. They damaged all my eggs – not even a single one was left.
After I got to know this, I complained to my landlord but he was not bothered. Instead, he said we should have kept the pantry door locked. Many of my neighbours also complained. One of them got almost attacked by a monkey –it barged into their rooms and they had a hard time getting rid of it.
Another time, I was washing the dishes in the pantry, when a monkey came inside and opened the fridge. I was so scared that I could not move. I just waited for it to go away. Even when it saw me, it was not at all afraid. It could have attacked me, but fortunately did not do anything.
This is a regular occurrence. We need to keep our pantry doors closed at all times. We cannot even take a stroll at the balcony or terrace at times when the group of monkeys are around. So basically, they terrorise us and we are unable to move freely in our own place!
Kalyan Chakravarty is a student
— As told to Shruti Das
‘Can’t go for a terrace garden’
In our area, in Gurugram, the menace caused by monkeys has been going on for years. The Corporation is not doing anything about it. Moreover, people are so used to it now that they seldom complain about it.
The monkeys damage the clothes, plants and everything kept out in the open – in the terrace or balcony. Sometimes they just bang the doors and leave. Nowadays, they have started fooling around with the dish antenna on the roof. They try to swing on it and as a result we lose our connection. This has happened in my home several times. Then I have to complain to Videocon D2H, and they send someone to fix it. And for every such visit they charge Rs 200. So, this is another hassle.
I had plans of converting my terrace into a garden, but I believe that won’t be possible because they sit on the terrace for hours. It will be a bad investment as the monkeys will come and ruin the plants, décor and everything else. So, there is no point of working so much on a garden, just to get it all damaged by a group of monkeys!
Also, whenever my mother attempts to dry spices on the roof, the monkeys come and mess around, spreading it all over. They never attack people generally, but once they tried to attack my neighbour’s pet dog, a Labrador. They tried to poke him, and the dog started barking. The landlord had to come and bring the situation under control.
Kartik Monga is a software engineer
— As told to Shruti Das