Circus and Village freaks by Aparna Upadhyaya is a collection of 18 tales written in the format of poem.
The Strange tale of Subramanian- the crocodile man – A strange story of couple who came to supreme court to seek advice before considering separation. On outing to local pond in the area, Subramanian jumped into pond for a swim without noticing the crocodile. Despite his struggle he was strong enough to fight the crocodile and save his life. But the real trouble began after thart. What happens to him makes the rest of the tale.
Pablo was born with deformity to Mr and Mrs Kannan, who had given to circus which was in the village. He moved from city to city, town to town, he engaged the audience by taking role of clown and thus he was funny and witty. In the night, there women would just come to his tent just for gentle touch. He was noticed by a TV crew person only to change his future for good and thus rise of a porn star. We never know what fate hold us, but least parents can do is give support and encouragement to your child even if they have deformity and not considered them as devil and isolate them
The Sad tale of Vishnu, the village exterminator. Vishnu was famous in his village for exterminating snakes, scorpio and other that come into houses. But he was homosexual and was attracted to young man who was already married. But his fate was to die for falling in love with another man. So true, “Some truths are too raw to be faced bare” Homosexuals are again not very well accepted even today.
Sita and Gita, known as siamese twins where cojoined who shared the same heart. They were noticed in dump by circus master who took them in. They were part of the circus shows and moved from city to city. But as they grew, they fell in love with other people in circus. Being cojoined was a difficulty and they went for surgery to separate themselves. After the story they not only lost love they had with other people, but the pure love that once resided Thier hearts was replace by bitter demon. With half heart each, long for love still continued even after moving out of the circus.
A girl was born into Iyer family who was poor and destitute and was hoping for a boy child. She, as a devadasi, was the chosen one to wed the local godhead when the time was right. she also shared great love for food. She was destined to marry the godhead and she wasn’t even asked for opinion. The priest was old to match with her energy and desire. As time fled, she learnt cooking and her talents spread beyond the temple quarters. The priest made use of the opportunity to earn money from her cooking which they served to all People irrespective of caste and creed. This is the story of Urvasi, the devadasi.
As we proceed with the book there are twisted stories of various kinds people living lives among twisted people and very twisted world. The stories depicts characters such Jonas who found his peace in India, Siva who was loving and kind to reptiles, to characters who were neglected due to Thier abnormal physique or abnormalities, like Rita who had huge mustach.
The characters and stories represented the mindset of the people and that of society. How caste system, born to high caste still mattered, having boy child over girl was still preferred. Infact they considered having a boy child as lucky sign, babies with abnormalities were not accepted as thier own and how outsiders looked upon and unaccepted even by thier parents. The expectations towards girl children, how they grown up to get them married one day and considered a liability. Sexuality is also another issue touched upon in the book. The book not only talked how hypocrite our society and people are, but also about certain social issues.