Monkeys have been considered as almost the siblings of Human Beings, some of our brothers who were left behind in the evolution process of Human’s are now roaming in the world as Monkeys. It was their fate or our destiny, that now we have the freedom to call ourselves as the Humans and they are still in the category of animals.
In these thousands of years of Human Evolution, we have atleast attained this much that now Humans and Monkeys have started working together, YES this is true, don’t be alarmed though I was laughing and founding it strange when I heard it for first time from our tour guide Joey in Thailand, and to authenticate his words his proof was more than what I expected “My Indian friends, A trained monkey from the Monkey university of Surat Thani walked in front of thousands of people holding the Surat Thani provincial flag in 1993 Asian games in Thailand”.
We were on the way to Hua Hin, our next destination after Bangkok, thanks to Thailand Tourism and TAT New Delhi and wings were given to me by Thai Airways who had invited me for this awesome tour. On our way to Hua Hin we were going to visit a farm land where coconut jaggery was produced, coconut which was plucked by the trained monkeys.
It was the perfect time for me to click our RATH (Chariot) and here it was this bus with a lovely background, I still remember during my Kerala Blog Express tour I or can say we all bloggers had waited till munnar to get the best shot of our Bus with a lovely background.
Steam fumes coming out of a hot vessel, made of jute, it was like a very big bucket made of jute in which hot coconut syrup was filled and boiled. Filtered syrup was flowing out of the pours of the bucket and man was collecting that filtered liquid in an another metal vessel, this was the first view of mine as soon as I entered into that farm.
Our guide was hard to be kept silent, in his very jovial accent he was explaining the process of making of coconut jaggery, but I was more interested in knowing the role of monkeys in this process, as from the scene only I could understand the process, and why not, my childhood had been spent in the farms of Uttar Pradesh, where my Mama (Mothers brother) used to show me how the sugar cane jaggery is produced, as the factory was near to my maternal home.
On the next side, this guy was whipping hard to make that hot liquid turn into a thick syrup, which would be later on preserved and on cooling it will come out as small pieces of Jaggery.
It was like a big sping, vibrating and acting like a blender. I am sure it must have been atleast a 50 kg, before clicking this picture I tried my hand on it, but man it was tough you need a serious work out to handle this heavy bar and move it back and forward in that thick coconut syrup.
Watching this guy work like this, I could remember how my mother churned out white butter from the cream twice in a month, I also have tried that thing and there I have been bit successful too, But here the strength required was more than 100 times, obviously “Size naam ki bhi to koi cheez hoti hai (Size does matters)”.
Finally we were in front of the “Man of the Hour”, Mr.Monkey was here, jumping from one side of the cage to other, high on adrenaline this guy was giving us tough time. 27 people staring at him and he staring back with loud whistle.
It was of which breed of monkey, its tough for me to remember, but as far as I remember the words of our guide Joey, generally a Pig Tailed Macaque is trained for the coconut farms.
Standing in front of Mr.Monkey, we were hearing the words of Joey who was shouting to his maximum level, as this guy kept on raising the speaker volume of his whistle. Some decades ago a smart guy by the name of Somporn Saekhow, thought of opening a special school unique in its own in whole world.
It was “The First Monkey School of Surat Thani”, the idea of Mr.Somporn Saekhow. Just imagine how many people one would have to hire to pluck coconuts from a farm field, and do include one thing for sure “Coconut should be ripe one”. It is going to take a lot of man power, but thanks to Somporn who introduced this school in 1957, and since then they have been teaching monkeys to pluck coconuts from the trees.
Though traditionally this has been practiced in Thailand from long ages, but the main worry factor and the main reason behind this school was to train monkeys in the way that they “Pluck only ripe coconut”, which this school has been doing successfully since its opening.
Truely it was amazing to hear that only a two or three were enough to pluck riped coconuts from farm having atleast 1000 trees, and even they reduce the cost factor too.
It was the time for us to move from the farm and head towards our next destination Hua Hin, but this farm visit had proved something, nobody is superior. We as humans have some capabilities same way animals to have some. Amazing Thailand had proved once again his tag line “Why it is Amazing Thailand”, one see what he doesn’t even imagine.