I remember seeing these small shows happening in Baada, Hegde and Kumta fairs when I was kid. They used to show three legged girl, girl with a three eyes and some magical stuff which were a big attraction of a rural fairs in those days. Four to five tents which showed these amazing things for day and almost till midnight for continuous three to six days. For the people visiting fairs these shows happened to be one of the biggest attractions. I remember discussing the shows with my friends in schools or while playing cricket even after the fair is over. But as I am in to my college I learnt that these are just tricks so I stopped going to these shows , I think I stopped going to these fairs and justified that these are village events for village people!
Now it is 10 years after my college and these fairs are attracting me again. I am squeezing my times between my worklife to visit these village fairs again. I see a great culture that has come a long way . When I was in Hegde fair this year I saw this similar show and got interested right away. They were showing body less girl, a girl with a snake body , floating stone, a tap flying in air with continuous water flow. I said WOW! So I decided I have to see this as a grown up. It was not open at that time . So I interacted with the show guys to know more about them.
They were all young and seemed not so excited about the fair and kept asking me when the fair would start and how many people might come. I could see little disappointment in their faces seeing not very huge crowd. But I told them it would get better and you can expect lot of people coming around here. They came all the way from north Karnataka border place and they talked in Hindi.
After 2 hrs I went to this show place again I could see huge crowd waiting for tickets and the show people seemed very happy. One guy even waved his hands at me and asked me to come. I felt also happy after seeing the long line of people . Again I went after some time with my fiends Sudheer and Soumya . This time I decided to go in and see myself those wonders! The ticket cost 20 rupees was very easy to give also.
First came the tap but we all knew the trick. Though I did not see anything like a water connection from the bottom. Next came the girl with a snake body. They had put her in a cage where the top side is open. One could see the snake body clearly but could not see the connection with the Girl’s head as there were branches of leaves around. There was a boy standing near her and shouted at the girl to speak. She spoke. I thought to myself that was for those who might think the girl’s head is fake. Yes we all were surprised and moved on. There was a stone floating in a water tank which I am not interested in explaining. Next show was a talking Girl with no body! There were some flowers around her neck and no body at all. How amazing!! Very worth of 20 Rs ticket! I could see so many people returning happy faces. Few kids even looked very frightened and were discussing just like we used to do.
I could see those girls smiling at us looking here and there but anybody can tell with little observation that it is a fake smile she is wearing. One can see there was a little pain behind it. One can see her neck muscles stretched and the posture they are in is not a comfortable one.
I do not want to debate whether those girls really have just head or a snake body for now. Technically all I could think is may be those girls were in such a posture which fools the viewer . May be those girls are disabled with a small body or something . But the interesting / painful thing is those girls were there in that posture for hours without eating anything or drinking. And it is not for one day. It is continuous! Once this fair is over they move to another fair and put their tent . They perform day and night to earn money for their owners and their family. So much to do for just few earnings!! But it is common in India which is having such a population.
For a moment I thought of talking to them and capturing the behind the scenes but I dropped the idea. This is not like circus event. If I find their secret and tell everybody then their show is as good as gone. I will become the killer. On another note they definitely would have not let me in. So the best thing to do is visit this show and see them performing and give that little amount of money they ask instead talking about sciences and history and our intelligence. There are thousands of street families in India who earn their bread in this way daily. Let us enjoy and help them.