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Sunday, January 2, 2011

The circus of life
The Bombay Circus has come to town to regale Bangaloreans. People's changing tastes and new rules on the use of animals have taken away some of the thrills associated with this event. But what still draws people to the shows is the undying spirit of the artistes for whom circus is bread and butter. The artistes tell their stories to Rakshita Adyanthaya and A Veeramani who paid a visit to them in their tents.
By Elizabeth Soumya Place: Bangalore Agency: DNA
The unrelenting pace of city life can have us lost in our fishbowl existence. Faces of Bangalore is an opportunity to meet those we share this burgeoning city with.
Name Situ Rajesh Occupation Circus acrobat
Ask Situ Rajesh when she joined the circus, and memory fails her. Born into a family of Chinese circus acrobats, she says she started performing long before she learnt to record even memories. "I was too small, I could have been three," she says.
And since then Situ's days have followed a disciplined cyclic ritual of hard work and performances. No matter how good you're at your acts you have to practise every single day, she warns.
Her training time slots span between 7am to 10.30am every single day. Even after all these years, she warns that the amusing antics of a circus can't be taken for granted and even now she falls down and scrapes her knees at times.
The acrobatics change according to the age of the performer. When she was a young child, she did cycle tricks and balance acts, since it's easier for a child who weighs much lesser to climb over people.
As a teenager, she did circus swing acrobats. Over the years, she's done juggling acts, roller-skate acts, performances with animals and currently does human pyramid tricks while riding a cycle.
While she started out in Oriental Circus, she fell in love with Rajesh a young acrobat from Kerala. Today the couple works for Bombay Circus and has two children, who study back home in Kerala and travel with the circus during their summer vacations. Situ says that the circus life is a nomadic one, where they get to halt in cities around the India and this lets her experience different worlds.
For those who think the circuses are dying out, she says "Every place we stop at people visit the circus with so much excitement." While animals as a trend are reducing in circuses, the talent of the performers is enough to draw people, she adds confidently.

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