Roshan and Swetha were excited about going to the circus. Mrs. Rao accompanied them. At the end of the show they were surprised and pleased that the circus continued to entertain them.

The circus was in town finally. Roshan and Swetha never missed a chance to go to the circus. Their aunt Mrs. Rao loved to be a part of this wonderful experience.

The circus was always set up in the same place in the city, on the same month and it was housed in a very big tent. Since this was vacation time, the show was almost full. The children managed to get good seats. And as always they enjoyed the popcorn, ice cream and snacks.

The show began with a parade of the performers, dressed in dazzling costumes with flags in their hands. Roshan and Swetha were surprised that there were so many performers. Soon the show began and the death defying acts drew gasps of shock from the audience. The acts were performed to near perfection — the girl on a rope, the hula-hoop, the group on a cycle. There was perfect timing, rhythm, precision and coordination.

“The performers must be properly trained and they should be practising regularly to get things right,” said Mrs. Rao. She pointed to a girl on the floor, a steel pole balanced on her feet, and she had to bounce a big ball to a net on the pole. She missed the ball a couple of times but she was persistent. It was obvious that the girl had practised a lot to get it right. The crowd gave her a big round of applause.

The three-hour show was interspersed with comic acts by the clowns which was an instant hit with the audience. The children loved the clowns who drew loud laughter from the crowd.

Watching

“Do the performers get bored performing the same thing over and over again?” asked Roshan.

“Just look at them, you cannot do this unless you enjoy your work. For them the circus is their livelihood and when they have a passion for their work, it becomes a real joy which is fulfilling and rewarding,”said Mrs. Rao.

They watched the African swingers dancing to an African beat. A boy squeezed himself out of a tiny drum. It seemed almost impossible. They enjoyed the dogs and the parrots performing various antics. “Thank God there are no caged lions or tigers performing to the whip of the ring master, it has become a thing of the past. There is no need for ferocious wild animals to be tamed to entertain us, when there are talented performers to run the show”.

The children agreed with Mrs. Rao. Finally, there was the trapeze. It looked like the trapeze artistes were flying in the air – so smooth were their movements.

Swetha noticed a lot of men fixing and arranging the paraphernalia before every performance. The children guessed right.

“They must be the helpers who fix the big tent and other stuff and work behind the scene. Should be good with their hands indeed,” said Roshan. The circus worked well because of team work and talent. “Once they have finished with this place, they pack up and move to a different town or city and continue their work,” said Mrs. Rao.

“A different kind of life indeed!” said Roshan.

As they were leaving they saw that at the entrance there was a photographic display of all the important people who had visited the circus over the years. There was a also a display of movie posters where the circus was featured.

“It was the circus artistes who did those risky, death defying stunts,” said Mrs. Rao.

Roshan and Shweta were surprised to know that the circus had been around for such a long time. They saluted the indomitable spirit of the circus for it had changed with the times.

“The Circus will continue to entertain people like you and me. And we will continue to watch them year after year,” said Mrs. Rao.