Namita Das has two grown up children, but she continues to suckle her pet monkey.

Mrs Das describes Buru as her “son” (Pics: Bapi Roy Chowdhury)

Namita, a middle-aged woman who lives in India’s north-eastern Tripura state and is a government worker, describes Buru, the pet monkey, as her third child. “Yes, I breastfeed him. He is my son,” says Namita, caressing the monkey.

More than four years ago, her woodcutter husband found a dying baby monkey under a tree after a fierce storm. He brought the animal home in Chandrapur village on the outskirts of the Udaipur town in Tripura’s South District. “The monkey fell ill after the storm , in which it lost its parents. I decided to bring him up with my daughters,” says Namita.

Her daughters, Dipti and Tripiti, treat the monkey as a sibling. “We tie rakhi (a sacred thread) on Buru’s wrists during the Indian festival when sisters wish their brothers well,” says Dipti, the elder of the two. “I did not have a son. God finally gave one,” says Namita.

Sun Tzu has spent about 7 years in Asia traveling through Japan, Hong Kong, China, and Korea. A true fan of everything that is weird and strange, he decides in the end what is displayed and published on this site. Sun has previous experience writing for numerous print mags such as XLR8R, URB, and Movement Magazine.