A Childhood Obsession

“You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough.”

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Jane Goodall was my hero when I was younger. I always thought I would grow up to live in an African forest amongst the chimpanzees just like her. I had read her books, knew the names of her chimps, and had posters covering every inch of my walls with animals, notably monkeys of all kinds. I was an absolute fanatic, and apparently there is a little bit of that childhood love left in me. Everyday at four (in Richikesh) I visited the same spot where I knew a family of white monkeys always came. Sometimes I brought banana peels and other treats, and other times I just watched them wander and climb around as monkeys do. They are very docile, and didn’t care much if your approached them. The second you opened your bag though, they would all crowd around expecting a treat.

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Monkey Business

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”

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Like most children, I use to dream of having a monkey for a pet, so the idea of monkeys running around town thrilled me. After coming down from Ladakh where there were none, I was surprised and delighted to see them scampering on rooftops and riffling through the trash. Though I knew India was known for them, I really hadn’t expect them to be as prevalent as squirrels for me back home. I have been caught off guard on many occasions as I opened my door to find a monkey sitting nonchalantly on my patio or steps. I have also been frightened as they hiss at me when I walk by, or when I see a large obviously dominate male in my way on the road.

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