Fun Facts – Monkey Troubel


Some real life incidents that inspired this story:

Recently Neil visited his family in India. The first morning at his grandmother’s house in New Delhi, Neil came face to face with a stray dog for the first time in his life. Neil loves animals, especially dogs, so rather than being scared, Neil wanted to play with this dog.   Given that this was in India and Neil had learnt a few phrases in Hindi, he called out “Namaste stray doggie”. The dog followed Neil and from that day on, through his whole trip, Neil would not only greet people by saying Namaste, he said Namaste to every stray animal.

While staying with his grandparents in Gorakhpur, Neil visited the holy city of Ayodhya. According to Indian legend, the ancient king Rama lived and ruled in Ayodhya and the captain of his army was the super powerful monkey God, Hanuman. There is not only a huge temple of Hanuman called Hanuman Garhi in the city, but the whole city was literally full of thousands of monkeys. They are everywhere! In fact, the jigsaw puzzle for this story uses a picture Neil’s brother took in Ayodhya. Some of the monkeys are playful and some attack people to grab things from them. But overall, Neil was fascinated to see so many monkeys and would have brought a couple home if he could have.



Fatehpur Sikri’s Abandoned City

During the last leg of his trip, Neil visited a city called Fatehpur Sikri. This city is close to Agra, where Neil saw the famous Taj Mahal. Fatehpur Sikri was a city built by the Indian emperor Akbar and it is simply beautiful. However, after 16 years Akbar decided his court would move out because there wasn’t sufficient water.  The beautiful palaces and buildings remained a silent reminder of the era’s amazing architecture. Neil loved visiting this city and, in his mind, modeled the city of Simia after Fatehpur Sikri.

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