Hindu belief includes worship of animals as avatars of the gods. Monkeys have an especially significant role in Hindu mythology where they are worshipped as avatars of Hanuman, the mighty ape that aided Rama in his fight against evil. So you gotta believe that all the nearby villages were extatic about the news and almost 2000 villagers got ready to celebrate the wedding of the summer!
“I want to enjoy the feelings of a son’s marriage through Raju’s wedding,” said Rajesh, a 38-year-old married but childless auto rickshaw driver who nursed Raju back to health after finding him unconscious three years ago.
So he was overjoyed two months ago when he met Chinki’s caretaker, a priest in a nearby village, who proposed that the two monkeys be married.
“We will welcome the bride in our house in Banetha after the wedding with all rituals,” said an excited Ramesh while offering tea to Raju at a roadside tea shop.
Not everybody was happy though… As news of the marriage spread, the state forest department officials stepped into action. Since monkeys are protected in India as government property, no one can pet them, train them or — as in this case — marry them, even to a fellow monkey!
Anyone attending the wedding would be arrested! Tension rose…so the monkeys and their owners went into hiding!
On the day of the planned wedding, more than 200 guards poured into Talwas, where they confronted hundreds of people from nearby villages who had arrived to see the rare spectacle.
But then came the news — the monkey couple had been secretly married off in a ceremony somewhere deep in the forest. The villagers erupted in joy and began celebrating.
Forestry officials immediately set out to look for the pair and finally found Chinki tied to a tree. She sported the vermillion mark worn by married Hindu women on their foreheads.
The officials couldn’t resist congratulating Chinki and posed for pictures with her. That didn’t stop them from capturing both monkeys though and intend on releasing them in a neaby forest.
Owner Ramesh is confident of their eventual return. “I know my son Raju, with his wife Chinki, will come back home,” said an emotional Ramesh, mingling with the crowd to avoid being caught. “I will have a big reception for them.”
Now that is a whole lot of monkey business!
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