A circus is a show for the exhibition of daring feats by human beings and animals. But circuses are not a permanent feature of any town or city. The Russian circus is said to be remarkable for the numerous daring feats of the artistes and animals.
Maybe, some may have witnessed a Russian circus. Nowadays holding circus shows is not considered as profitable. The circus troop including the ferocious animals like the lion, the tiger, the elephant and the rhinoceros have to be moved from place to place by trucks or trains and this involves much expenditure. The artistes have to be paid a fairly good sum, the animals which are voracious eaters, have to be fed. Unless the collection by the sale of tickets is adequate enough to meet the expense of maintenance of a circus troop it is difficult to run a circus.
Despite the problems in the management of a circus troop we have circus shows now and then in our town or city. I attended a circus show recently. Both men and women artistes do bar exercises which are risky. They jump from one bar to another in a split second. The slightest carelessness will make them fall down. But, even if they are careless they fall on a strong net and so they will not get hurt. A young, pretty girl leads a hippopotamus into the stadium and feeds it with some vegetables or grass.
When the fat animal opens its mouth wide it is really thrilling to watch it. A pretty girl bears on her shoulder five or six girls positioned on one another’s shoulder with tact. A slight fault in the balancing act of the first girl who bears the weight of all girls may result in an accident. An iron ring is tightly fastened to a strong rope and a girl clutching the ring whirls fast and comes round and round. Her feat shows the intense training she has undergone.
A sturdy man cracks a long whip and makes some horses, camels and elephants run in a circle. An elephant stands on a stool shrinking its heavy, large body, as its trainer orders it to do its feat correctly. An elephant raises its two front legs and rests them on another elephant’s back and this is indeed a difficult feat. Little dogs play and jump and roll a small roller.
Parrots jump through a small iron ring aflame on the edges. Two parrots sit on a small see-saw and go up and down to the amusement of the spectators. A bear walks along with its trainer. Clowns, short and with painted lips and faces and wearing loose caps do all sorts of comic acts.
They crack their slapsticks and produce a weird sound. A motor cyclist rides up and down through the sides of a broad round iron cage at breakneck speed. The structure is called the ‘well of death’ as it is indeed dangerous to ride through its sides at breakneck speed. The speed should be even at every turn and the rider’s balance should be perfect. The music played during the show was indeed pleasing. On the whole it was interesting to watch the circus show.
I was watching the show for more than two hours and when it was over I could not believe that I had been sitting in the gallery for a long time. I felt it was over so soon.