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Meeting Amitabh was the most memorable event of his life. Big Basked Kalam Khan to climb a few steps, so that he could give him an equal level handshake and then surprised him with an offer to join the films. Kalam politely refused the offer by saying that he couldn’t leave the circus! The midget Kalam Khan is just 3.5 feet but is always buoyant and smiling. It’s this confidence and optimism which had him have a photo feature with the greatest icon of our country ; Amitabh Bachchan. He had met him during the shooting of the film ‘ Coolie’.


The self-confidence and a sense of pride in being a CircusArtiste was on par with a journalist of a reputed media firm or an actor from a television channel. He walked into their drawing room without even a visiting card.
It is the emotional thrill and enthusiasm in narrating the interactions with the celluloid heroes that gives him tremendous joy and happiness. His face is lit up with joy and a sense of achievement after having met the glamour gods and goddesses of the silver screen. His album contains photographs with Aishwarya Rai,Kareena Kapoor,Hema Malini, Shahrukh Khan,Salman Khan,Hrithik Roshan,Amrish Puri, Anil Kapoor, Dharmendra, Jackie Shroff, Rajendra Kumar, Jeetendra, Sunil Dutt , Sanjay Dutt, Sunny Deol, Vinod Khanna, Bhanupriya and Juhi Chawla. It is an interesting coincidence that Kalam Khan hails from Gopal Ganj, the constituency of our Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav. Forty seven year old Kalam Khan joined Alankar Circus when he was just a thirteen year old boy. Hethen worked with Venus Circus, Panama Circus and joined Jumbo from its very inception at Dhanapur near Patna in Bihar. Performs as a clown in the following acts; spring net, palakka acrobat, car farce, boxing and comedy items.

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In America, Europe and Russia the Circus Clowns have attained the status of mythical figures through art, literature and films. The typical clown has an aura of grandeur and greatness. The clowns are respected and also considered as the living embodiments of laughter. This should be emulated in India.

Circus made me famous!” Shivram. Dharmayug, a leading Hindi magazine had called him the world’s shortest clown as he was hardly twenty six inches. He was featured on the cover of this magazine issue dated 29th January 1984. His entry into the circus was equally dramatic. He had come to see the Jumbo circus with his parents in Sholapur, Maharashtra. It was then that the Ring master Shankaran spotted him and sought the permission of his parents and finally got him into the circus. He was just a fourteen year old boy then. He worked with the Jumbo circus for nearly two decades. Shivram Chidanand Shivputra hails from Rampur, Karnataka.

The Circus Clown was immortalised by late Rajkapoor in his film “Mera Naam Joker” and by Kamal Haasan in his film “Apoorva Sahodarangal”. The varied fur caps, the distinct dresses, painted faces and queer noserings give a striking appearance to the clowns. The dwarfs usually have good acting talent and are intelligent. Even in the flying trapeze item when the audience is at the edge of their seats, with anxiety and tension, the clowns act of falling into the net is a welcome diversion as the audience breaks into peals of laughter by their antics. The clowns have to make the spectators laugh by their acting. They also have to know the psychology of the spectators. The spectators will be varied and so fluency in many languages is important as the circus travels to various states.


     
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