On the 10th of May 2014 I was waiting for a bus at the Chengalpet (Kanchipuram district, Tamil Nadu, India) toll gate. Surprisingly there was a monkey too at the toll gate. The toll gate was situated on National Highway 45 near Chengalpet and the monkeys were from the hills near the toll gate. There is nothing like the visit to the neighbourhood. Well, it was not just a visit. Unlike many of us who stood waiting there, this monkey was waiting to collect something to eat from the passing trucks. It was a Rhesus Macaque common in India. Comfortably perched on the roof top of the toll collection cubicle of its vantage choice, the monkey was collecting its toll. Not cash but eatables. Under him a man was collecting the toll fee from the vehicles and the monkey collected what was its due by jumping on to the top of the trucks stopping near the cubicle. As I was watching, it suddenly ventured into the driver’s cabin and came out swiftly with something to eat. Clearly the monkey knew when to make its move. Curious enough the monkey was avoiding the cars. It seemed as if the monkey knew that nothing can be extracted from these rich people. So it was always a truck. Each time the timing was perfect - jump when the truck stops and collect whatever one could and jump back as the truck begins to move. Impeccable timing and the monkey always had something to eat. It was wonderful to watch this scene under the big roof of the toll gate. The monkey was either imitating man or cleverly using our modern ways for its own advantage. We were collecting money and the monkey was collecting something to eat. And it knew exactly from where to get them. Clever monkey.
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