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Enchanter
by Abhijit Laghate Bookmark and Share

Wherefrom did he come, no one knew. He suddenly appeared on the corner. And as if by some mystical pull, everyone became aware. No one had to be told, but all turned and started to stare.

The lunchtime traffic was heavy on the road, waxing and waning to the tune of the light. The walkway was full of people, some carrying lunch-pack, some hurrying through, and some out on a jaywalk. We had congregated outside the office building for a quiet after-lunch smoke, and to take in some sun.

There was some small talk being made, the hum of it was mixed with the sounds of the traffic. But the discussions ground to a halt when he appeared with a hail to all. He was athletic and tall, a man with straw hat and.... And he was riding a monocycle! We had never seen him around ever before. He was prancing around on that contraption like a young steed. Back and forth, weaving and wobbling, now on the pathway, now in the traffic, he was causing quite a stir! His shirt was colorful, right for the spring. And like a butterfly he was flitting around, nary a care.

There was a cop standing right at the corner. But not one to worry about him was our jolly conjurer. With a friendly nod, he performed a dance on a wheel for the king of the hill! He made a bow, and went to his left, then a quick flip and around he came. Another flip, and reversal of path, and there he was offering a hand to the cop! The cop smiled and shook hands with him, with a warning word not to cause any harm. With a wave of hand, the performer turned and approached towards us singing a gay tune. There was a Jacket walking with a stiff gait, along he drew pedaling, equally stiff and erect.

He passed a matron watching him with an admiring eye. To her he took off his hat, made a gallant bow and blew by. Up he looks, still balancing on the wheel and sees a pretty damsel with stilletoes high! That brings a whistle to his lips.

Up goes the hat, up in the air, but only to be caught dexterously and put back again upstairs! Just across from us there were orange cones, set up to keep the entrance clear. And this was an opportunity for him to show his flair!

Inside and out he went around the cones, weaving complex patterns back and forth, flamboyant turns and twists, as his talent shone. His arms were animated, sometimes straight out, sometimes flailing, sometimes held above head, some times flapping. His balance was incredible and control unbelievable, but most striking was his face that glowed with untold glee! A wink here and a nod there, a wave to acknowledge the clapping and cheer!

He kept us amused with his dancing and dare, seemingly he flew along on wings, not on a wheel, and certainly with no fear of a spill! And then reaching the corner he spied some open space. He stood, yes stood in the seat, took off his hat, made a bow, and jumped off the bike with a flaming somersault! And as suddenly as he had appeared around one corner, he vanished around the other, leaving behind him the spring air a tad gayer!  

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01-Jun-2003
More by :  Abhijit Laghate
 
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