An acrobatic leap into the air

An acrobatic leap into the air

An acrobatic leap into the air

hard-working Bikram and Meena.

One of the upsides of being in the circus is that you get the chance to travel the world. Our families live in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, but my buddies and I move to different countries performing.

The circus has given us the opportunity to go to various places and meet so many different people. We are young and full of adventure. This is the time to travel, to grow and experience life,” says Sher, the only English-speaking member of the group and it’s natural spokesperson.

 Well settled in their tents and relaxing over a meal of roast chicken and rice, the three are gearing up for an afternoon performance, while waiting for the remaining members, who are away on a shopping expedition to return.

“We were touring China before our agent booked us in India. We love Bangalore. The city is so pretty and we have been taking in the sights and doing a bit of shopping,” he adds.

While they enjoy the Indian food prepared at the circus mess, they do a lot of their own cooking and their tent is equipped with a mini kitchen and fridge.

“We like chapattis and biryani but we really can’t eat spices too often,” says Sher. Their act is an energetic mix of acrobatic stunts and graceful cossack style swivelling kicks and leaps. Wearing fitted trousers, blowsy shirts and embroidered waistcoats, they lend a lot of pageantry and colour to the programme.

A couple of tents away, Bikram and Meena, a young married couple from West Bengal are gearing up for their act in a relaxed sort of way. Their baby daughter Minita sleeps peacefully in their tent while her parents slip into their costumes. He is a comic juggler who also performs on the flying trapeze while she is part of the cycling troupe. Slim and agile, the two fell in love and got married in the circus.

Bikram however, plans to settle Meena down in a city so that their daughter can get an education, while he continues to work and travel in the circus.

“I like my job but I want something different for my children,” he says. A sentiment that is echoed by most of the circus folks around.