The forgotten circus of winter Kolkata | The Indian Express

Circus, one of Kolkata's most popular forms of entertainment in winter, is staring at an uncertain future due to the pandemic and its lack of popularity among the younger generation.

With the fresh guidelines issued by the state government in the wake of the Covid-19 surge, attendance for public events like the circus is limited to 50 per cent.

After closure for almost two years due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown, the circus in the state reopened in December, last year.

"Due to restriction in using wildlife and strict labour laws, the circus does not attract as many spectators as before," Kishore Das, manager of Ajanta Circus said. Ajanta circus is one of the most popular circus groups in the state.

Das, who has worked with the  Ajanta circus group for the last 42 years, says that many circus players have already left their profession and become manual labourers.

The Ajanta circus tent, which can accommodate almost 2000 people, has only a few attendees these days.

"Once upon a time, the audience used to laugh when they saw us. I used to have a lot of fun watching it from the ring. It's hard to do a show without an audience," Karim Sheikh, a circus clown, said.