I don't want to sound silly but I used to get pretty excited at the mention of circus. My mom has always told me that I had seen a circus show when I was a year old. But of course that never counted. I always used to crave going to a circus whenever it was in town but my parents used to ridicule me. This time when we had gone to Varanasi for our daughter's birthday, I finally got a chance to witness it!
The day I entered my in laws home, I had noticed a pamphlet lying on the sofa. It had vivid colours and read Rayman circus in Ramnagar...3 shows a day. That moment I decided that I had to experience it. Whenever there had been shows in Delhi or Noida, my parents would put their foot down. Now that I was in Varanasi, I somehow had to squeeze a couple of hours from our hectic schedule and coax the hubs to accompany me! We had three and a half days in Varanasi out of which one was our daughter's birthday; the very reason why we were there, one day was required for the preparations and the day after was booked for the city tour for my parents. So I was left with the remaining half day, the day on which we were supposed to board our train back to Delhi in the evening.
The initial announcement for my desire to go to a circus was met with much condemnation and sarcasm. That did not deter me from brainwashing and threatening my hubs to take me there. As the three days flew by ( with so much to do and no time to breathe), the last day finally arrived. We decided to watch the 1 pm show. The venue was about half an hour away from our place. So we had to leave accordingly. My parents as well as my parents in law tried to explain that it was a sheer waste of time and money but I did not budge. Finally after I completed all my chores (bathing my daughter, packing and stuff) we zoomed off. We were late and the show had already began. We had missed an hour of it.
I had watched so many circus based movies (the latest being Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson starrer Water for elephants ) that I associated a certain amount of mystery with circuses. Are the lives of the performers actually like that shown in the movies? Enough said, we took the tickets and barged in.
It was very little that I had imagined. As it was a weekday that too afternoon, it was sparsely populated. But the performers blew us with their tactics right from the beginning. We took our seats, got some delicious butter popcorn and cola and soaked in the marvel of acrobatics and gymnastics. Out of the myriads of shows, my favourites were acrobatics and rythmic gymnastics. The girls were very pretty. There were Russian and African performers too. Few animal shows (dogs and parakeets mainly) and the well of death at last. I absolutely loathed the clowns!!
|All excited to watch the show!|
|This acrobat was my favourite performer of the day. ..|
|Yummy butter popcorn|
|Cute dog show|
|Mind blowing acrobatics|
|The biker and the well of death..|
|Showtime for me after the real show got over!!|
In all it was a perfect afternoon. At the end we managed to meet the owner to ask him a few queries that used to baffle me. I learnt:
Rayman circus is about 150 years old!
Its very expensive to run a circus and thats why these groups are shutting down. Today only 33 circus groups are left in India.
The average expanditure of a single day is around Rs40,000. That's enormous!
There is a special visa called circus visa for the foreign performers.
The Supreme court has banned using animals for show. Thankfully no elephants or horses are tortured the way I have seen in movies!
So an age long desire finally got fulfilled!
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