That place gave the looks of a carnival ground. People were walking here and there, talking in loud voices. During the peak hours of evening, when all would be returning to their nesting grounds after the day’s routine work, this kind of crowd was not very unusual. I was at Bardhaman railway station, awaiting the long-distance Amritsar Mail. A beautiful female-voice had just announced that the train was running an hour behind the schedule. I was standing impatiently, counting minutes.

Shriek… A strange voice caught my attention. I looked around. Spectators were gathering around something at a corner, not very far from where I was standing. I walked towards the crowd to see what was going on. A family of bonnet monkeys. They were three - An infant, its mother and father. They were chained together with a rope and metal collars. A middle-aged man, wearing a soiled white shirt and blue lungi, was seeking alms from the onlookers. Both the adult monkeys seemed to be familiar with such crowds around them. But the infant was yet to feel this sort of reality. It wanted to move freely like the onlooking strange creatures. The infant tried to move. Alaas! Whenever tried, it had to pull the parents too. A difficult task indeed.

The tight collar around its neck was not letting the infant to move even a few feet. The mother monkey tried several times to free her baby from the collar. But all her attempts ended up in vain thanks to their master who was too much dependent on them for his daily bread.

Photographed @ Bardhaman, West Bengal