Chennai: From a young girl shouting “Appa! When will the show start?” and a grandfather showing his grandchild – ‘Kanna! look at the camel’, there was so much excitement at the Kanniyappar Thidal as the Great Bombay Circus is back in Chennai after six long years.
There was still time for the show to start and being in the lounge inside the tent, the tension built up in the air with the workers running here and there as the show time was approaching. As this illustrious circus group steps into its 100th year with immense glory and fame, there was a second thought what would happen if circus go extinct in India. This was because there were many empty chairs.
However, the circus troupe manager Jayaprakash says, “Until enthralling the audience with acts, meeting the blend of the current trends and expectations, circus will see no end any soon”. Chennai is one of the places where the seats for the circus are almost filled at 7 pm show. “Chennai is the only place where the troupe would halt for long as the show continues for almost two months which is the longest period among all. Whereas in other places, we would wind up within 40 days”, he says.
However, the scarcity of grounds in the city poses a major threat to circus. With the SIAA ground in Kanniyappar Thidal been taken over by the railway department, it seems impossible to conduct circus anywhere in the city. ‘This ground is the best place for organising circus as it is easy for the people to commute to this place with the extremely good transporting facilities,’ he adds.
Retrieving back from the downfall with the government’s ban on using wild animals and child artistes, the circus had tried filling the void with 33 stunts that would fascinate the audience. The Ethiopian artistes’ acrobatics and the basket ball acts are commendable. “The circus promises the lively experience which the drama and films fail to stream through your body,” Jayaprakash says in pride filled tone. The circus will go on till 17 February, with three shows – 1 pm, 4 pm and 7 pm.
(Story By Afrin Fowmitha)