Why I keep animals

When we were celebrating Madhuri's birthday, she asked me why I give animals such importance. I told her that it is because they give me joy. It is like playing with a top or a new toy.

I see how restless the monkeys are! My monkey Madhu is restlessness incarnate, but it gives me such joy to watch him.

When I was a child, I used to have animals at home — dogs, birds, monkeys. Now I am bringing back my old habits. These are not bad habits; old habits can also be good.

Everything has an inner reason. The main reason I keep animals is because they give me tremendous joy. Also I feel that these innocent beings need my special attention. Every day I hear the birds and look at the monkeys and various other animals — the guinea pigs, gerbils and so on. Every day I do it.

I really feel sad when one of the birds falls sick or when the monkeys and other animals do not do well.

Animals have restlessness and cuteness and, at the same time, sweetness and fondness. All these qualities go together.

3 April 1981