India is a land of variety and is inhabited by all types of people. Jugglers are a very common sight in India. They provide us with amusement and fun. They are generally found in small towns and villages as well as art fairs. In big cities, we come across very few jugglers because people have so many other attractions and means of entertainment that they show no interest in the hackneyed tricks of the jugglers. The working people, in particular, cannot afford to waste their precious time watching the performances of jugglers.
A juggler, however, is most popular among the children. They are amazed at his wonderful tricks and gimmicks. They consider him to be a magician.
A juggler often paints his face and wears bright coloured clothes to attract attention. He employs a young who carries his stock-in-trade in a bag or basket. It contains the articles that a juggler needs for the show.
First of all, the juggler selects a suitable place for the performance. He spreads a piece of cloth on the ground and begins to play on the flute. The boy with him begins to beat the drum. The juggler is adept at playing on the flute. He can produce different tunes so as to attract a sufficiently large crowd before beginning his tricks. He is clever, witty and quick of movement. He smiles with confidence during the show. He surprises the spectators by his well well-timed jokes and witty remarks.
A juggler has many items to amuse spectators. He generally begins with the card tricks. He can correctly detect a card that has been pulled out of the pack by a spectator. He also shows other feats. Then, he shows ball tricks that are very interesting and surprising. He takes a number of balls and throws them up in the air in quick succession. The balls keep revolving in a circle without any of them falling on the ground. The success of this feat depends upon his ingenuity and regular practice.
Sometimes, the juggler asks a man to give him his ring. He covers it with a piece of cloth and waves his magic wand over it. When he removes the cloth, the people are amazed to find that the ring has disappeared. The owner is anxious to get his ring back. When the juggler sees that the patience of the owner is exhausted, he asks some other person in the crowd to search his pocket. Much to the bewilderment of all, the ring is found in the pocket of the owner himself.
He also shows a mango branch sprouting into a young tree. His basket trick is also very interesting. He puts a big basket over the boy’s body. He runs his sword through it many times. The people hear the painful cries of the boy. They also see the sword covered with blood. They think that the boy might be dead. But when he removes the basket, they see nobody under it. The boy comes from somewhere in the crowd and is quite safe and sound. Then people shout with joy and show their appreciation by clapping. Some people give a rupee or a two to the boy.
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With the help of his wand, the juggler can multiply the number of his currency notes and coins and become rich for a short time. But he remains the poor juggler roaming around the street to make a living.
The juggler’s skill requires dexterity and practice. He earns a living by his feats and some unique tricks, which other jugglers might no show. Our eyes cannot follow his movements, as he is swift. After the performance, he goes around to make a collection from the spectators. A juggler is a poor man but he tries to make his livelihood with honesty and labour.