The Circus

Once upon a time, there was a town full of masked people. The most popular attraction of this town was The Good Old Circus, situated in the town square.

It employed highly talented people from all across the world. A council of high masters handpicked the best performers and presented them to the public every evening at the wildly popular Show Time.

The rules of the Circus were simple. All performers had to prove their mettle to earn their spot at the Show Time. They did this by undergoing a rigorous training program of 10 years. During this period, the masters assigned the performers hundreds of tasks to test their caliber and talent. There was no structure for allocation. The best tasks would go to the performers who knew how best to please their master’s egos. The master never gave any instructions as to how such tasks should be executed. The performers had to trust their instincts and learn by doing. This meant many of them had to fall flat on their face and land in the hospital to recover from injuries.

The selection technique was discreet. The masters never revealed what they were evaluating and when. They walked and roamed silently and only spoke when they had to eliminate or congratulate.

No one knew what the masters felt. Their face was painted white, barely revealing any emotion.

The life of the performers was mayhem. They lived in constant fear, for they didn’t know what would trigger their master’s wrath. They envied each other, brought others down, and focussed on getting ahead. Some privileged performers who came from circus families managed to avoid a fair deal of injuries, for they knew exactly what techniques to apply and how to please their masters. But even for them, it was daily blood, sweat, and tears.

One fine day, a small circus opened at the far end of the town square. No one took the Circus seriously.

“That is a brave move, but how will you compete with The Good Old Circus?” asked the townies to the three founders of the new Circus.

“We are not here to compete. We are here to serve the people and put on the best show this town has ever seen”, chorused the founders.

They named their tent The People’s Circus and launched New Show Time.

Those who couldn’t afford the Show Time started buying tickets to the New Show Time. Those who couldn’t get employed at the Good Old Circus joined The People’s Circus.

A year passed.

And then suddenly, news spread like wildfire.

The New Show Time made people so happy that they repeatedly returned to the show. Never had they seen such excellence being displayed on a stage. The performers smiled and looked healthy. They often performed with their masters!

Rumour had it that the masters taught the performers the secrets of completing the training tasks. They laughed and cried with their performers, caring for them like a family.

And then news spread that The People’s Circus was earning so much moolah, that they had to change banks.

A mass exodus started from The Good Old Circus.

A new way of being and living was now within the reach of the performers. One that would allow them to thrive with courage, humour, and grace.

Five years later, The Good Old Circus closed. It was heard that the masters escaped to a foreign country, but left their masks behind at their circus tent’s doorstep.

Author’s note: This post has been authored by Nikki S. You can get in touch with her at

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