Circ-and-usI haven't been to one in 20 years (or so I am told) so Sunday's visit to Rambo Circus was indisputably a novel experience. I don't think this is a nostalgic hamaare zamaane me.n recollection, for how you wax on remembrances if they've been wiped clean before?
I am sitting by the ringside, mouth a little agape, expressions and frenzied applause that adults prefer not to openly subscribe to any more. For the acts are nothing short of awesome, more deserving of the description even in adjective-saturated writings.
The excitement (if you are paying attention) faces no immunity in the mind. If there was any such attempt, our defences will fail. Practitioners of stoicism will find their "dhairya" eddying away, replaced by a wish to see the performers make it through unscathed and successful. Why do we wish anonymous people with obviously "showy" names such victories (which they have earn again in 2 hours time)?
I'm struck by the relative lack of enthusiasm among the people beside me. How they keep their hands from breaking into involuntary applause at the sight of that contortion is beyond me! Perhaps it can be explained by the hands being busy digging into the tangy depths of potato chips. Mothers show great assiduousness in the incessant feeding of their young, reminding ornithologists of nestlings and their busy moms.
It takes quite a lot of daring and creativity to induce chewing audiences to smile and clap furiously. Unless, like me, everyone was pondering over the impossibility of replicating even the lightest of juggles or the mildest of back-flips. Being innocent of their ways, sweetly straight-driving elephants lifting the ball over mid-off brought a cheer to me. Russian beauties (probably from Ukraine) delicately sliced pieces of cloth using whips and stepped happily on beds of nails. Flaming torches, large rings, cutlery and balloons flouted Newtonian rules evoking Heisenbergian questions.
The sight of the chimp cycling about only to stop and rest the wheels on the cycle stand aroused the cynical question: was it a man in a monkey suit? (is it too pedantic to say "ape suit"?) Does the audience yawn because even Hindi films have men tumbling about attached to invisible wires these days? Has the distinction between reality and other forms blurred that much?
No one waited for the trapeze artists to alight after an aerial show that I hoped would end early so as to rid me of the anxiety of seeing a mid-air miss (that after silencerless motobikes tracing spherical paths that only the truly geeky would point out as a great physics experiment). People were out and off. Bursting against each other. I always feel Gandhiji didn't quite tell them that civil disobedience was over.
I couldn't climb a net in 2 minutes and jump down 10 feet, even to save my life. But even the clowns do that here. I console myself with the thought that I know the full name of P.T.Usha and how to program in C.