As soon as upon a time, hordes of road performers descended on the streets of Bengaluru to ply their craft. These included tightrope walkers, snake charmers, small-time magicians and stunt performers. Their antics saved us enthralled and entertained. We additionally loved pony and camel rides, watching cinema slides on the roadside and getting in circles on the merry-go-round — all for a steal. Even with out the tv, smartphone or the Web, there by no means was a uninteresting second.
Males within the garb of tigers, lions, monkeys and different wild animals drew crowds after they carried out on the streets. They pranced round menacingly and the nervous tiny tots watched the present from the protected ‘cage’ of their elders’ arms. With their painted whiskers, stripes and lengthy tail, the tiger males despatched shivers down the backbone of the little ones.
The sloth bears had been paraded from road to road by their handlers and compelled to bounce by tugging at a rope working by the bear’s muzzle. We had been too younger to understand the ache the animals underwent.
There was additionally one thing surprisingly mesmerising a couple of snake charmer, however we realised quickly that it was one other low-cost trick. He would lastly go round with a hat to gather the choices from the group.
We had been obsessive about elephants, which topped the charts of our favorite animals, and their arrival on the town drew a packed viewers. The jumbos had been successful, particularly with the children, who had been in awe of their dimension and beloved their antics. With the mahouts sitting astride them, town of us pampered the much-revered beasts with choices of rice and ragi balls, jaggery, sugarcane, tender bamboo shoots and different distinctive choices.
The mahouts and their jumbos would camp for per week. We’d plead with the household elders to accompany us to see them on the campsite. The jumbos had three horizontal strains drawn on their foreheads and skilled to extract cash from bystanders by their act of putting their lengthy trunks over the latter’s head. This act seemed that they had been blessing them. They’d additionally salute their admirers by curving their snouts into the form of a query mark. Their sluggish, measured stroll with bells tinkling round their necks was an interesting sight. Residents carted away the copious quantities of elephant droppings in jute luggage and smoked and inhaled them to maintain away a working nostril!
These creatures are a singular attraction on the Mysore Dasehra, celebrated in Mysuru, and different temple festivals in India even at the moment.
The 1971 Hindi movie Haathi Mere Saathi that includes Rajesh Khanna and 4 elephants was an enormous hit with the youngsters. The mere sight of those majestic giants made a lot distinction to our humdrum lives again then.