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The Circus Comes To Town!

By HITESH HARISINGHANI
October 28, 2022 15:47 IST
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The Big Top or, simply, the huge colourful tent.

Clowns.

Gymnasts.

Acrobats.

Jugglers.

The Ringmaster.

And wide-eyed young children -- as well as their nostalgic parents -- watching the magic unfold.

This is Rambo Circus, one of the many circuses that have been touring India for decades.

But in the tasting platter, multi-option OTT universe of today, the world of the circus is shrinking and struggling to survive.

Until October 30, Rambo Circus will hold shows in Bandra, the north west Mumbai suburb.

Before the show starts, here's what goes on backstage. And how, despite a tragedy, the show went on.

All Photographs and Videos: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

 

IMAGE: Hey, whatcha looking at, Biju Pushkaran seems to be asking as he eyes the camera.
The 44 year old has more than two decades of experience as a circus performer.

 

IMAGE: There, all done. Now, he's ready to make people laugh.

 

IMAGE: V for victory; Ranjit Sada, 36, refuses to be anything but optimistic.

 

IMAGE: A quick rehearsal for the Queen of the Rings before her performance.

 

IMAGE: Rajiv Chatterjee, 40, gets his shoes on; his performance is minutes away.
"The audience matters to us," he says, "and not where we perform, be it at a ground or an auditorium."

 

IMAGE: "Audience khush," says 32-year-old Anil Kumar, "toh hum log khush (We are happy if the audience enjoys themselves)."

 

IMAGE: Tanveer Mujawar, who first began performing in the circus as a child, does a quick practice session on the Rola Bola.
"It's my first time performing here," smiles the 33 year old excitedly. "It's super fun."

 

IMAGE: There's always time for a phone call :)

 

IMAGE: Biju and Tanveer fool around; wonder who's going to win this match!

 

IMAGE: Time for the curtain to rise.
Biju begins by requesting the audience to pay their respects to P T Dilip, who founded Rambo Circus in 1991.
Though it is just a few hours since Dilip passed away, his performers know that, come what may, the show doesn't stop.
 

Watch: Priya-Aman's EXCITING act

 

Watch: The boy who isn't afraid of swords

 

IMAGE: Sunny Raj, 30, leaves the audience entranced with his juggling skills.

 

IMAGE: As does Miss Rita, who juggles with her pretty feet.

 

IMAGE: And that's Ayesha, who specialises in balancing candles.

Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/Rediff.com

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HITESH HARISINGHANI / Rediff.com