'Ours is a gypsy life. Here today, gone tomorrow'

'Ours is a gypsy life. Here today, gone tomorrow'

Game of life

“Our tent is like a palace to us. It gives us shade when it is sunny and shelter when it rains. We share out joys and sorrows in a 10 ft x 20 ft partition. We do not have a permanent abode. One place today and another place on another day. This must be our fate.”

These are the poignant words of Purushottam Rao a senior member of the Great Prabhat Russian and African circus. His father Madhav Rao was the personal secretary of Karnataka’s second Chief Minister Kengal Hanumanthaiah.

Purushottam Rao’s brothers and his family members are in prominent positions in the society, but Rao who has B Com and B Sc degrees has been engaged in the circus company for the last 40 years without wishing for fame or any other profession.

Purushottam, who is a drummer in the Great Prabhat Circus, has left his home in Bangalore decades ago. When he had the opportunity to work in top positions why did he forgo the same. To this question he replies, “Working as a drummer in a circus company is also a profession, isn’t it?”

Having worked in the Great Bombay Circus, Rajkamal Circus, Orient Circus, Jumbo Circus he now works for Prabhat Circus.

“What else can I do at this age” he says.

Remembering his early days in Bangalore, Purushottam said that in 1972 he was a drummer in Napolean Hotel. “My father did not like this. He created opportunities for me in various jobs. However, I wanted to be self-dependent and stand on my own feet. I took pride in my self-esteem. That is why I have continued working in circus companies.”

“Prabhat Circus company belongs to Karnataka. We are coming to this State after performing in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. We last performed in KGF. Next we will perform in different parts of Karnataka. Ours is a gypsy life. We don’t remain in one place.

The Great Prabhat Russian and African Circus will now performing in Chikkaballapur. It performed for 40 days in KGF. The circus has pitched its tent in the sprawling grounds next to Shanimahatma temple on Bangalore-Bellary Road. Acrobats from Russia and Africa will perform at the circus.

“Our circus company has more than 100 people from different states who are solely dependent on circus. In recent times it has become very difficult to run a circus. However, our owner Saibaba manages to run it with difficulty and takes care of everybody. I have been working here for the last 20 years”, says the company manager Basavaraj.

The circus comprises elepants, camels, multi-coloured parrots and swans besides acrobats and jokers. Over 10 Russian and African artistes will perform various acrobatic feats. Every day shows will be held at 1 pm, 4 pm and 7 pm.

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