The Grand Circus – Tanisha Tekriwal, Uttarakhand

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Eventually, we all move to another ride
Slowly letting go of the short-lived before
And taking in the fleeting after
As we trudge through the eternal chrysalis of our lives.
We are stuck mooning after the candied apples and candy floss
That melts and swirls in our mouths
Like the dreams of our childhood.
The small coaches of the Ferris wheelgo
Up and down, and up and down-
Uniformly, consistently- like a heartbeat
Stretched out on a cardiac monitor;
When we are living but not alive,
Breathing but not breathless.

We cake on fake smiles like makeup-
Both intend to cover, to hide
After all, we must not let our facades drop-
What would we rely on, if not our own ingenuity?
We move from attraction to attraction like mindless sheep-
Senselessly unaware of our destination,
And seeking the thrill that would conquer us
For a split second
Before disappearing like our identities,
While the infinite amusement park of our world consumes us,
Much like our insanity devours our rationality.

And, somehow, sooner or later, we find ourselves
Standing at the precipice, at the very edge of a great nothing-
The roller coaster culmination of an otherwise spinning teacups life:
The grand circus.
At the zenith of the spectacle of our lives,
We come face to face with the reality
That the rubies of our lives, and the gilded edges of our storybook
Are nothing but crimson rhinestones and copper paint;
Because mirages have no symptoms, and our dreams are shape-shifters-
Much like our fears.

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