Two monkeys wed this weekend but were forced to do so secretly in the middle of the forests of Rajasthan. It would not be surprising if this love story between Raju and Chinki (the monkeys) was adapted into a Bollywood movieÂ—the material is certainly all there! The wedding was India’s first involving monkeysÂ—probably because it is illegal in India for monkeys to wed, hence, the secrecy.
Ramesh Saini, owner of the “groom,” Raju, found the monkey unconscious three years ago and nursed him back to health. The monkey attracted crowds of people whenever he went outside. Ramesh, who has no children of his own, treated Raju like a son.
A priest is Chinki’s caretaker, and the two monkeys met for the first time two months ago. The priest proposed Raju and Chinki should get married.
Unbeknownst to the two men, marriage between monkeys is forbidden since the animals are protected as government property in India. In Hindu mythology, monkeys are worshipped as avatars of Hanuman, a monkey-like deity that played a significant role in the epic Ramayana. Forest range officer Bhavar Singh Kaviya said, “It’s illegal to marry a monkey.” He warned, “Anyone found doing that or attending the marriage ceremony will be arrested.”
Meanwhile, Ramesh had sent out hundreds of invitations and was expecting about 2,000 villagers to attend a huge pre-wedding feast. The wedding was an open invitation to all in the village. Ramesh and the priest had no other choice than to go into hiding, and the two monkeys wed in the depths of the forest in a secret ceremony.
Forestry officials got wind of the secret wedding and went on a hunt for Raju and Chinka. When they found them, Chinki was tied to a tree and proudly sported the traditional vermillion mark of a married woman (or, womonkey?) on her forehead.
“The officials couldn’t resist congratulating Chinki and posed for pictures with her.” Don’t you wonder how the two were dressed for their big celebration?
Despite the offers of congratulations, the officers captured both monkeys. Officers plan to release them soon into nearby forests.
Ramesh, confident the newly married monkeys would eventually return, said, “I know my son Raju, with his wife Chinki, will come back home. I will have a big reception for them.”
So, the ending to the story of the two monkeys, wed secretly in the depths of the forest, has a bitter-sweet ending. Raju and Chinka are married, but they are now in captivity, at least for the time being. When they are released, whether they choose to start their own monkey family in the forest or choose to return home to their loving owners, may the newly wed couple live happily ever after.