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Two Daring Funambulists

Two Daring Funambulists

Two Daring Funambulists

Once, I went to see a circus and while kids of my age wanted to watch a lion jump through a ring, I was too bored and went searching for an ice cream cart. On my quest I walked into a tent which was relatively empty. I saw a lady balancing herself on a tight rope and a man standing on ground with a pole to support her steps. Every time she would take a step forward the man would move in sync and if she took an unsure step the man would immediately stop and tell her to grip the pole firmly. I watched for a long time waiting for the lady to reach the end of her rope but before the act could end my father took me away as he had found an ice cream cart. Suddenly I did not find the ice cream tempting. Even today I wonder if she reached the finishing point or falter, but somehow I feel the man supporting her would have never let her fall... or that’s what I like to believe. Much later my English teacher taught us that this act of tight rope walking is called ‘funambulism’.

16 years later I again met two funambulists but this time not in a circus but in an Irish pub on New Year Eve. It was just 10 minutes to go for 2017 to begin. While everyone was ordering their last glass of champagne for 2016, this adorable septuagenarian couple were swaying to Ellie Goulding’s ‘Love Me Like You Do’ and I could not spot a more romantic couple on the dance floor. After ushering the New Year we had to leave the pub and again I could not see the funambulists completing their walk on the tight rope of life. Yet again I feel they will succeed. Before leaving the pub I walked up to the lady and told her what a wonderful couple they made. She gave me a dimpled smile and said they were not married. They have been living together for the past 40 years. The funambulists truly knocked me out more than the tequila shots.

I do know another pair of funambulists who will be celebrating 25 years of marriage this January. This couple were total strangers to each other before getting married, a concept totally lost on me. There was no courtship period or romantic dates yet when the lady walked on the tight rope of marriage the man supported with love, understanding and care. These two daring funambulists are my parents and I have been watching their walk for 23 years. It has made me realize that successful funambulism is not about ending the walk but about how long you can stay on the fragile rope of relationships. So when I am asked what kind of a partner I want – a doctor, engineer or businessman I always say whatever he maybe but first he must know funambulism.

On that note I wish everyone a very happy new year. Hope you find your funambulist.

Dedicated to my parents who will be celebrating their 25th marriage anniversary on 24th January.

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