Books, Life, Writing

Life is a Circus

One week (which was a week eons ago!), I loved the prompt over at dVerse – Of the circus, About the circus! But I never got around to actually writing something for the prompt until… and I remembered this post when I saw a sticker on a car a couple of days ago that read – ‘Elect a Clown, Expect a Circus!’ That line made me smile and feel well, a bit down, at the same time. When all is said and done, life is a circus in many ways.

I wrote most of this post a while ago (all those eons ago that I mentioned earlier) and I realized I need to work smart if I want to play at catch up for a daily blogging challenge! So while the post did (does?) need some work before publishing it, it was easier than writing a whole new one.

Life is a Circus…..
life is a circus

The Poem

A Trip to the Circus – From Yesteryear

The circus, the circus, the circus is here
Bringing with it smiles, daring, and cheer
Some cotton-candy, and boiled peanuts, my dears
Tigers and lions and yes oh my, definitely bears

The auto-rickshaw, it comes to a tuk-tukked stop
At the end of that dusty field with a busybee crowd
And us kids, we spy that familiar big top
Mirage-like, magical, and just a bit puff-chested proud.

Armed with promised treats, we walk awestruck into
that old-friend-feel under the big top with a promise of new,
Onto wooden benches with scrawled memories like R heart U
Is that our hearts thumping out loud or the crowd? Whew!

The monkeys, the clowns – they endeavour to cheer
While the daring acrobats, those lion-tamers too
And those tight-rope walkers seem to know no fear
Each and every one of them endears themselves to you

It seems the acts had just begun, just a little while
Ago! But what’s this I hear you say, it’s already time to go?
And now I think I begin to see just why
This is the earth’s greatest show!

-Vidya Tiru aka Lady In Read

The Backstory

As a child, I took the auto-rickshaw with my parent  and brother to the nearby bigger town to see the circus, and today, I have fond (though) faint memories of those visits. I do recall it as a time of happiness, of smiles, of excitement-filled air that smelled of popcorn, cotton-candy, and the boiled peanuts I mention, of animals, of people all stacked together in those wooden stands inside that big top that seemingly came out of nowhere (and magically seemed to disappear too on our next trip to that same field). 

And From Yesteryear to Now

Over the past few years, as animal rights groups have increased public awareness and I  learned of the sad treatment of animals, I learned to appreciate circuses without animal acts. Nevertheless, I was glad that we did take the kids to experience the circus – the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey one, a few years ago (and 2017 was their farewell tour). That magical feeling of having been under that giant top of yesteryear still remains fresh in that part of my heart that is still a child.

I always love(d) watching movies and TV shows, and reading books about the circus, and many a times wondered what life would be like on the road with a troupe.

Growing up in India in the 80s meant we definitely watched Raj Kapoor croon ‘Jeena Yahan, Marna Yahan, iske sivaa jaana kahaan’ with family and we smiled and cried with his clown character in the movie. And more recently watched ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ with family (now I was the parent) and smiled and cried with the characters again.

Enid blyton with her books ‘Mr.Galliano’s Circus’, one of the Famous Five books, and other circus based books drew me further into this world as a child. And as an adult, ‘The Night Circus’ wowed.

Here are some books about circuses that I know you would love:

Life is a Circus

And you are the

  • ringmaster (take charge of your life and work towards ensuring all the chaos is under control)
  • clown (clown around, life is short; and yes, make others smile)
  • tightrope walker (life is a balancing act)
  • acrobat (life has twists and turns, and you need to twist and turn with it)
  • side-act (you need to take on roles weird and unique all the time, and do it with aplomb – do so!)
  • and so much more!

Just like in a circus, you need to ensure you have a safety net and you need to learn to deal with clowns (well, of the annoying variety).

Life is entertaining and thrilling and exciting, and behind all that glamour and fun, there is planning and warmth and work and simple joys!

And now, .. Yes, the End of this Post

Here are my previous posts for the month:

8 thoughts on “Life is a Circus

  1. Oooh! I am a ringmaster with several side-acts thrown in!

    We had a traveling circus come to town when I was a child. It was always such a magical time. I’m afraid it’s a thing of the past and future generations will listen to our tales as back in the good ol’ days.

  2. Water for Elephants is such a good book! Life is a circus, especially with kids, at least for me. I would rather have a busy, crazy life though, than one that is boring! I am glad that it seems like circuses are phasing animals out of their performances.

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