Friday, Aug. 14, 2009

Kala Bandar

In May 2001, India's capital became paralyzed with fear when an unidentified, unusually tall black monkey was reportedly terrorizing the population, sending a pregnant women tumbling down a staircase and forcing two panicked men, in separate instances, to jump off a balcony. All three died, and dozens of citizens followed with reports of sneaky scratches and bites. Rumors swirled about who this "monkey man" was — a new Pakistani plot, perhaps, or the avatar of a wrathful Hindu deity? For weeks, armed mobs guarded neighborhoods at night, and the city police even drew up a sketch of the suspect. As sightings and attacks dwindled, the creature disappeared into legend, later to return as a character (and song and dance number) in a 2009 Bollywood film, Delhi 6.